AT&T Center – St. Patrick’s Day is all about luck of the Irish. Green beer, funny hats and a little luck. The San Antonio felt the Irish luck as they routed the visiting Charlotte Checkers and set a new franchise high for goals in the process.
The Rampage (36-20-5-1) set a new franchise record for goals as they crushed the Checkers (25-33-5-1) by a final score of 9-3 in front of 4,132 fans at the AT&T Center on Tuesday evening.
San Antonio got things started early as they got goals from Andrew Yogan and Mark Mancari 2:57 in to go up 2-0. The quick start meant Charlotte head coach Jeff Daniels would pull goaltender John Muse from the game and replace him with Drew MacIntyre. The Checkers lit the lamp when Brendan Woods flipped the puck past Rampage netminder Michael Houser to cut the Silver and Black lead to one goal, but Blake Parlett’s one-timer at 18:30 gave San Antonio a 3-1 lead going into the second period.
Charlotte cut the San Antonio lead to one in the middle period when Mike Cornell got the puck past Houser just 51 seconds after the period began. The Rampage struck back when John McFarland put the puck over the pads of MacIntyre to put San Antonio up 4-2 going into the final frame.
The third period would see the Silver and Black explode for five goals to pull away. Brett Olson started things off with a power play goal with a shot off MacIntyre, then Shane O’Brien and Yogan each scored a tally to quickly make it 7-2 just 4:44 into the third period. Woods put home his second goal of the evening to stop the bleeding to cut the lead down to 7-3. Matt Corrente got his first goal in a Rampage uniform on the power play to make it 8-3 and Olson’s second of the night sealed the 9-3 win for the Silver and Black.
“I thought our first period was excellent,” San Antonio head coach Tom Rowe said following the win. “We got off it in the second, but credit the way Charlotte played. We regrouped and got it going again in the third.”
Houser stopped 24-of-27 shots he faced in the win. Muse made just one save on three shots in 2:57 of action, while MacIntyre made 25 saves on 32 San Antonio shots in 57 minutes of action. Charlotte was 2-for-7 on the power play, while San Antonio was 3-for-6 with the man advantage.
The Rampage will return to the ice on Friday when they travel to Oklahoma City for a showdown in the standings with the Barons at the Cox Convention Center at 7 p.m.