San Antonio Rampage 5 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 OT
Nov. 18, 2011
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The San Antonio Rampage scored with 3:04 left in regulation and 30 seconds into overtime to steal a 5-4 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday at Van Andel Arena.
The Griffins rallied from an early 2-0 hole to take a 4-3 lead behind a pair of goals from Joakim Andersson and a solid relief effort by Tom McCollum in net, but they were unable to claim what would have been their first victory of the season when trailing after two periods.
Grand Rapids (6-8-1-0), which began a season-high five-game homestand tonight, will welcome the Milwaukee Admirals for a 7 p.m. start on Saturday.
The Rampage (6-9-0-0) jumped out to their lead midway through the opening period, chasing Jordan Pearce after only four shots. Just 3:07 into the contest, Wacey Rabbit’s pass from the left corner found Eric Selleck on the doorstep for an easy tap in. Then, during an odd-man rush into the Grand Rapids zone at 10:16, a crashing Greg Rallo converted Evan Barlow’s centering pass to usher McCollum into the game.
Defenseman Gleason Fournier, making his AHL debut, cut the Griffins’ deficit to one with a power play goal at the 15:13 mark, taking a cross-ice feed from Tomas Tatar and patiently slipping an innocent-looking wrist shot beneath Jacob Markstrom from high in the right circle. McCollum also earned an assist on the play.
After killing off a 3:25 San Antonio power play, including 35 seconds of a 5-on-3, the Griffins forged a short-lived 2-2 tie 3:27 into the second period when Jamie Johnson corralled a loose puck just outside the crease and flipped it inside the far right post. It took the Rampage only 43 seconds to regain the advantage, however, as Bill Thomas slammed his own rebound past McCollum’s glove from the slot.
Consecutive third-period goals by Andersson, Markstrom’s former teammate from Sweden’s silver medal-winning team at the 2009 World Junior Championship, lifted the Griffins into their first lead of the night at 4-3. Early in the frame, Markstrom denied an initial attempt by Tatar, but Andersson pounced on the rebound in the slot and scooped a backhand high into the cage at 1:48. An energetic Griffins power play culminated in Andersson’s second goal at 7:25, as he set up shop just outside the crease and tipped home Doug Janik’s cannon from the left point.
The Rampage refused to go gently into that great night, however, and a flurry around McCollum’s net after the Griffins were unable to clear their zone resulted in Thomas’ second goal at the 16:56 mark, just the second goal scored by San Antonio in 28 shots on McCollum to that point.
A half-minute into the extra session, Colby Robak found himself alone with the puck in the left circle and blistered a shot that found the only opening, sneaking just inside the top right corner of the net.
McCollum finished with 27 stops and fell to 0-2 on the season despite a 2.75 GAA and a 0.911 save percentage. Markstrom claimed the win with a 28-save effort.
Notes: Johnson has scored a goal in six of the Griffins’ last seven games (seven goals total), pushing his team-leading total to eight. He scored 12 goals in 78 games for Grand Rapids last season…The goalies of record, McCollum and Markstrom, were consecutive picks in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. McCollum was taken 30th overall by Detroit with the final pick of the first round, while Markstrom was chosen 31st overall by Florida with the first pick in the second round.
Three Stars: 1. GR Andersson (two goals); 2. SA Thomas (two goals, assist); 3. SA Robak (game-winning goal)