The San Antonio Rampage entered Sunday’s game knowing their final game before the Christmas break would not be. Head coach Tom Rowe knew that the Carolina Hurricanes affiliate would give the Silver and Black all that could handle. They did and more.
Steven Hodges scored the lone goal for the Rampage as they fell 3-1 to the Charlotte Checkers (11-15-3-0, 25 points) inside Time Warner Cable Arena on Sunday afternoon.
After a scoreless first period, the home team got on the scoreboard in the second. Phil Di Giuseppe lit the lamp with a breakaway tally as he beat San Antonio goaltender Dan Ellis at 6:41 of the middle frame to put Charlotte up 1-0. The Rampage responded when Hodges got the puck from Brett Olson and put it past Checkers netminder Drew MacIntyre to tie the game.
Charlotte took back the lead when Chad LaRose beat Ellis high to put the Checkers ahead 2-1 going into the third and final period of play.
San Antonio got a late power-play opportunity, but could not convert. Ellis was pulled for an extra attacker but Charlotte’s Ben Holmstrom sealed the 3-1 Checkers win with an empty-net goal.
Ellis finished with 12 saves on 15 shots, while MacIntyre stopped 25 of 26 Rampage shots. The Silver and Black were 0-for-3 on the power play, while Charlotte was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
The Rampage are now 16-9-2-0 (34 points) and will return to the ice on Friday when they welcome the Texas Stars to the AT&T Center on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.