San Antonio Rampage Head Coach Dean Chyonoweth said his team worked on transition defense in practice this week. The practice paid off as the silver and black earned their first win of the 2015-16 season.
Andrew Agozzino tallied two goals as the Rampage defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 3-2 in front of 10,834 fans inside Van Andel Arena on Friday night.
Much like last weekend, the Rampage broke open the scoring to take an early lead. Agozzino took a pass from Ben Street and put the puck over the shoulder of Grand Rapids goaltender Tom McCollum to give San Antonio the early one goal lead just over two minutes into the contest.
Grand Rapids responded two minutes later when Ryan Sproul put home the rebound over the pad of Rampage netminder Calvin Pickard for a power play tally at 4:22 to knot the game up at one goal apiece going into the second period.
The Griffins took the lead in the middle frame off another power play chance. Xavier Ouellet scored from a shot in the slot at the 5:41 mark to give Grand Rapids the 2-1 advantage. However, two consecutive penalties by the Griffins gave the silver and black a 53 second 5-on-3 advantage to begin the third period.
San Antonio answered back in the opening moments of the final frame. Agozzino tipped the puck past McCollum just 50 seconds into the third period, tying the game at two. The special teams worked their magic one more time for the Rampage when Zach Redmond punched the puck over the line to beat McCollum at the 14:52 mark to give his team the 3-2 lead.
With McCollum pulled from his net, the Rampage survived a final push from Grand Rapids and held on for the 3-2 victory as Redmond’s goal stood as the game-winner.
Grand Rapids finished 2-for-8 on the power play, while the Rampage were 2-for-7 with the man advantage on the night. McCollum suffered the loss, stopping 26 of 29 San Antonio shots. Pickard stopped 39 of 41 Griffins shots, earning the Second Star of the game.
The Rampage are now 1-0-1-0 (3 points) on the season and will return to the ice tomorrow night to close out their weekend series with the Griffins at 6 p.m. inside Van Andel Arena.