SAN ANTONIO – Alex Belzile was determined to give the San Antonio Rampage a victory, even if he had to do it all by himself.
Belzile’s big offensive night lifted the Rampage to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Iowa Wild (27-18-8-5) in front of 6,926 fans at the AT&T Center on Friday night. The victory saw San Antonio snap a five-game winless streak dating back to Feb. 27.
The Silver and Black got on the scoreboard early in the second period when Belzile skated his way past Iowa’s defense and beat Wild goaltender Niklas Svedberg with a wrist shot at the 2:41 mark. Belzile put home his second tally of the night over four minutes later when he let go a shot from the slot to make it 2-0 San Antonio.
“We needed to get back to playing our style,” Belzile said. “We needed to be aggressive and get hard on pucks. When I do that, I feel like I’m playing my A-game.”
Iowa responded in the later in the period when Justin Kloos scored his first of two goals on the evening when he put home a rebound past San Antonio goaltender Spencer Martin at 16:20. The Rampage answered back just before intermission when Mason Geertsen found Andrew Agozzino on a breakaway chance, giving Agozzino the goal to give the Silver and Black their two-goal lead back the break.
Agozzino’s tally would be his team-leading 15th of the season.
The Wild would rally in the final frame to force overtime. First, Zach Palmquist made it a one-goal game when he banged home a loose puck for his sixth marker of the season. Kloos added his second of the night late in the third to go into an extra five minutes.
After a scoreless overtime, the game would be decided in the shootout. Both Michael Joly and Belzile converted on their attempts and Martin turned away two of three Iowa shooters to help San Antonio secure the extra point.
A 👀 at the game winner from @Belz_63! pic.twitter.com/BaGfle87u6
— San Antonio Rampage (@sarampage) March 10, 2018
Friday would mark the first time that San Antonio has scored three goals in a game since Feb. 18 in Rockford.
“It’s huge,” Agozzino said of San Antonio’s offensive performance. “We’ve been relying on our goaltenders more often that we should.”
Here is what went good and bad for the Rampage on Friday night:
- San Antonio broke out of their losing ways to end their homestand. In their last 10 games, the Rampage have gone 3-3-4-0.
- Alex Belzile found a way to provide a much needed offensive spark for his club.
- The Rampage’s penalty kill continued its hot streak as they stopped all four Iowa power-play chances.
- The Silver and Black have struggled on the power play themselves as of late and it continued once again on Friday. San Antonio also went 0-for-4 on the man advantage, even going an entire shift without a shot on goal.
- After the opening frame, the Rampage lost some of their aggressiveness. Iowa controlled the shots in final two periods, outshooting San Antonio 28-15. For the game, the Wild had the 35-27 shots edge.
The Rampage are now 28-24-9-0 (65 points, 0.553%) on the season and will return to the ice on Sunday afternoon when they open up a two-game California trip. Their game is against the Ontario Reign (29-19-4-2) at 5 p.m. at Citizens Business Bank Arena.