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Rampage win before record crowd

February 2, 2013
Photo: Darren Abate

(sarampage.com) -- A record-setting crowd was on hand to watch the San Antonio Rampage take a 1-0 victory in their third annual Pink in the Rink Night over the Rockford IceHogs on Friday night in front of a sellout crowd of 16,205 fans at the AT&T Center.

The standing-room-only crowd, a franchise record for attendance and the largest crowd in an AHL arena this season, erupted when a third-period goal by rookie John McFarland sent the Rampage to victory in their annual game played on pink ice to increase breast health awareness.

Goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves en route to his third shutout of the season. The Swedish netminder was again masterful in net and has been a model of consistency for the Rampage, allowing two or fewer goals in eight of his last 10 stars.

It was a quiet first period for both teams as they combined for just nine shots in the frame. Markstrom made a statement midway through the first to keep it a scoreless game. After taking a cross-ice pass, IceHogs forward Brandon Pirri had a clean shot on Markstrom’s left side, but the goaltender was able to stretch out his left pad to make the save.

San Antonio increased the pressure in the second period and threw 10 shots on goal. However, they were unable to solve Rockford goaltender Henrik Karlsson.

That ended at 10:09 of the third period when McFarland lit the lamp for his first goal with the Rampage. Rookie forward Jared Gomes won the faceoff in Rockford’s zone and got the puck back to Brian O'Hanley at the point. O’Hanley’s shot got through traffic and was corralled at the side of the net by Gomes; Gomes then slid a cross-crease pass to McFarland, who banged home the game winner in his 17th game in the Silver and Black.

With the win, San Antonio and Rockford are tied for 13th in the Western Conference with 42 points. The IceHogs won the shot battle, 30-19, but were 0-for-2 on the power play. San Antonio ended the night 0-for-3 on the man advantage.

Following the game, the Rampage auctioned off their custom pink-ribbon jerseys to the public. A portion of the proceeds from the auction and ticket sales will benefit breast health awareness efforts. To date, the annual Pink in the Rink games have raised nearly $75,000 to help in the fight against breast cancer.

The Rampage will now say goodbye to the AT&T Center as they clear out for the annual Rodeo Road Trip starting with a Monday night faceoff with the Houston Aeros at the Toyota Center. The Rampage will play a total of nine games in a 21-day span covering nearly 4,500 miles during this year’s Rodeo Road Trip.