(sarampage.com) – The San Antonio Rampage (18-10-3-0) rang in the New Year with an 8-4 win over the Utica Comets (21-6-5-0), handing the Western Conference leader their second home regulation loss of the season in front of 3,835 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. In the first series win in the fourth and final game against the Comets, the Silver and Black tied a franchise record for most goals in a game and most in a period with six in the middle frame.
All eight of San Antonio’s goals came off the sticks of different players. Bobby Butler led the Rampage with a goal and two assists, his sixth multi-point game of the season. Drew Shore and Connor Brickley both contributed a goal and an assist, and Rocco Grimaldi, Mark Mancari, Brett Olson and Wade Megan added two assists each.
Shane O’Brien netted the first of the game late in the opening period, taking a pass from Brett Olson and firing a slapshot from the blueline that went past former Rampage goaltender Jacob Markstrom. That goal stood as the lone tally in the stanza, and the Rampage took a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
The second period was a scoring bonanza, as the teams combined for nine total goals, and the Rampage netted six, tying a franchise record for goals in a period. The teams exchanged punches through the first half of the frame, and San Antonio took a 4-2 lead off a Jesse Blacker power-play tally at 10:45. A Brandon DeFazio goal just over a minute later brought the Comets to within one, but the Silver and Black rattled off three goals over the next 3:06 to take a commanding 7-3 lead at the end of a wild period of hockey.
Utica opened up the third-period scoring with a goal from Nicklas Jensen. Alex Petrovic scored the eighth and final Rampage tally of the day to tie the franchise record for goals in a game and set a new record for goals scored on the road in a game.
The loss was just the second for the Comets against a West Division opponent and the most goals ever given up on home ice.
In his 20th start of the season, Dan Ellis made 28 saves on 32 shots. Markstrom finished with 12 saves on 17 shots before being pulled for Joacim Eriksson, who made 10 saves on 13 shots in a relief effort.
San Antonio tallied two power-play goals for the second game in a row, finishing 2-for-5 with the man advantage while holding Utica scoreless on six power-play opportunities.