AT&T Center – Michael Houser and the San Antonio Rampage felt they let one slip away when they suffered a 4-3 loss to the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday night. The netminder would come up big for the Silver and Black on Sunday to ensure his team secured much needed two points in a tight Western Conference.
It was a back-and-forth game all day long as the Rampage defeated the Iowa Wild (5-14-1-1, 12 points) 5-4 in a shootout in front of an announced crowd of 3,393 fans at the AT&T Center on Sunday afternoon.
Iowa got on the scoreboard first when Jordan Schroeder tipped the puck past Houser off a Tyler Graovac shot at the 7:24 mark of the opening frame to give the Wild a 1-0 lead going into the second period.
Things went back-and-forth in the second stanza and it began with San Antonio getting on the scoreboard. Drew Shore sent a wrist shot over the shoulder of Iowa netminder Josh Harding two minutes into the period to tie the game at a goal apiece. Mark Mancari gave the Rampage a 2-1 lead when he put home a rebound on the power play. Iowa answered back when Mathew Dumba put the puck past Houser at 9:29 to knot the game.
Bobby Butler gave the Silver and Black the lead once again with his tenth goal of the season when he flipped the puck off Harding and into the net. The Wild answered back once again with Graovic’s second goal of the game to make it a 3-3 tie going into the final period of play.
The Wild took the 4-3 lead when Jason Gregoire put a shot out of Houser’s reach at 5:42 of the final frame. San Antonio answered when Ryan Martindale sent a shot from the left circle past Harding to knot the game 4-4 and eventually sent the game to overtime.
In the extra frame both goaltenders came up big. Rocco Grimaldi was called for a tripping penalty and Iowa was awarded a penalty shot. Houser made the save and after a scoreless overtime period, the game went to the shootout.
San Antonio got goals from Butler and Mancari in the skills competition as Houser two of three Iowa shooters to seal the 5-4 win for the Rampage.
“That’s what the most important things about goaltending is – how you rebound,” Houser said. “I watched some clips last night and came back this morning and forgot about last night. That third goal bothered me last night, but it was done and over with today.”
Houser stopped 36 of the 40 shots he faced, while Harding made 50 saves on 55 Rampage shots. The 55 San Antonio shots are the highest of the season. The Silver and Black finished 2-for-5 on the power play, while Iowa was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
The Rampage are now 13-6-1-0 (27 points) on the season and will return to the ice on Friday when they welcome the Utica Comets to the AT&T Center at 7L30 p.m.