With the Manitoba Moose holding Corey Schneider bobblehead night at the MTS Centre, the San Antonio Rampage erupted for five goals against the Moose netminder and defeated Manitoba, 5-4, in overtime.
San Antonio (21-20-3-5) entered Friday without a win at MTS Centre since January 19, 2007, when the Rampage defeated the Moose, 5-2.
Rampage right wing Francis Lessard provided San Antonio with an early 1-0 lead with a goal two minutes and 44 seconds into the first. After screening Manitoba netminder Corey Schneider in front of the Moose net during a shot from the left point by defenseman David Schlemko, Lessard pounced on a rebound near the right post and netted his first goal of the season. San Antonio center Gavin Morgan was also credited with an assist on Lessard’s tally.
The Moose tied the contest at one goal apiece with a power-play goal by former Rampage right wing Dan Sexton. Intercepting a clearing attempt by a Rampage defenseman near the right point of the San Antonio zone, Manitoba defenseman Brian Salcido eluded a Rampage forward with a toe drag before firing a wrist shot that was tipped in front by Sexton through Rampage goaltender Josh Tordjman’s five-hole.
The Rampage regained their lead at the 11:47 mark of the second on right wing Matt Watkins’ sixth goal of the season. Entering the right side of the Moose zone with speed, the left-handed Watkins curled behind the Manitoba net before beating the Moose netminder on a wrap-around inside the left post. Rampage left wing Brett MacLean and Morgan were credited with assists on Watkins’ marker.
Early in the third, at the 5:06 mark of the period, Sexton notched his second goal of the game to even the score at 2-2.
Exactly, three minutes later, the Rampage regained the lead on a goal by right wing Mikkel Boedker, who was playing his first game back with San Antonio since being reassigned by the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. Receiving a cross-ice pass from center Kyle Turris on the right boards near the Manitoba blueline, Boedker skated into the Moose zone before firing a slap shot from the right faceoff dot under Schneider’s blocker to provide San Antonio with a 3-2 lead.
Manitoba tied the game once again, on a goal by left wing Mike Pettinger with 3:48 remaining in regulation. After receiving a pass from Salcido on the right boards inside the Rampage blueline, Pettinger used a Rampage defenseman as a screen before firing a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle and beating Tordjman inside the left post.
With 2:06 remaining in the game, Manitoba defenseman Lawrence Nycholat was whistled for a delay of game penalty for lifting the puck out of play.
Ten seconds into the penalty, Rampage captain Jeff Hoggan scored his eighth goal of the season when a Kevin Porter shot from the high slot deflected off his skate near the left post and under Schneider’s blocker to provide San Antonio with a 4-3 lead with 2:26 remaining.
However, Manitoba struck again, at 19:39, with Schneider on the Moose bench in favor of an extra skater, when Manitoba center Marty Murray fired a low shot from the right faceoff dot that bounced over Tordjman’s left shoulder to tie the game at 4-4 with 21 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Forty-five seconds into overtime, Porter ended the game in a favorable fashion for San Antonio with his 12th goal and third game-winner of the season. Receiving a pass from Rampage defenseman Shaun Heshka along the right boards in the neutral zone, Boedker sped into the right side of the Moose zone and fired a wrist shot that deflected off Porter’s stick in the low slot and over Schneider’s left shoulder to seal San Antonio’s fourth overtime victory in 2009-10.
Tordjman made 26 saves on 30 Manitoba shots for his 10th victory of the season, while Schneider turned away 27 of 32 San Antonio shots in the loss.
San Antonio was 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill on the night.
The Rampage and Moose will reconvene for the second game of the back-to-back series on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. at MTS Centre.