CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 21, 2014) – The San Antonio Rampage (25-29-3-6) dropped a 4-3 decision to the Charlotte Checkers (32-29-1-2) Friday night inside the Time Warner Cable Arena.
Ryan Martindale and John McFarland each recorded their eighth goals of the season while Matt Gilroy added the final Rampage goal for his seventh on the year. McFarland recorded his third multi-point game of the season with the solo assist on Gilroy’s tally, and defenseman Josh McFadden registered his first career American Hockey League point with the primary assist on the Martindale goal. Drew Shore, Jonathan Racine, and Greg Rallo all added assists.
Michael Houser stopped 42-of-46 in the loss, as the Checkers outshot the Rampage 46-32.
In a season series that has seen 32 total goals through five games, the first period between the Rampage and Checkers was a defensive affair. Charlotte had the edge in shots 13-11, but the best chance of the period came early. Picking up a nice feed from Ryan Martindale in front of the net, Greg Rallo threw it at John Muse, but the Charlotte netminder denied the Rampage captain to keep it even at zero.
The Rampage killed off both of the Checkers’ power play opportunities, and the two teams headed into the first intermission in a 0-0 draw.
A slew of penalties on the Rampage allowed the Checkers to charge out to a 3-0 lead in the middle frame. Chris Terry got the scoring started, ripping a shot from the high slot at the tail end of a Charlotte 5-on-3 to make it 1-0 at 10:41 of the second. Aaron Palushaj stepped up next, sneaking the puck behind Houser on the power play at 14:38, followed by Brody Sutter delivering the dagger with 57 seconds left.
Just 37 seconds later, the Rampage responded. Josh McFadden fired one in from the point, and his shot was tipped in by Martindale to put the Rampage on the board with 20 seconds left in the second to make it 3-1.
McFarland pulled the Rampage within one 4:56 into the third, deflecting a shot from Jonathan Racine to make 3-2. The young winger added to the offense again minutes later, feeding Gilroy as the defenseman broke into the zone alone, slapping the puck past Muse to knot it at three at 13:19 of the third.
A late power play gave Charlotte a chance to net the go-ahead goal, and Terry did just that. Catching a pass from Michal Jordan, the Checkers captain put it on goal from the point to give his team a 4-3 lead that they would carry to the end of regulation.
The Rampage went 0-for-2 on the power play, while Charlotte exploded with the extra man, going 3-for-6.
The Rampage will complete the weekend series with Charlotte on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. Fans can watch live with an AHL Live subscription, or listen live on The Ticket 760 AM, the official home of Rampage hockey. San Antonio returns home to host the Texas Stars on Thursday, March 27. 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