AT&T Center – The month of November has not been too kind to the San Antonio Rampage in years past and it seems that once it again the silver and black have the ‘November blues’ – still winless in the month and it has the fans starting to become discouraged.
The Rampage took a lead into the third period, but could not hang on in a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Marlies in front of 6,231 fans inside the AT&T Center on Friday night.
San Antonio struck first and lit the lamp before fans had settled into their seats. Shane O’Brien sent a shot from the point that beat Toronto netminder Christopher Gibson at the 2:06 mark of the opening period to give the Rampage an early 1-0 lead. Steven Kampfer and Brett Olsen picked up assists on O’Brien’s third of the year.
Just over a minute later Toronto would knot the game up while on a 5-on-3 advantage as Trevor Smith beat San Antonio goaltender Dan Ellis to tie the game 1-1 heading into the second period.
Andrew Yogan gave the Rampage the 2-1 lead in the second period when he put home a rebound off Ryan Martindale’s shot past Gibson at the 6:42 mark of the middle frame to put the silver and black on top going into the third and final period of play.
20 seconds into final stanza, Mark Mancari was given a penalty shot after being hooked from behind, but was stopped by Gibson. Toronto tied the game at 2-2 with a goal from Tom Nilsson and less than two minutes later Connor Brown gave the Marlies the 3-2 and victory.
Both teams finished 1-for-5 with the man advantage, while San Antonio outshot Toronto 42-26.
“We always talk about being physical,” Rampage head coach Tom Rowe said. “We want an aggressive four-line team and we talk about being physical all the time. It is still early in the season and we have to work through some kinks, there we more positive than negatives.”
Ellis stopped 23 of 26 Toronto shots, while Gibson made 40 saves on 42 San Antonio shots.
The Rampage are now 5-6-0-0 (10 points) and will return to the ice on Sunday when they welcome the Oklahoma City Barons to the AT&T Center at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon.