San Antonio Rampage head coach Tom Rowe said he liked his team’s play on Sunday against the Rockford IceHogs, despite the loss. They would play their final game against the Chicago Blackhawks affiliate as they continued their road trip. It seemed an earlier than normal start is what the doctor ordered.
Michael Houser stopped all 37 shots he faced as the Rampage shutout the IceHogs (29-17-4-2, 64 points) in front of 6,296 fans inside the BMO Harris Bank Center on Wednesday morning.
The Rampage got on the scoreboard early when Mackenzie Weegar put home a power play goal past Rockford netminder Michael Leighton just 1:44 into the game. Brett Brett Olson extended the San Antonio lead to 2-0 when he flipped the puck over Leighton’s shoulder as the Silver and Black took a two goal lead into the second period.
San Antonio extended their lead in the middle frame as Vincent Trocheck put home another power play tally at 12:40 for his sixth goal of the season as the Rampage took a 3-0 lead into the final period.
Rockford made a goaltender change to begin the final frame as Scott Darling took Leighton’s place in net, but San Antonio added to their lead. Greg Zanon got in on the scoring action, putting home his third goal of the season to make it 4-0. Rocco Grimaldi had a chance to score on a penalty shot attempt and was turned away by Darling. The 4-0 score would stand as the buzzer sounded.
Houser recorded his second career shutout in the win. Leighton stopped 12 of 15 shots he faced in 40 minutes, while Darling made four saves on five San Antonio shots. Rockford was 0-for-5 on the power play, while the Silver and Black were 2-for-5 with the man advantage.
The Rampage are now 29-18-4-0 (62 points) and will continue their Rodeo Road Trip when they travel to Chicago to face the Wolves on Saturday night at 7 p.m. inside Allstate Arena.
* Rampage 2-3 (4 points) on Rodeo Road Trip