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The San Antonio Rampage snapped a four-game losing streak as they beat the Peoria Rivermen 4-2 on Friday night at Carver Arena. The Rampage improve to 38-28-3-2 good for 80 points and a three-way tie for fifth place in a tight West Division race.
Several Rampage players recorded a multiple-point night as Alex Picard led the way with two goals. In addition, leading Rampage scorer Matt Beaudoin tallied one goal and one assist while right wing Viktor Tikhonov collected two assists on the night.
The Rampage were the first to jump on the scoreboard as Picard netted his 10th power-play goal of the season 11:02 after the initial puck drop. Tikhonov backhanded a pass across the crease to Picard who snuck the puck back door past Rivermen goaltender Ben Bishop at the left goal post for a 1-0 lead. Randy Robitaille added the second assist.
The Rivermen netted the equalizer on the power play for a 1-1 score when Tyson Strachan’s stretch pass found right wing Graham Mink in the slot giving him a one-on-one with San Antonio netminder Matt Climie where his shot went high glove side and into the back of the net at the 18:15 mark of the first period.
San Antonio claimed a 2-1 advantage after center Bracken Kearns scored the Rampage’s sixth shorthanded goal of the season. Chris Summers skated down the right wing boards and stopped at the crease sending a drop pass to Kearns who snapped a shot high stick side of Bishop 3:48 into the second period. Michael Stone supplied the additional helper.
Peoria evened the score when center Brett Sonne scored at the 9:55 mark of the middle stanza. Strachan fired a shot from the blue line that was deflected by Climie into the slot where Stefan Della Rovere got a shot off that was once again stopped by Climie, however, he could not reach the third shot as Sonne picked up the puck and flipped it over the outstretched goaltender to tie the game at 2-2.
The Rampage took a 3-2 lead as right wing Matt Beaudoin earned his 20th goal of the season with 1:47 remaining in the second period. Garrett Stafford and Tikhonov worked the puck from the right wing boards to the left faceoff circle where Beaudoin fired a one-timer in the final second of a five-on-three power play that went behind Bishop and into the back of the net.
San Antonio extended their lead to 4-2 after Beaudoin and Jeff May assisted on Picard’s shot from above the right faceoff circle that went over Bishop’s left shoulder 9:30 into the third period to seal the victory.
Climie made 18 saves on 20 Rivermen shot attempts while Bishop turned aside 20 of 24 Rampage shot attempts.
The Rampage return to the ice tomorrow night when they continue with a three-in-three series this weekend against the Peoria Rivermen at Carver Arena with the puck dropping at 7:05 p.m. They will face the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. at the Bradley Center.