by Tony Uminski
Two goals by Bobby MacIntyre and a power play tip in by Ryan Olsen in a three-goal middle period propelled the Rampage to their 12th straight win at home, a 4-0 blowout against the red-hot San Diego Gulls in front of 7,178 at the AT&T Center Friday.
MacIntyre proved to be in the right place at the right time twice, scoring off rebounds, while Jakub Jerabek’s shot from the point weaseled through a cluster of bodies in front of San Diego goaltender Jeff Glass and tipped by Olsen for all the offense former Gulls goaltender Jared Coreau would need in his shutout of the team that traded him earlier this month. Overall, Coreau stopped 23 shots in gaining his 14th AHL shutout, and came off the heels of a rough night in Milwaukee Tuesday, when the Admirals slammed the Rampage, 7-3.
“I thought it was an excellent game for us tonight,” head coach Drew Bannister said. “It was probably one of the better games this year.”
Things could have been worse for the Gulls, who came into the game with a 12-1-3 mark over the past 16 games, as Glass stopped a breakaway by Olsen midway through the period after the Rampage killed off an extended two-man disadvantage, a definite turning point of a 1-0 game at the time.
“I don’t think we gave up any opportunities, maybe one and (Coreau) was there to make the save,” said Bannister. “I thought our guys did a good job getting into their shooting lanes. That was definitely a big momentum swing there.”
San Antonio opened the scoring at 8:04 of the first period on a blast from the left point by Chris Butler that was tipped by Jordon Nolan past Glass. AHL All-Star Jordan Kyrou gained the puck in the corner, sending it to Butler at the blueline.
The Rampage then extended their lead with MacIntyre scoring at 7:24 as Connor Bleackley tried a wraparound move on Glass who stopped the shot, but the puck squirted free in the crease and MacIntyre jammed it home into an empty net.
“Bleackley took it wide behind the net and yeah, I had a wide open net. Easy one to score,” said MacIntyre, who now has three goals in his last two games in San Antonio.
Less than four minutes later, MacIntyre’s name was mentioned again on the PA as he converted another rebound at 11:11 off a San Diego turnover. Tanner Kaspick got the puck deep in the zone, cut in on Glass, shot puck, which Glass stopped, but the puck died on the doorstop and MacIntre was there to wrist it in.
“We had a lot of guys perform really well,” added Bannister. “When you’re put in a position in the lineup to have success, Bobby has been able to take advantage of those opportunities.”
SPRINGFIELD BOUND — Kyrou and Rampage mascot T-Bone will head to the AHL All Star festivities Sunday for the skills competition, before the All-Star games on Monday in western Massachusetts. Kyrou will represent the Rampage on the Central Division team, as the divisions will compete in mini-games for the exhibition game crown. T-Bone will be there to provide his typical brand of mayhem to the event.
RAMPAGE LOOK BACK — Six years ago, Jon Rheault scored 4:09 into overtime to give the Rampage a 2-1 win over the Texas Stars. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom stopped 35 of 36 Stars shots, while Jonathan Hazen scored the only Rampage goal in regulation. Assists to Jared Gomes and Alex Petrovic on the Hazen goal, and Greg Rallo and Casey Wellman set up Rheault for the gamer. Gomes, who surprised many in his two seasons here with 20 in his 129 game stint, has played four of the last five seasons in Europe and 11-11-22 with a Swiss team this season. Petrovic was just traded to Edmonton from the Florida Panthers, where he was a second-round pick in 2010 and played 254 games in South Florida. He had parts of four seasons here with the Rampage, totaling 9-41-50 in 144 Rampage games on the backline. Ironically, Rheault played most of his North American pro hockey with the Heat organization in Abbotsford for three seasons before leading the Rampage in scoring in his only year in the Alamo City. The Rampage skate against the Stockton Heat Saturday night at 7.