AT&T Center – There are games where you play your heart out and still come out on the losing end. That is exactly what happened to the San Antonio Rampage as they held their home finale for the 2014-15 campaign. Luckily enough for the Rampage faithful, they will see their team again in just over a week for playoff hockey.
The Rampage outshot Texas 54-17, but it was not enough as the silver and black fell 3-2 to the Stars (39-22-13-1) in front of 10,711 fans at the AT&T Center on Saturday night.
Texas got on the scoreboard before fans got settled into the seats. A San Antonio turnover led to a Justin Dowling goal just 16 seconds into the game with a shot past San Antonio netminder Dan Ellis. The Rampage responded when Vincent Trocheck banged home a rebound from his knees at 8:01 to knot the score at a goal apiece. The Stars took a 2-1 lead into second period when Brendan Ranford beat Ellis with a wrist shot at 14:18.
The Stars added to their lead late in the middle frame as Matej Stransky scored his fifth goal of the season at 15:08 with Texas on a 2-on-1 advantage to give the visitors a 3-1 lead going into the final period of play.
Wade Megan finally beat Texas goaltender Jussi Rynnas as he put home a rebound off a Logan Shaw shot attempt at 5:34 mark of the period, cutting the Texas lead to 3-2. Despite outshooting the Stars 23-6 in the period, the silver and black were unable to get the tying goal and fell in regulation.
“People who weren’t here will look at the fact we lost the game,” Rampage head coach Tom Rowe said. “But if you were here, you probably saw a heck of a hockey game. When you put up 50-plus shots, you know you’re doing something right.”
Ellis finished the game with 14 saves on 17 Texas shots, while Rynnas made 52-of-54 saves – earning the first star of the game. San Antonio finished 0-for-3 on the power play and for the second time in franchise history, did not allow their opponent a single man advantage all game.
The Rampage are now 45-23-6-1 (97 points) on the season and will return to the ice tomorrow night when they wrap up the regular season in Austin to face the Stars at 7 p.m. inside Cedar Park Center.