The San Antonio Rampage held a one goal lead going into the final period of play. By the end of the final 20 minutes, the silver and black were staring at a three goal defeat in the first game of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series.
The Rampage allowed four third period goals as they fell 5-2 to the Oklahoma City Barons in front of an announced crowd of 1,393 fans inside the Cox Convention Center on Thursday night.
Oklahoma City would light the lamp first when Brad Hunt put home a power play goal past San Antonio goaltender Dan Ellis at 12:04. Vincent Trocheck tied the game nearly four minutes later when he sent the puck off the post and into the net past Barons netminder Laurent Brossoit to make it a 1-1 game going into the second period.
San Antonio took the lead for the first time when Rocco Grimaldi slid the puck past Brossoit at 8:01 of the middle frame to give the Rampage the 2-1 advantage going into the third and final period of play.
The Barons got four goals in the final frame to seal the win. First, Joshua Winquist tied the game with a power play tally from the left circle at 10:22. After the Rampage turned the puck over, Ryan Hamilton beat Ellis to give Oklahoma City the 3-2 lead four minutes later. Connor Jones and Matthew Ford would seal the 5-2 win with a pair of empty net goals.
“We have to be better,” Rampage head coach Tom Rowe said. “We definitely can be better, and we’ll regroup and come back on Saturday.”
Oklahoma City outshot San Antonio 38-31, including 15-6 in the third period. Ellis stopped 33-of-36 shots in the loss, while Brossoit stopped 29 of the 31 Rampage shots he faced.
San Antonio was 0-for-4 on the power play, while Oklahoma City was 2-for-5 with the man advantage. Shane O’Brien was called for a five minute boarding major and given a game misconduct for a hit on Ryan Hamilton.
The Rampage trail the best-of-five series 0-1 and will return to the ice for Game 2 on Saturday night at 7 p.m. inside the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.