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Rampage open new year in Utica

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The San Antonio Rampage (17-10-3-0) will look to ring in 2015 on a positive note when they play their first game of the new year against the Western Conference leading Utica Comets (21-5-5-0) this afternoon.

San Antonio enters the game with 37 points, good enough for fifth in the Western Conference. They suffered a 6-3 loss to the defending champion Texas Stars last Sunday. Bobby Butler scored his 12th goal of the season in the loss and goaltender Dan Ellis made 24 of the 29 shots he faced.

Utica is at the top of the Western Conference with 47 points and enters with a 6-3 win over the Lake Erie Monsters last Saturday evening. Brandon DeFazio had a hat-trick in the win and netminder Joacim Eriksson 26 saves on 29 shots.

This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two teams. The Silver and Black are looking to avoid the season sweep as the Rampage have lost all three games to the Vancouver Canucks affiliate, including an 3-0 shutout at the AT&T Center. That game saw former San Antonio and current Utica goaltender Jacob Markstrom stop all shots he faced from his former team.

The Rampage and Comets will drop the puck at 2 p.m. inside Utica Memorial Auditorium. Stephen Anderson will have a full post game report later on the website. Follow @andersonstevem and @RampageCentral for live updates.

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