GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The San Antonio Rampage took advantage of their offensive bounces and 31 saves by Ville Husso to defeat the Grand Rapids Griffins 2-1 on Sunday, sweeping the weekend set at Van Andel Arena with their second straight one-goal victory.
Neither Rampage goal saw the puck enter the net off the stick of the player who shot it, as San Antonio’s fortunate caroms spoiled a solid 23-save effort by Calvin Pickard, who was making his first appearance since Feb. 11.
The Griffins (26-24-3-4) will commence a four-game road trip by facing the Rampage (21-21-7-5) for a rare third-straight time, an 8 p.m. EST affair on Friday in the Alamo City.
Following a scoreless first period, the Rampage grabbed the lead early in the second. From the right circle, Joey LaLeggia threw the puck toward a crowd in front of the net, and it deflected off the skate of Nick Lappin and past Pickard at the 1:56 mark. The goal was upheld following a short video review by referees Michael Markovic and Corey Syvret.
A Michael Rasmussen power play goal tied matters at 11:27. From the left side, Taro Hirose sent a pass down low to Rasmussen, who darted to the top of the crease and jammed a backhand past Husso’s blocker, but the deadlock was broken only 48 seconds later thanks to a San Antonio power play and another lucky bounce. Lappin notched his second point of the afternoon when his shot from above the right circle was blockered aside by Pickard only to bounce off Klim Kostin’s upper body and land in the back of the net.
That would be all the scoring on the afternoon, despite the Griffins’ best efforts in the third period to pull even. They held the upper hand in shots by a 14-6 margin and buzzed around the San Antonio cage as time wound down, including after Pickard went to the bench for an extra attacker with more than two minutes left, but to no avail.
Combined with a 4-3 win over the Griffins on Saturday, San Antonio has climbed back to the .500 mark for the first time since Dec. 16, when its record stood at 10-10-5-3.
The Griffins converted one of their five power play chances while the Rampage went 1-for-4.
Three Stars: 1. SA Lappin (goal, assist); 2. SA Husso (W, 31 saves); 3. GR Pickard (L, 23 saves)
[Post content courtesy of the Grand Rapids Griffins]