Rampage overcome Heat, 6-1

Box Score

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San Antonio Rampage forwards Bill Thomas and James Wright each scored twice to lead the Rampage to a 6-1 victory over the Abbotsford Heat on Saturday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.

Wright scored the game’s first goal 6:47 into the opening frame to give the Rampage an early 1-0 edge. He deposited the rebound of a Greg Rallo shot past Heat backstop Leland Irving for his 10th goal of the season. Center Scott Timmins registered the secondary helper on the play.

The Rampage extended their lead to 2-0 at the 17:17 mark of the first period when Mark Cullen stripped an Abbotsford defender and fed Bracken Kearns for an open one-timer in the slot. Kearns beat Irving with a shot to the left side of the goal to pick up his 17th marker of the campaign.

Center Jon Matsumoto made the count 3-0 in favor of San Antonio 15:43 into the second period. He took a feed from right wing Michal Repik at the front of the Abbotsford net and slid the puck in between Irving’s legs to pot his 20th goal of 2011-12. Defenseman Colby Robak was credited with the secondary assist on the Matsumoto score.

A backhander from Abbotsford center Ben Walter 12 seconds into the third period eluded Rampage netminder Jacob Markstrom and cut the San Antonio advantage to 3-1. The lone assist on Walter’s 14th goal of the season went to right wing Hugh Jessiman.

Thomas restored the Rampage lead to three goals, at 4-1, on a breakaway at the 3:59 mark of the third. He beat Irving five-hole to record his 24th tally of the year and move into second place on San Antonio’s all-time scoring list with his 61st career goal in black and silver.

Thomas scored on the rebound of a Cullen shot at 12:31 of the final stanza to put the Rampage ahead 5-1. Kearns picked up the secondary assist on Thomas’ 25th goal of 2011-12.

A shorthanded empty-net goal from Wright capped the scoring at 6-1 at 18:31 of the third. His second marker of the night and 11th of the season was assisted by Rallo and defenseman Tyson Strachan.

Markstrom made 38 saves on 39 Heat attempts for his 11th win of the season. Irving turned aside 20 of 25 Rampage shots in the Abbotsford loss.

The Rampage (35-26-3-2) and Heat conclude a back-to-back set with a 3:00 p.m. (CST) contest at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre tomorrow.

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