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The San Antonio Rampage scored twice in the third period to top the Oklahoma City Barons 4-3 and close out 2011 with their 15th win of the season on New Year’s Eve at Cox Convention Center.
Defenseman Tyson Strachan put San Antonio on the scoreboard first 6:06 into the first period with a power-play goal. He took a pass at the blue line from left wing Evan Barlow and blasted a shot that found its way past Oklahoma City goaltender and former Rampage player David LeNeveu to give San Antonio a 1-0 edge. Also receiving an assist on the play was defenseman Colby Robak, who notched his team-leading 14th helper of the season.
Oklahoma City answered with a goal of their own just over two minutes later when center Josh Green registered his seventh marker of the season. Stationed in front of Rampage backstop Jacob Markstrom, Green received a feed from right wing Ryan Keller and fired a backhanded shot that beat Markstrom over his glove to tie the game at 1-1. Left wing Magnus Paajarvi tallied the secondary assist on the Green goal.
Forward Evgenii Dadonov, who was reassigned to San Antonio earlier in the day, regained the lead for the Rampage with a goal late in the second period. He carried the puck into the Oklahoma City zone and curled around the Barons net before taking a shot that went off of LeNeveu’s catching glove and over the goal line. Defenseman Michael Caruso assisted on Dadonov’s fourth goal of the year, which gave San Antonio a 2-1 advantage at 18:02 of the middle frame.
Barons left wing Antti Tyrvainen knotted the score at 2-2 just over two minutes into the third period with his first score of the 2011-12 campaign. Defenseman Kevin Montgomery crossed over the blue line coming into the San Antonio end and fed Tyrvainen to his right. Tyrvainen quickly ripped a shot on goal that beat Markstrom to his left. Center Tanner House also assisted on the play to give him six helpers for the season.
San Antonio took their third lead of the game when Timmins finished off a three-way passing play between himself, Barlow, and defenseman Keith Seabrook. After taking a pass from Seabrook as he crossed over the Oklahoma City blue line, Barlow found a cutting Timmins to his left. Timmins lifted Barlow’s pass over LeNeveu for his fifth marker of the year and restored the Rampage lead at 3-2.
Marshall widened the San Antonio edge to 4-2 with 5:58 remaining in the contest. His rising backhander eluded LeNeveu’s blocker to give Marshall his fifth goal of the year. Defenseman Mike Vernace posted his first point in a Rampage uniform with the lone assist on the Marshall tally.
Oklahoma City left wing Hunter Tremblay brought the Barons back to within one goal at 4-3 with a shot from the slot at 17:03 of the third. Forward Teemu Hartikainen found Tremblay out in front of the Rampage net and Tremblay beat Markstrom to his left with a one-timer. House also assisted on the play to give him two helpers on the night.
Markstrom made 28 saves on 31 Barons shots for his sixth win of the season while LeNeveu stopped 13 of 17 Rampage attempts in the Oklahoma City loss.
San Antonio (15-15-2-0) will return to action on Tuesday at 6 p.m. (CST) when they travel to Charlotte to play the first of back-to-back meetings with the Checkers at the Time Warner Cable Arena.