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The San Antonio Rampage recorded their fourth consecutive victory with a 5-1 win over the Peoria Rivermen on Pucks and Paws Night at the AT&T Center on Saturday.
The Rivermen scored the game’s first goal, a power-play marker, 2:34 into the first period. Peoria left wing Evgeny Grachev corralled a loose puck near the left circle and ripped a shot by Rampage backstop Dov Grumet-Morris for a 1-0 lead. Defenseman Cade Fairchild and right wing Adam Cracknell tallied the assists on Grachev’s first goal of the season.
San Antonio evened the score at 1-1 with 5:20 remaining in the opening frame. Forward Jon Matsumoto, playing in his second game in a Rampage jersey, potted his first goal with his new team. With San Antonio on the power play, he corralled the rebound of a Bracken Kearns shot from the point and put the puck home behind Rivermen netminder Ben Bishop for his 14th score of the 2011-12 season. Center Mark Cullen picked up the secondary assist on the play.
Defenseman Tyson Strachan gave the Rampage a 2-1 edge just before the first period expired. He skated into the Peoria zone and fired a wrister past Bishop for his third goal of the year at 16:01 of the first. The helpers on the Strachan goal went to forward Tim Kennedy and defenseman Colby Robak.
The Rampage extended their lead to 3-1 with a goal from center James Wright 11:45 into the third period. While on a two-on-one rush, Wright took a saucer pass from Kennedy and one-timed the puck into the right side of the net for his fifth tally of the campaign.
Wright added an empty-net goal with 1:07 remaining in the game to make the count 4-1. Robak registered his second assist of the night with the lone helper on Wright’s sixth goal of the season.
San Antonio forward Eric Selleck scored on a breakaway at 19:50 of the final stanza to cap the scoring at 5-1. He beat Bishop blocker-side to notch his third marker of the year.
Grumet-Morris made 27 saves on 28 Rivermen attempts for his 10th win of the season while Bishop turned aside 25 of 29 San Antonio shots in the Peoria loss.
A total of 842 dogs came to see the San Antonio triumph. Rampage officials will submit paperwork to the Guinness Book of World Records to see if the mark will stand as the most dogs at a sporting event. In addition, 25 canines were adopted on-site at the AT&T Center during the course of the night.
The Rampage (21-18-2-0) finish a three-in-three weekend with a 5:05 p.m. (CST) contest at the Toyota Center tomorrow afternoon against the Houston Aeros.