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San Antonio Rampage goalie Jacob Markstrom made a career-high 46 saves en route to a 4-2 victory over Lone Star Faceoff rivals, the Texas Stars, on Sunday afternoon at the AT&T Center. Bill Thomas tacked on two goals and Mark Cullen added a goal and an assist as the Rampage claimed their fourth straight victory and improved to 14-14-0-0 on the season.
Thomas gave the Rampage a 1-0 lead 3:11 into the game when he redirected a feed from defenseman Colby Robak past Stars backstop Tyler Beskorowany. Cullen extended his assist streak to four games with the secondary helper on Thomas’ eighth goal of the year.
San Antonio’s lead was doubled to 2-0 at the 14:16 mark of the first period. Thomas found center Bracken Kearns with a no-look pass as he was circling around the Texas net and Kearns one-timed a shot inside the far left post for his 10th marker of the season. Defenseman Tyson Strachan registered his sixth assist of the year with the secondary assist on the play.
Texas cut the Rampage lead to 2-1 just over six minutes into the second with a goal from left wing Ondrej Roman. Roman stole the puck inside the San Antonio zone and quickly ripped a shot on net that beat Markstrom over the blocker for his first tally of the 2011-12 season.
Thomas answered right back for San Antonio with his second goal of the game 56 seconds following Roman’s score. He was able to get his stick on a shot from Robak at the top of the left circle and redirected the puck past Beskorowany to restore the Rampage lead to two goals at 3-1. Cullen posted his second assist of the game on the play to give him six assists in his last four contests.
Forward Matt Fraser brought Texas to within a goal once again midway through the third period. He corralled a pass from center Travis Morin in front of the San Antonio goal and took a shot that went off of Markstrom and hit a Rampage defender in the crease before caroming into the net to make the count 3-2. Defenseman Maxime Fortunus also assisted of Fraser’s 14th goal of the season.
Cullen sealed the victory for the Rampage with a slap shot from the left circle with 37 seconds remaining in the game. His shot sailed over Beskorowany’s left shoulder and capped a three-point night for the San Antonio center. Forward Michal Repik tallied the primary assist on Cullen’s goal while Robak notched his third helper of the night with the secondary assist.
Markstrom made 46 stops on 48 Stars shots for his fifth win of the season and a season-high saves. Beskorowany turned aside 29 of 33 San Antonio attempts in the Texas loss.
The Rampage (14-14-0-0) will return to the ice after the holidays with a 7:30 p.m. Boxing Day matchup against the Houston Aeros on Dec. 26 at the Toyota Center.