Defenseman Michael Caruso broke a 4-4 tie with 4:39 remaining in the third to lead the San Antonio Rampage to a 6-4 comeback victory over the Oklahoma City Barons on Thursday night.
The Rampage’s win at the Cox Convention Center gave them a 1-0 lead in their Western Conference Semifinal series.
The Barons scored the game’s first goal 10:13 into the opening period when a Hunter Tremblay shot on net deflected off of a Rampage player in front and past San Antonio backstop Jacob Markstrom. Tremblay’s third goal of the playoffs put Oklahoma City ahead 1-0.
Mark Arcobello extended the Barons advantage to 2-0 with a power-play goal just over two minutes later. He took a feed from Philippe Cornet and fired a shot inside the left post for his second marker of the postseason.
The Rampage got on the board with a power-play tally from Alex Petrovic at 16:58 of the first. He picked up his second goal of the playoffs on a point shot that beat screened Barons netminder Yann Danis to make the count 2-1 in favor of Oklahoma City.
Just over a minute into the second period, the Barons regained their two-goal lead at 3-1 when Josh Green’s wraparound attempt found its way through Markstrom’s legs. Green’s marker was his third of the postseason.
Mark Cullen answered for San Antonio with a slap shot off of a Rampage faceoff win 1:22 following Green’s goal. Cullen’s second goal of the playoffs brought San Antonio to within one at 3-2.
The back-and-forth contest continued as Teemu Hartikainen ripped a shot from the slot past Markstrom 3:48 into the second. His second postseason tally put the Barons up 4-2.
Bill Thomas cut the San Antonio deficit to 4-3 when he streaked in on Danis and pounced on the rebound of his own shot for his second goal of the playoffs at the 8:13 mark of the middle stanza.
The Rampage knotted the score at 4-4 with a power-play goal, San Antonio’s ninth of the playoffs, from Tyson Strachan with 3:05 remaining in the second. He found a rebound in the slot and sent a wrister on net that eluded Danis to register his first goal of the postseason.
Caruso’s go-ahead tally gave the Rampage their first lead of the game, at 5-4, with a shot through traffic that found its way past Danis. The goal was his first of the playoffs.
Jon Matsumoto’s breakaway goal at 18:09 of the final frame put San Antonio up 6-4. He skated in on Danis and beat the netminder to his right for his fourth marker of the postseason.
Markstrom made 26 saves on 30 Barons shots while Danis stopped 23 of the 29 Rampage attempts he faced.
The Rampage and Barons square off in Game 2 of their series on Saturday night at 8 ET (AHL Live).