SAN ANTONIO – Despite a two-goal night from Jake Walman, the San Antonio Rampage fell 4-3 in the shootout to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (19-16-7) in front of 6,667 fans at the AT&T Center on Saturday night.
The loss is the second in the last three games for San Antonio, who will host the Penguins again on Tuesday before hitting the road for two games.
“Before the first goal, I thought we were playing good hockey,” Rampage Head Coach Drew Bannister said. “It was a tight game up to then. They scored the first goal and we got away from what we were doing.”
The Penguins got on the scoreboard at 12:22 of the first period when former Rampage defenseman David Warsofsky shot the puck off Rampage goaltender Ville Husso’s pad, which then went off Joseph Blandisi’s stick and into the net. The goal was Blandisi’s fourth of the season.
San Antonio knotted the score up in the second period when Nolan Stevens found a streaking Austin Poganski for a goal fresh off the bench as he scored, beating Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith. Walman scored his first goal of the night at 15:15 of the middle frame to give the Rampage a 2-1 lead. He took the puck and lifted a backhand shot past DeSmith. San Antonio’s lead was shortlived thanks to the first of two goals for Jordy Bellerive just 1:11 later, making it a 2-2 game going into the third period.
“It was a tough game. We battled hard,” Walman said. “We could have won that game. It’s a good sign we’re battling but it was a couple of mistakes.”
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took the lead midway through the final frame when Bellerive struck again at 10:37 when his shot from below the left circle got past Husso to make it 3-2. The Rampage forced overtime 1:20 later when Nolan Stevens found Walman for a one-timer as he converted the goal falling to his knees.
Neither team found the back of the net in overtime despite San Antonio being outshot 5-0 in the frame. Bellerive scored the only goal of the shootout, beating Husso with a forehand shot. Poganski, Mike Vecchione, and Joey LaLeggia were all denied by DeSmith.
San Antonio is now 0-5 in shootouts this season.
“It’s no secret that we haven’t been good in overtime,” Bannister said. “We’re a better team 5-on-5, we’re not highly skilled or a high-speed team. We get ourselves into a shootout but for us, it hasn’t gone how we like it to. If we had a better start in that first period, we’d win that hockey game.”
The Rampage are now 14-17-10 (38 points) on the season and will return to the ice on Tuesday night when they welcome the Penguins back to the AT&T Center at 7 p.m.