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The San Antonio Rampage hold on to their first place standings in the West Division despite dropping a 4-1 decision to the Abbotsford Heat on Saturday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.
Abbotsford took a 1-0 advantage when left wing Cam Cunning scored at the 9:11 mark of the first period. Cunning was positioned in front of the net to redirect the puck behind Rampage goaltender Matt Climie. Chris Breen and Matt Keith earned the assists.
Just 1:47 after the team’s first tally, Abbotsford jumped out to a 2-0 lead off Giffen Nyren’s first goal of his professional career. Logan MacMillan provided the assist on Nyren’s shot from the crease that passed Climie low glove side.
Abbotsford extended their lead 3-0 in the second period as defenseman Keith Seabrook scored on the power play at the 5:51 mark. Seabrook’s shot from the right faceoff circle found the back of the net through the high glove side of Climie. T.J. Brodie and Cam Cunning added the helpers.
The Rampage were outshot 28-10 in the first two periods.
San Antonio made it a 3-1 game at the 9:15 mark of the third period. Rampage right wing Matt Pope gained control of the puck off a Heat turnover in the neutral zone, and took a shot from the right faceoff circle that went to the high stick side of Abbotsford goaltender Leland Irving.
With a minute and a half remaining in the game, Rampage head coach Ray Edwards pulled Climie in favor of an extra attacker.
The Heat took advantage of the situation as right wing Greg Nemisz scored an empty net goal to finalize Abbotsford’s victory at 4-1. Gaelan Patterson chipped in the assist.
Climie finished the evening with 34 saves on 37 shots while Irving stopped 22 of the Rampage’s season-low 23 shot attempts.
The Rampage (8-4-1-0) return to the ice Tuesday night as they travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Barons at 7:05 p.m. (CDT).