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The San Antonio Rampage beat the Abbotsford Heat 4-2 in the team’s first-ever school day game in front of a sold-out crowd of 8,415 fans at the AT&T Center on Wednesday morning. The Rampage improve to 28-17-2-0 good for 58 points as they gain sole possession of second place in a tightly-packed West Division standings.
Center Bracken Kearns and right wing Brett MacLean each tallied one goal and one assist as Kearns extended his point streak to four games.
Abbotsford jumped on the board first as center Matt Keith took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play at the 2:43 mark of the first period. Keith received the puck in the high slot and fired a one-timer over the blocker of Rampage goaltender Al Montoya to give the Heat a 1-0 lead.
The Rampage evened the score at 1-1 with Kearns’ fourth power-play goal of the season at the 2:43 mark of the second period. Brett MacLean’s wraparound attempt was blocked by Heat netminder Jean-Phillipe Lamoureux and deflected out to the top of the crease where Kearns was waiting to punch it home. Maxim Goncharov supplied the second helper.
San Antonio claimed a 2-1 advantage on left wing Alex Picard’s 16th goal of the season 13:30 into the middle frame. Matt Pope passed the puck from behind the net to Picard at the top of the crease, who then fired a shot that beat Lamoureux stick side. Kearns provided the additional assist.
The Rampage took a 3-1 lead when Matt Beaudoin and Nick Ross assisted on MacLean’s goal from the left post that beat Lamoureux low stick side 3:52 into the third period.
Abbotsford head coach Jim Playfair pulled Lamoureux with 2:36 remaining in the contest providing the Heat with a six-on-four opportunity; however, Rampage defenseman Jonas Ahnelov fired the puck down the length of the ice to score his first goal of the season on the empty net for a 4-1 lead.
The Heat cut the deficit in half as T. J. Brodie scored with 1:41 remaining in the contest but the Rampage were able to hold on for a 4-2 victory.
Montoya made 29 saves on 31 Heat shot attempts for his third consecutive victory while Lamoureux turned aside 25 Rampage shots on 28 attempts.
The Rampage will host their first-ever “Pink in the Rink Night” this Friday with a 7 p.m. puck drop at the AT&T Center.