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Center Bracken Kearns scored the lone Rampage goal as San Antonio dropped a 3-1 decision to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon at Copps Coliseum. The Rampage own a 33-21-2-0 record good for 68 points.
San Antonio was the first to score as Kearns scored on the first power-play opportunity of the game 6:16 after the initial puck drop. Randy Robitaille sent a centering feed to Kearns who shot the puck high stick side of Bulldogs goaltender Curtis Sanford for a 1-0 lead. Garrett Stafford chipped in with the additional helper.
The Bulldogs evened the score at 1-1 when center Ryan Russell redirected Alex Henry’s pass from behind the goal and into the lower left corner of the net 15:32 into the first period.
After taking an early intermission break due to the lights going out at Copps Coliseum, Hamilton returned to finish the remaining five minutes of the first frame and claimed a 2-1 lead with 23 seconds remaining in the period. After a Rampage turnover at the blue line gave Dustin Boyd and Ben Maxwell a 2-on-1 breakaway, Boyd skated toward the left goal post and dumped the puck off to Maxwell who in turn flipped the puck over the blocker of Rampage netminder Matt Climie scoring from the top of the crease.
After a scoreless 39 minutes of hockey, Rampage head coach Ray Edwards pulled Climie with 54 seconds remaining in the contest, however, the Bulldogs were able to capitalize on the opportunity when center Andreas Engqvist stripped the puck off of Garrett Stafford and scored on the empty net to seal the Hamilton victory at 3-1.
Climie made 29 saves on 31 Bulldogs shot attempts while Sanford turned aside 20 of 21 Rampage shots on net.
The Rampage return to the ice on Monday at 12 p.m. as they take on the Toronto Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum.