Facing the Texas Stars for the second consecutive night, the Rampage fell to the Stars by a 5-4 score in their 10th State Farm Lone Star Faceoff game against their I-35 rival Saturday night at Cedar Park Center.
The Rampage opened the scoring with their first goal against Texas netminder Brent Krahn since opening night, Oct. 2, 2009. With the man advantage, San Antonio center Kyle Turris blasted a shot from the left faceoff dot that was deflected off of Krahn’s leg pads out to the top right corner of the crease where Rampage defenseman Shaun Heshka punched the puck in past Krahn to give San Antonio a 1-0 lead at the 7:52 mark of the opening frame. Heshka’s fifth goal of the season also marked the Rampage’s first power-play goal at Cedar Park Center this season.
The Stars evened the score 1:26 later on a goal by Texas right wing Ray Sawada. Working behind the Rampage net, Texas left wing Francis Wathier punched the puck out to teammate Ray Sawada who was waiting on the doorstep to flip the puck over Rampage goalie Josh Tordjman’s right shoulder into the net.
Texas took a 2-1 lead just 2:16 into the second period with a power-play goal by Wathier. Stars center Greg Rallo skated up the right wing wall and passed the puck to Aaron Gagnon who was waiting in the right corner. Rallo then passed the puck to Wathier who was waiting at the top right corner of the crease in which Wathier then punched the puck five-hole past Tordjman for his second point of the night.
The Rampage knotted the game at two goals apiece at the 10:57 mark of the second on a one-timer by San Antonio centerman Joel Perrault. Rampage right wing David Spina passed the puck from the right faceoff dot across the slot to Mikkel Boedker who was waiting at the top of the left circle. Boedker then sent the puck to Perrault who was waiting at the left faceoff dot to one-time the puck past Krahn. Perrault’s 13th goal of the season also marked the Rampage’s second power-play goal of the night.
San Antonio regained the lead with a goal by center Gavin Morgan at the 7:01 mark of the final frame. Working the right wall, Rampage defenseman Stu Bickel took a shot from the right half wall that was blocked by Krahn and deflected out to the slot in which Gavin Morgan picked up the rebound and punched the puck in past a frozen Krahn to put the Rampage up 3-2.
At the 12:08 mark the Stars tied the game at 3-3 with a goal by Travis Morin, who punched the bouncing puck in past Tordjman from the top right corner of the crease.
With 5:01 remaining in regulation the Stars regained the lead, 4-3, on Wathier’s second goal of the night with a shot from the high slot that found the net under Tordjman’s glove.
The Stars extended their lead, 5-3, just six seconds later when Matt Beaudoin passed the puck off to Gagnon in the right corner in which Gagnon carried the puck around the back of the Rampage net and wrapped the puck around the left post past Tordjman.
The Rampage cut the deficit to one goal with a Alexandre Picard’s fifth goal in his last four games however the Stars were able to hold off San Antonio for the remaining 2:23 on the clock.
Rampage netminder Josh Tordjman stopped 21 of 26 Stars shots in the loss, while Texas netminder Brent Krahn stopped 30 of 34 San Antonio shots for his 11th victory of the season. The Rampage were 2-for-3 on the power play and were 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
The Rampage complete their third game in as many nights Sunday afternoon when they host the Peoria Rivermen at 3 p.m. at the AT&T Center.