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The San Antonio Rampage rallied to claim a 7-5 win over the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday night at the Bradley Center and improve their record to 26-18-1-0, good for 53 points.
Rampage left wing Alex Picard and right wing Matt Beaudoin each recorded a four-point night with one goal and three assists as both players returned to the lineup tonight after missing a combined 25 games due to injury.
Several Rampage players made big contributions as Andrew Ebbett tallied three assists, Bracken Kearns and Matt Watkins each contributed one goal and one assist and Nick Ross provided two assists for his first career AHL multi-point night.
The Admirals jumped onto the scoreboard 2:47 after the initial puck drop to take an early 1-0 lead. Rampage goaltender Matt Climie deflected a shot by Ryan Thang into the crease where center Blake Geoffrion was positioned to punch it home into the lower right corner of the net.
Milwaukee claimed a 2-0 advantage after a failed clearing attempt by San Antonio allowed left wing Linus Klasen to shoot a backhander from the slot that beat Climie low glove side 17:03 into the opening frame.
Just 17 seconds later, the Admirals extended their lead to 3-0 when left wing Kelsey Wilson fired a shot from the right faceoff circle that cleared over Climie’s left shoulder.
After allowing three goals in the opening 17 minutes of the contest, San Antonio head coach Ray Edwards replaced Climie with fellow Rampage netminder Al Montoya.
The Rampage cut the Admirals lead to 3-1 before heading into the locker room as they scored a late goal with 39 seconds remaining in the first period. Picard gave the puck to Watkins at the right goal line who then set up Kearns in the slot with a shot over the right leg padding of Admirals netminder Mark Dekanich.
San Antonio scored a power-play goal at the 8:24 mark of the second period when Picard redirected Matt Beaudoin’s centering feed into the back of the net through the low stick side of Dekanich for a 3-2 score.
Milwaukee responded with a power-play goal of their own pushing the Admirals lead to 4-2 when Klasen sent the puck over Montoya’s right shoulder on his bullet from the right faceoff dot 9:35 into the middle stanza.
San Antonio cut the deficit in half to 4-2 when Nick Ross passed the puck from behind the net to defenseman Michael Stone in the high slot who sent the rubber over the outstretched glove of Dekanich at the 12:14 mark of the second period. Ebbett added the second helper.
The Rampage netted the equalizer 1:41 into the third period while on the power play as Picard and Beaudoin assisted on left wing Ned Lukacevic’s first goal of the season for San Antonio. Lukacevic skated down the slot and tapped the puck into the lower right corner to tie the game at 4-4.
San Antonio claimed their first lead of the game at 5-4 when Beaudoin picked up the rebound in the slot and snapped a shot to the stick side of Dekanich at the 5:02 mark of the final frame. Ebbett and Ross supplied the assists.
San Antonio extended their lead to 6-4 when Kearns and Picard assisted on Watkins’ one-timer from the right faceoff dot 7:40 into the third period.
The Admirals brought the game back to within one, 6-5, as defenseman Roman Josi scored after a faceoff win on his shot from the blue line that beat Montoya high stick side at the 15:17 mark of the third period.
Milwaukee head coach Lane Lambert pulled Dekanich with a little more than one minute remaining in the contest, however, the Rampage took advantage of the empty net as Ryan Hollweg scored to seal the San Antonio victory at 7-5.
Climie made 10 saves on 13 shot attempts and Montoya stopped 17 shots out of 19 Admirals attempts to combine for 27 saves. Dekanich finished with 27 saves on 33 Rampage shot attempts.
The Rampage travel to Rockford, Ill. tomorrow to take on the IceHogs at 7:05 p.m. at Rockford MetroCentre.