Colby Robak scored the overtime winner while Jon Matsumoto and James Wright each registered a franchise playoff record four points as the San Antonio Rampage defeated the Chicago Wolves 5-4 on Thursday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series.
With the victory, the Rampage took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five set.
The Wolves scored the first goal of the game at the 12:49 mark of the first period when the rebound of a Jordan Schroeder shot bounced off of Bill Sweatt and into the net. Sweatt’s goal put Chicago ahead 1-0.
Wright answered for the Rampage with a goal of his own nearly two minutes later. He took a feed from Bill Thomas in the slot and beat Wolves goaltender Eddie Lack to his right for the score. Wright’s first goal of the playoff campaign knotted the game at 1-1.
Just 47 seconds following Wright’s tally, Chicago restored their lead with a goal from Tim Miller. Darren Haydar found Miller cutting through the crease and Miller shot the puck through the legs of Rampage backstop Jacob Markstrom to hand the Wolves a 2-1 edge.
Chicago extended their advantage to two goals with a power-play tally before the first expired. At 18:55 Nicklas Jensen’s shot from the bottom of the right circle fluttered past Markstrom and made the count 3-1 in favor of the Wolves.
San Antonio rookie Drew Shore brought the Rampage to within one, at 3-2, 3:15 into the second on a one-time feed from Matsumoto. Shore’s shot went over Lack’s left shoulder giving him his first goal of the playoffs. Jensen scored his second goal of the contest, another power-play marker, at the 8:01 mark of the middle stanza to give Chicago a 4-2 lead. He beat Markstrom with a one-timer from the top of the crease for the score.
The back-and-forth contest continued with a Matsumoto goal for San Antonio midway through the second. With the Rampage on a power play, he tapped in a loose puck at the side of the Chicago net to cut the San Antonio deficit to 4-3.
At 5:23 of the third period Matsumoto tied the game at 4-4 with his second goal of the contest. His shot from the slot went off of a Chicago defender and into the Wolves net to knot the score.
Robak’s game-winning goal came 14:16 into the extra session while the Rampage were on a power play. He corralled the rebound of a Wright shot and ripped a slapper past Lack to hand San Antonio the 5-4 win.
Markstrom made 33 saves on 37 Wolves shots while Lack turned aside 32 of the 37 Rampage attempts he faced.
The Rampage and Wolves square off in Game 2 of their series on Saturday (7:00 CT, AHL Live) at the AT&T Center.