CLICK HERE to listen to audio highlights.
The San Antonio Rampage extend their win streak to five games with a 4-3 win in the sixth round of the shootout against the Houston Aeros at Toyota Center Sunday evening. Rampage center Jon Matsumoto tallied two goals to extend his pointstreak to six games.
The Aeros struck first with a power-play goal at the 11:10 mark of the first period. Just over a minute into the man advantage, Justin Fonatine, feeling pressure from the Rampage defense, sent a pass from the right wing wall to Casey Wellman at the top of the left circle. An undefended Wellman fired a shot that hit the back of the net under the blocker of Rampage netminder Dov Grumet-Morris. Jeff Taffe picked up the secondary assist on the play.
The Rampage responded 4:27 later with a power-play goal by Bill Thomas at the 15:37 mark. San Antonio center Mark Cullen sent a shot from the right circle that deflected off of Aeros goalie Matt Hackett and out to the left circle where Thomas was stationed to punch it home. Bracken Kearns was credited with the additional assist on Thomas’ 11th goal of the season.
Just over two minutes into the second session, Aeros defenseman Marco Scandella tallied his first goal of the season to put Houston on top 2-1. Aeros center Mike Radja passed the puck from the left circle out to Scandella at the blue line. Scandella then skated parallel with the blue line and fired a shot down the middle that found its way through traffic past Grumet-Morris. Wellman picked up the secondary helper on the play.
Just 49 seconds later the Aeros extended their lead with a power-play goal by Wellman. Fontaine sent a shot on net from the left wing wall that was deflected back out to the left circle where Wellman circled around and lifted the puck over Grumet-Morris to give the Aeros a 3-1 lead. Jon DiSalvatore was credited with the additional assist on Wellman’s second goal of the game.
Rampage center Jon Matsumoto extended his pointstreak to six games with a goal at the 4:11 mark to bring San Antonio within one, 3-2. Evan Barlow skated the puck down the left wing side before sending a pass to Matsumoto at the top right corner of the crease. Matsumoto lifted the puck over the left leg padding of Hackett and into the net for his 15th goal of the season and second in a Rampage uniform. Tim Kennedy was credited with the secondary assist on the play.
Matsumoto struck again at the 11:17 mark of the middle period with the Rampage’s second power-play goal of the evening. Kearns won the faceoff and passed out to Robak at top of the right corner at the blue line. Robak then sent a cross-ice pass to Matsumoto who skated to the top left circle and fired a shot that went top shelf over the blocker of Hackett. Matsumoto’s goal was his second in his last two games and 10th point in his last six.
The Rampage were unable to convert on a power-play opportunity in overtime as the shots were tied at two apiece in the five minute session to extend the game to a shootout. Greg Rallo, Matsumoto and Michal Repik each scored in the shootout to give the Rampage the win. San Antonio is now 4-0 in the shootout on the season.
Grumet-Morris made 21 saves on 24 Aeros shots for his 11th win of the season while Hackett stopped 28 of 31 shots in the Aeros loss.
The Rampage (22-18-2-1) return to the AT&T Center next weekend for a back-to-back Lone Star Faceoff series. On Friday they will drop the puck against the Texas Stars at 7 p.m. for a KZEP Dollar Drink Night and on Saturday they will host the Houston Aeros for a 7 p.m. matchup on Faith & Family Night.