Bobby Butler was the leading scorer for the San Antonio Rampage last season and on Saturday, he picked up where he left off.
Butler tallied two goals as the Rampage defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 4-3 in front of 2,164 fans at the AT&T Center on Saturday afternoon in the preseason opener for the silver and black.
Oklahoma City opened the scoring when Kale Kessy put home a rebound past San Antonio goaltender Dan Ellis at the 7:22 mark of the first period to put the visitors up 1-0. Despite out-shooting the Barons 16-7 in the opening period, the Rampage would head into the locker room down by a goal at the first intermission.
San Antonio would even the score just 35 seconds into the second period when Byron Froese put home a wrist shot past Oklahoma City netminder Ty Rimmer to pull the Rampage even at 1-1. Butler and defenseman Greg Zanon assisted on Froese’s tally.
Butler gave the Rampage the lead for good when he intercepted a pass and skated into the Oklahoma City zone. He fired a shot past Rimmer for a short-handed tally, giving San Antonio the 2-1 advantage.
San Antonio took a two-goal lead when Butler put home his second of the night at 8:44 when he beat Rimmer glove side to put the Rampage up 3-1. Froese and Josh McFadden assisted on the goal.
Oklahoma City got within one goal when Mitch Holmberg sent a shot from the crease that got past Ellis at 9:38 of the second period.
In the third period, the Rampage got their two-goal lead back when Garrett Wilson beat Barons backup goaltender backup goalie Frans Tuohimaa on a wrap around attempt to put San Antonio up 4-2.
The Barons got a goal from Jason Williams late when he fired a shot from the blue line to bet Ellis, but it would not be enough as San Antonio held on for the 4-3 victory.
Ellis stopped 24 of 27 shots he faced, while Rimmer made 17 saves on 20 San Antonio shots.
“Bobby is in unbelievable shape,” said Rampage head coach Tom Rowe following the game. “He’s got an extra step in his game. Hopefully he gets a chance to get called up to Florida when the opportunity comes. But what I like about him is he’s focused here and not worrying about the phone ringing with a callup.”
The Rampage are now 1-0 in preseason play and will return to the ice tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon when they travel to Austin to take on the defending Calder Cup champion Texas Stars inside Cedar Park Center at 3 p.m.