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The San Antonio Rampage had their season-high four-game winning streak halted by the Houston Aeros with a 2-1 overtime loss at the Toyota Center on Monday night. Houston center Jeff Taffe won the game for the Aeros with a power-play goal just over a minute into the extra session to hand San Antonio their first post-regulation loss of the season.
The Rampage got on the board first early in the second period thanks in part to a fluky bounce. After a faceoff win by center Scott Timmins, defenseman Michael Caruso dumped the puck into the Houston defensive zone where it caromed off of a partition in the glass. Instead of coming out to Aeros goaltender Matt Hackett where he could play it out of harm’s way, the puck eluded Hackett and found its way into the back of the net. Caruso’s first goal of the campaign handed the Rampage a 1-0 lead at 3:31 of the second.
Houston center Chad Rau knotted the score at 1-1 with a power-play goal at the 13:40 mark of the third period to force overtime. He pounced on the rebound of a Justin Fontaine shot that hit off of Rampage backstop Jacob Markstrom and settled in front of the net. Rau gathered the puck and buried it into an open net for his seventh marker of the year. Ex-Rampage player Jon DiSalvatore also picked up an assist on the play.
Taffe scored the winning marker 1:03 into overtime when he converted on a quick Houston passing play for his sixth goal of the year. With the Aeros on a power play, Fontaine sent a pass down low to DiSalvatore at the left side of the net. DiSalvatore quickly fed Taffe with a pass through the crease and Taffe one-timed the puck past Markstrom for the game-winning goal.
Hackett made 20 saves on 21 Rampage shots for his 11th win of the season while Markstrom stopped 23 of the 25 Aeros attempts he faced in the San Antonio loss.
The Rampage (14-14-1-0) are back in action for another Lone Star Faceoff matchup tomorrow night when they travel to Austin for a 7:30 p.m. (CST) puck drop against the Texas Stars at the Cedar Park Center. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.