Coming off a 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals last Saturday, San Antonio claimed a fierce 6-3 win over the Houston Aeros Thursday morning at the Toyota Center as Rampage forwards Jeff Hoggan and Brett MacLean tallied two goals apiece.
With over 11,000 kids in attendance for the day game, the first period was off to a noisy start as the Aeros outshot the Rampage 9-3. San Antonio tough guy Francis Lessard was assessed with a five minute interference major and a game misconduct due to a hard hit at the blueline on Aeros left wing Petr Kalus at the 17:50 mark.
Houston jumped to a quick 3-0 lead to start off the second frame scoring three goals on three shots within two minutes of play. Aeros center Chad Rau put Houston on the board first with an unassisted goal at the 4:28 mark of the period. Rau’s sixth goal of the season came off a rebound from a pad save by Rampage goaltender Justin Pogge that Rau was able to scoop up over Pogge and into the top of the net.
Forty-four seconds later Jean-Michel Daoust extended the Aeros lead with a slap shot from the right circle that traveled just under Pogge’s extended glove into the top right corner of the net. Andy Hilbert and Nathan Smith were credited with the assists on Daoust’s sixth goal of the season at the 5:12 mark of the middle frame.
Coincidently exactly 44 seconds after Daoust’s goal, former Rampage right wing Jon DiSalvatore posted the Aeros third goal with a one-timer from the center blue line through traffic to give Houston a 3-0 advantage at the 5:56 mark. Maxim Noreau and Hilbert were credited with the assists on Houston’s 14th power-play goal of the season.
Less than two minutes after the Aeros flurry of goals scored within 1:28, the Rampage rallied with three goals in 1:36 to even the score 3-3. San Antonio team captain Jeff Hoggan began the rampage when he intercepted a pass from defenseman Sean Sullivan along the right wall where Hoggan then drove the net going right to left and wrapping the puck around the back of Aeros netminder Anton Khudobin’s right leg for the Rampage’s first score.
Rampage left wing Brett MacLean responded 45 seconds later with a shot from the point that found the opposite side of the net past Khudobin’s stick side at the 8:27 mark of the second period. San Antonio defensemen Sean Zimmerman and Sullivan were credited with the assists on MacLean’s ninth goal of the season .
MacLean struck again just 51 seconds after his first goal to tie the game 3-3 at the 9:18 mark when Shaun Heshka, who was stationed at the top of the left circle, sent the puck around the back of the net to MacLean who then carried the puck to the right corner of the crease and punched it in over Khudobin for the Rampage’s 15th power-play goal of the season.
Rampage center Kevin Porter gave the Rampage a 4-3 lead at the 12:22 mark when he intercepted a center ice pass from Sullivan at the right wall and skated to the center right circle where Porter fired a shot to the back of the net for his seventh goal of the season. Zimmerman was credited with the second assist.
The Rampage, continuing the energy into the final frame, tacked on two more goals to give Pogge his first Rampage AHL win of the season.
Chad Kolarik posted his eighth goal of the season at the 5:32 mark of the final frame with help from Kevin Porter and Joel Perrault. Halfway through the period, Rampage left wing Jeff Hoggan posted the Rampage’s third short handed goal of the season at the 10:01 mark to give the Rampage a 6-3 advantage and eventually their second victory in as many games.
Pogge faced 32 shots on goal and holds a 6-0-0-1 lifetime record against the Aeros.
Head coach Ray Edwards claimed his second win in his third game as head coach for the Rampage leading them to an 8-10-2-1 record through 21 games on the season.
The Rampage host the Houston Aeros in the second game of a home-and-home series tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center.