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The San Antonio Rampage dropped a 6-4 decision to the Toronto Marlies on Monday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum. The Rampage claim a 33-22-2-0 record good for 68 points.
Rampage forwards Brett MacLean and Viktor Tikhonov each collected one goal and one assist on the day while defenseman Jeff May recorded his first goal of the season.
Toronto was the first to jump on the scoreboard taking a 1-0 lead after center Joe Colborne scored a power-play goal from below the right faceoff circle that snuck past Rampage goaltender Matt Climie at the 5:48 mark of the opening frame.
The Marlies claimed a 2-0 advantage on center Justin Hodgman’s 10th goal of the season with just under three minutes remaining in the first period. Former Rampage player Mike Zigomanis sent a perfect feed to Hodgman in the slot where he backhanded the puck over Climie’s left leg padding from the top of the crease.
Just 34 seconds after the start of the second period, Rampage center Kyle Turris was awarded a penalty shot after drawing a hooking penalty on a breakaway, however, Turris was unable to score on the one-on-one opportunity.
Toronto extended their lead to 3-0 when Danny Richmond sent a centering feed to rookie Nazem Kadri from the left wing boards who then fired a shot past Climie’s blocker 11:11 into the second period.
The Rampage got on the board, cutting the Toronto lead to 3-1, on leading scorer MacLean’s 23rd goal of the season. Tikhonov was credited with the lone assist as he skated down the slot and dumped the puck off to his left leaving MacLean open for a shot that went high stick side of Marlies netminder Andrew Engelage at the 12:56 mark of the middle frame.
For the second game in a row, the Rampage had to take an early break for the second intermission due to a fire alarm malfunction at Ricoh Coliseum with 5:11 remaining in the period.
When the clubs returned to the ice to finish the second period, the Marlies scored to extend their lead to 4-1 at the 18:21 mark of the middle stanza. Fabian Brunnstrom gained control of the puck at the left goal line and sent a pass toward the slot where Colborne redirected the puck into the lower right corner of the net for his second goal of the day.
San Antonio cut the deficit in half to 4-2 when a Marlies turnover deep in their defensive zone set up Tikhonov with a one-on-one situation where he slipped the puck past Engelage low glove side at the 2:08 mark of the third period.
The Rampage scored again to trail Toronto by one, 4-3, after left wing Alex Picard was able to pick up the loose puck in a scramble in front of the net and flip it over Engelage 10:59 into the final frame. MacLean and Turris supplied the assists.
The Marlies pushed their lead to 5-3 when Zigomanis fired a bullet from the slot that went over Climie’s left shoulder and into the back of the net 12:45 into the third period.
San Antonio brought the score back to within one at the 14:28 mark of the final frame when Ned Lukacevic and David Brine assisted on Jeff May’s first goal of the season. May’s shot from the point went through traffic and under the padding of Engelage for a 5-4 score.
Rampage head coach Ray Edwards pulled Climie in favor of a sixth attacker with 1:11 remaining in the contest, however, the Marlies took advantage of the situation as left wing Jeff Cowan scored on the empty net for a shorthanded goal to finalize the Toronto victory at 6-4.
San Antonio outshot Toronto 13-2 in the final frame and outshot the Marlies 97-21 on the day. Climie finished the game with 15 saves on 20 Marlies shot attempts while Engelage made 33 saves on 37 Rampage shots.
The Rampage return to the ice this Friday night to conclude their Rodeo road trip in Oklahoma City with a 7:05 p.m. puck drop against the Barons at Cox Convention Center.