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San Antonio Rampage forward Bill Thomas scored the game-winning goal 2:12 into overtime to propel the Rampage past the Rochester Americans on Friday at the AT&T Center.
Rampage forward Greg Rallo scored the game’s first goal at the 10:06 mark of the first period to give San Antonio a 1-0 lead and send the teddy bears flying onto the ice at the Rampage’s 7th annual Teddy Bear Toss Night. Center Mark Cullen created the scoring chance when he stripped an Americans defender in the Rochester zone and fed a cutting Rallo at the top of the right circle. Rallo then pounded a shot that beat Americans goalie Drew MacIntyre low to the blocker side for his seventh marker of the season.
After the Americans had a goal from defenseman T.J. Brennan disallowed for having a player come out of the penalty box too early at 10:27 of the first period, center Phil Varone scored a goal that counted to tie the game at 1-1, 52 seconds later. Varone found a loose puck at the top of the slot and ripped a shot past Rampage backstop Jacob Markstrom for his first goal of the season. Brennan and defenseman Shaone Morrisonn picked up the assists on the play.
Defenseman Keith Seabrook regained the lead for the Rampage with his first goal of the 2011-12 campaign at 14:46 of the second period. A rebound kicked out to Seabrook at the blue line and he wristed a shot that eluded MacIntyre’s catching glove to make the count 2-1. Forwards Evgenii Dadonov and James Wright assisted on the Seabrook tally.
Rochester tied the game at 2-2 with just over two minutes remaining in the game on a goal from right wing Evan Rankin. Rankin took a feed from forward Shawn Szydlowski as he cut through the slot and fired a shot that beat Markstrom over his left leg pad for his fifth tally of the year. Also receiving an assist on the goal was defenseman Dennis Persson.
In the overtime session, Thomas handled a no-look pass from Cullen and moved in on goal before beating a sprawling MacIntyre to his right and sweeping the puck into the open net to give the Rampage the victory.
Markstrom stopped 19 of 21 Americans shots for his fourth win of the season. MacIntyre turned aside 38 of 41 Rampage attempts in the Rochester loss.
The Rampage (13-14-0-0) are back in action on Sunday to play their in-state rivals, the Texas Stars, at 3:30 p.m. (CST) at the AT&T Center.