AT&T Center – The theme for the San Antonio Rampage this season has been giving up late leads. That theme continued on Sunday afternoon as the Silver and Black collapsed in the final period and suffered their first regulation loss at home.
The Rampage gave up four consecutive goals as they fell 4-3 to the Charlotte Checkers in front of 3,808 fans at the AT&T Center.
San Antonio got on the scoreboard first when Reid Petryk beat Charlotte goaltender Rasmus Tirronen for a power play goal at 5:08 of the opening frame. The Rampage carried the one goal lead into the second stanza.
Nikita Zadorov gave the Rampage a 2-0 lead when he beat Tirronen just 29 seconds into the period. Joey Hishon put the Silver and Black up three goals with his 10th point of the season. Trevor Carrick answered back midway through the period to cut the deficit to 3-1 going into the final period.
Charlotte scored three goals in just under seven minutes to wipe away the Rampage lead and hopes of winning. Phil Di Giuseppe and Derek Ryan scored 22 seconds apart to tie the game 3-3 with under five minutes remaining in regulation. Di Giuseppe sealed the comeback win for the Checkers with his second goal of the night at 18:17.
“When we had them 3-1 with seven minutes to go we had an opportunity to get (the puck) out but they gambled and kept it in,” Rampage Head Coach Dean Chynoweth said. “That started the momentum change. The third one was a similar situation and the fourth (goal) was a broken play.”
San Antonio finished the game 2-for-4 on the power play, while Charlotte was 0-for-2 with the man advantage. The Checkers outshot the Rampage 29-18, the 18 shots were a season-low for the Silver and Black.
Spencer Martin finished with 25 saves on 29 Charlotte shots, while Tirronen made 15 saves on 18 shots.
The Rampage are now 9-2-5-0 (23 points) on the season and will return to the ice on Tuesday when they travel to Milwaukee to face the Admirals at 7 p.m. inside the Bradley Center.