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San Antonio captain Nolan Yonkman scored the lone Rampage goal as the team fell 4-1 to the Syracuse Crunch in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,935 at the AT&T Center on Saturday night. The Rampage has earned 73 points on the year with a 35-24-3-0 record.
The Crunch were the first to jump on the scoreboard as they took a 1-0 lead 3:48 after the initial puck drop. A Rampage turnover at the blue line gave left wing John Mitchell possession of the puck where he skated to the crease and flipped a shot over the glove of Rampage goaltender Matt Climie.
Just 16 seconds later, the Rampage evened the score at 1-1 after Matt Pope and David Brine assisted on Yonkman’s first goal of the season. Yonkman fired a shot from the blue line that went through traffic and beat Crunch netminder Ray Emery low stick side.
Syracuse claimed a 2-1 advantage nine seconds into their second power-play opportunity of the night. Nick Bonino snapped a shot from the left wing boards that was redirected by right wing Brian McGrattan to the low glove side of Climie 12:27 into the second period.
The Crunch extended their lead to 3-1 when left wing John Kurtz skated to the bottom of the left faceoff circle and sent the puck over the right shoulder of Climie as it hit the underside of the cross-bar and bounced across the goal line at the 13:45 mark of the middle stanza.
San Antonio head coach Ray Edwards pulled Climie in favor of a sixth attacker with 1:30 remaining in the contest, however, Syracuse center Maxime Macenauer scored on the empty net to finalize the Crunch victory at 4-1.
Climie finished the night with 26 saves on 29 Syracuse shots he faced while Emery stopped 40 of 41 Rampage shots on net.
The Rampage return to the ice on Thursday night when they host the Oklahoma City Barons at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center.