AT&T Center – San Antonio hockey fans had to wait an extra hour for their Rampage to return to the ice, but in the end the delay was worth it was the silver and black came away victorious.
The Rampage scored early and often as they defeated the Stockton Heat 5-1 in front of 6,727 fans at the AT&T Center in their home opener on Saturday night.
San Antonio got the scoring started just six minutes after the puck drop. Mikko Rantanen sent a blast from inside the blue line past Stockton goaltender Jon Gillies to put the Rampage up 1-0. Sam Henley gave the silver and black a two goal lead going into the second period with just over a minute remaining in the opening frame.
Colin Smith notched his first goal of the season at the 8:07 mark of the middle period to put San Antonio up three goals. Chris Bigras sent a blast from the point to beat Gillies and Marc-Andre Cliche’s short-handed tally put the Rampage up 5-0 going into the final period of play.
Stockton started Karri Ramo to begin the third period of play, ending Gillies night. Freddy Hamilton ended the goal streak for San Antonio as his power play goal miway through the middle frame made it 5-1. The Rampage would hang on for the win.
“We got pretty much each line involved in the scoring,” Rampage head coach Dean Chynoweth said. “We did not need to rely on our power play as much. Pick (Pickard) was good too. He made some nice saves for us.”
The game was the first at home for the Rampage in two weeks due to the final renovations being made to the AT&T Center.
“It was nice to give the fans a win,” Bigras said. “The home town crowd was awesome and it was a good experience. It was good for us to get a win here for them.”
The Rampage are now 3-0-1-0 (7 points) on the season and will return to the ice on Friday when they travel to California to face the Ontario Reign at 9 p.m. inside Citizens Business Bank Arena.