Griffins Score Three Unanswered in Win over Rampage
<strong>GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3 at San Antonio Rampage 1</strong>
SAN ANTONIO — The Grand Rapids Griffins ended their season series against the San Antonio Rampage with a victory, scoring a trio of unanswered goals for a 3-1 win in the AT&T Center on Sunday.
The Griffins’ fifth straight game on the road saw Wade Megan give Grand Rapids its second power play goal in as many nights, while Colin Campbell notched the game-winner at 12:22 of the second period. Patrik Rybar, whose 2.25 goals against average leads the league, turned away 16 shots for the win.
Now 4-1-0-0 in its season-high six-game, 11-day road trip, Grand Rapids is within two points of the Central Division leaders, the Chicago Wolves, who top the standings with 86 points. The Griffins (37-19-6-4) close out their road trip on Tuesday with a matchup against the third-ranked Iowa Wild at 8 p.m. EDT.
The opening period was home to two power play goals, with the first benefitting the Rampage (27-33-6-1) at 13:18. Halfway through a Grand Rapids hooking penalty, San Antonio’s Jordan Nolan attempted to tip in a snipe from Joey LaLeggia at the left point. Rybar blocked the initial attempt, but as the puck trickled away from him, Nolan Stevens steered it into the net for the Rampage’s only goal of the night.
A power play goal from Megan at 19:35 tied the game heading into the second period and kicked off the Griffins’ trio of goals. A battle for the puck at the left-wing boards left Chris Terry skating with it into the slot before passing it to Megan at the right-wing circle. From there, Megan drove a power play goal between the pads of San Antonio goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick to tie the game at 1-1.
At 12:22 of the second period, Campbell gave the Griffins their go-ahead goal with his sixth of the year. Moments before that, a flurry in front of Fitzpatrick’s net was spurred when a feed from Givani Smith to Dominic Turgeon on the doorstep resulted in two backhand attempts to clear the puck into the net.
Those shots were stuffed, though, and it was Campbell who would finally put the puck away. Campbell, whose last goal came on Feb. 15 in a win over the Rampage at Van Andel Arena, forced the puck past Fitzpatrick for the one-goal lead.
Barely a minute into the third period, Filip Zadina extended the Griffins’ advantage to 3-1 off a breakaway. Megan carved the puck out of the Griffins’ zone and sent it towards Zadina at center ice, who skated it into San Antonio’s zone. Alone on the breakaway, Zadina fired off a wrist shot from in close that found its way through Fitzpatrick’s pads at 1:03.
Despite an empty-net with 2:40 left in regulation and a fourth power play opportunity of the night, the Rampage were outshot 11-3 in the final frame. None of those three shots found their way through Rybar, earning the goaltender his 16th win of the season.
Notes: The Griffins outshot the Rampage, 30-17...Smith and Turgeon have registered points in back-to-back games after earning an assist and goal, respectively, in Saturday’s matchup with the Texas Stars...Grand Rapids finished the season series 4-2-2...Megan appeared in 115 games with the Rampage from 2012-15 and totaled 31 points (20-11—31).
Three Stars: 1. GR Megan (power play goal, assist); 2. GR Campbell (game-winning goal); 3. GR Zadina (goal)
Official Game Report