AT&T Center – The San Antonio Rampage and their fans have rarely had playoff hockey in the Alamo city. However, with just one point needed to punch their ticket to the postseason, the Silver and Black would attack early. Ensuring there would be more hockey after the regular season ends.
Corban Knight tallied two goals as the Rampage earned a 5-4 win over the Adirondack Flames (32-28-6-2) in front of 6,654 fans at the AT&T Center on Thursday night.
The Rampage got things started early as Mark Mancari put home the puck past Adirondack goaltender Doug Carr after getting the puck from Brett Olson to put San Antonio up 1-0 just 2:21 into the game. The Flames tied the game with a power play tally from David Wolf just over three minutes later with a shot past Rampage goaltender Michael Houser. Minutes later, Adirondack turned the puck over and that turnover led to a Wade Megan goal as the Rampage took a 2-1 lead into the second period.
San Antonio struck again quickly in the middle frame. Corban Knight banged the puck home past Carr just over two minutes into the second period to give the Rampage a 3-1 lead. Adirondack answered back as Wolf scored his second goal of the night as the Silver and Black went to the third period with a 3-2 advantage.
Knight put the Silver and Black up by two goals with his second tally of the night at 4:11 of the final frame. Quinton Howden got in on the scoring action, putting home just his second of the season to give the Rampage a 5-2 lead. Mathieu Tousignant stopped the bleeding for Adirondack with a short-handed goal at 14:04 to cut into the San Antonio lead. The Flames got a goal from Ken Agostino with just over a minute to go, but that is as far as Adirondack would get as the Rampage got the 5-4 win.
“It’s important because it’s a goal we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season,” San Antonio head coach Tom Rowe said of making the playoffs. “And we said there’s nothing acceptable but making the playoffs.”
The win by San Antonio clinched their fourth playoff berth in franchise history. The Silver and Black’s win streak was pushed to nine games and won their 43rd game of the season, both franchise records.
“This franchise has been around for awhile, they’ve had ups and downs,” Mancari said of clinching a playoff berth. “I was on the other end of the round that they won, it speaks volumes about the guys we have in the room, the staff, and the way we want to be perceived out there. We work hard, we’re going to bring everything we have to the table and do what we can to win.”
San Antonio outshot 37-24 for the game, including 15-6 in the first period. Houser finished the game with 20 saves on 24 shots and Carr stopped 32-of-37 shots. The Silver and Black finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while Adirondack converted on one of their four chances on the man advantage.
The Rampage are now 43-20-5-1 (92 points) on the season and will return to the ice on Saturday when they face the Adirondack Flames for the final time this season at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center.