Rampage Fall at Abbotsford, 5-2

Box Score | Game Notes

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. (December 7, 2013) – Rampage forward Bobby Butler extended his point-scoring streak to five games, but San Antonio (10-12-0-2) fell the Western Conference-leading Abbotsford Heat (19-6-1-1), 5-2, tonight at Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre. The Rampage have dropped the first four games of the eight-game set against the Heat (0-3-0-1), all of which have taken place in British Columbia.

The Rampage cashed in twice on the power play (2-for-6), thanks to goals from Butler and Jon Matsumoto. However, the Heat also scored a pair of goals with the man advantage (2-for-3) to improve to 5-for-11 in the weekend sweep of the Silver and Black.

San Antonio outshot the Heat, 31-26, and have outshot the opposition in 13 of their last 17 games. The club also reached the 30-shot plateau for the 13th- straight game.

Rampage netminder Dov Grumet-Morris made his first start since Nov. 16 at Rockford and turned aside 21-of-25 shots in the defeat.

For the fourth-straight game against the Rampage, the Heat drew first blood. At 8:42 of the opening frame, a crowd gathered in front of Grumet-Morris and Ben Hanowski chipped it past the Rampage netminder to give his team the 1-0 lead. Hanowski’s ninth of the season was assisted by Mark Cundari and Brett Olson.

The Rampage didn’t wait long to respond, however, converting on the power play just 2:20 later. Matsumoto picked up a feed from Joey Crabb and ripped a shot past Heat goalie Joni Ortio to tie the game up at 11:02 of the first period. Denny Urban earned the secondary assist on the play, giving him five assists in his last six games.

The power-play tally was the Rampage’s fourth on the road this season and the first the club has recorded against the Heat on the year.

Abbotsford’s penalty kill came up big late in the first, as Ben Street blocked three of Urban’s one-timers, effectively preventing the Rampage from mounting an attack.

San Antonio went shorthanded just 15 seconds into the middle frame, but thanks to some great saves by Grumet-Morris, they escaped the red-hot Abbotsford power play without any damage. Grumet-Morris again came up big for the Silver and Black, executing a perfect poke check on Reinhart to deny a shorthanded bid midway through the period.

Both netminders stayed sharp for the remainder of the second, with Ortio facing the majority of the shots as the Rampage’s offense ramped up in the waning minutes of the frame. It was Heat center Ben Street who finally broke the stalemate, going top shelf on Grumet-Morris with 27 seconds left on the clock to give his team the 2-1 lead.

Similar to Friday’s game when the two teams combined for five goals in the third period, the clubs saved the fireworks for the final 20 minutes, combining for four goals.

The Rampage had their fifth power play chance of the night 6:29 into the third, as Street hammered defenseman John Lee into the end boards. Despite great zone time and several chances, the work of the Heat’s shot-blockers and Ortio stymied the Rampage.

Cundari netted the Heat’s second power play goal of the night, and their 18th extra man goal in the last 11 games, minutes later, beating Grumet-Morris from the point to open up a two-goal lead for the home club.

But the Rampage wouldn’t go quietly. Drew Shore was hooked with five minutes remaining in the third period to give San Antonio a golden opportunity get back into the game.

Butler picked up a feed from defenseman Alex Petrovic at the left circle, and roofed it past Ortio to pull the Rampage within one with 4:26 remaining in regulation.

However, rookie Markus Granlund extended his point streak to nine games less than three minutes  after Butler’s tally, putting the puck past Grumet-Morris to make it 4-2. The Rampage pulled their netminder in the final moments in favor of an extra attacker, but the Heat cashed in with the empty net for the second-straight night.

The Rampage complete their four-game road trip with two tilts against the Charlotte Checkers on Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. before returning home to host the Chicago Wolves on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss Night. Individual and season tickets can be purchased at the AT&T Center Southeast Box Office, by calling a Rampage representative at 210-444-5554, or online at sarampage.com.

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