San Antonio Rampage defenseman Colby Robak recorded his second goal of the year in the Rampage’s 4-1 loss to the Charlotte Checkers in front of 6,157 fans at the AT&T Center on Saturday night. The contest marked the first ever matchup between the Checkers and the Rampage.
San Antonio got on the board first on a rebound chance from Robak early in the opening frame. Rampage center Angelo Esposito started the play with a rush from center ice in which he went around a Checkers defender and drove to the net.
Esposito took a low shot that Charlotte goalie Mike Murphy stopped, but Robak was there for the rebound and lifted the puck over Murphy’s glove for his second goal of the year to give the Rampage a 1-0 lead at the 5:51 mark.
Brett Sutter tied the game for Charlotte with a shorthanded goal, the Checkers’ first of the season, at the 10:55 mark in the first frame. Sutter chipped the puck past his own blue line and took off for a two-on-one chance where he chose to hold onto the puck instead of pass and snapped a shot high over the glove of Rampage goaltender Brian Foster to knot the score 1-1. Defenseman Mathieu Roy was credited with the only assist, his third point of the season.
The Checkers took their first lead with a power-play goal off the stick of left wing Chris Terry just over four minutes later. Terry took a pass from defenseman Justin Faulk at the blue line and ripped a slap shot by a screened Foster to make the count 2-1 in favor of Charlotte. Also receiving an assist on the play was right wing Jerome Samson, who notched his third helper of the year.
Terry struck for another goal early in the second period to give Charlotte a two-goal advantage. Defenseman Michal Jordan started the play by feeding Samson in the neutral zone, who then passed to Terry across the Rampage blue line. Terry skated into the slot and past the hash marks before lifting a shot over a down and out Foster to give Charlotte a 3-1 lead at 5:56.
The Checkers closed out the scoring with a goal from left wing Drayson Bowman nearly six minutes into the third. Bowman skated to the area inside the right circle and hammered a shot that beat Foster low and underneath his pads for a 4-1 Charlotte lead. Right wing Matthew Pistilli and defenseman Rasmus Rissanen assisted on Bowman’s fifth goal of the year.
Murphy made 35 stops on 36 Rampage shots for his fifth win of the year while Foster saved 30 of the 34 shots he faced in the loss.
The Rampage (3-4-0-0) take the ice tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. against their West Division rival, the Oklahoma City Barons, in the final contest of San Antonio’s three-game home stand this weekend at the AT&T Center.