A late goal by Jordan Nolan and a 38-save performance by Jared Coreau earned the Rampage a stressful win against Ontario Friday night, 4-2. The win improves the Rampage’s record to 25-23-5, and notch a second win on the Rodeo Road Trip to rise to 3-2-3 for the month to keep their heads above water in one of the closest playoff races in recent memory.
The first goal would come 16 minutes into the game, after an Ontario slashing penalty gave the Rampage their first power play. A blocked shot from Mitch Reinke dribbled to Jakub Jerabek’s stick in the left circle, allowing him to rip a quick wrister high glove side on Cal Petersen for his sixth of the season.
The second goal came less than two minutes later on an additional man advantage opportunity, this time from Jordan Kyrou at the top of the same circle, set up by a tape-to-tape pass from Reinke. The Rampage would enter the locker room for the first intermission up 2-0.
Despite an active second period, the Rampage held on to their 2-0 lead right up to the 9:07 mark of the third period, when Ontario rookie Kale Clague notched his fourth goal of the year off a carromed puck on the power play.
Four minutes later, Clague struck again to tie the game with a slapshot from the low point. Wide defense allowed Sheldon Rempal to deliver a perfect tape pass to the trailer, who bombed it over Coreau’s left shoulder just under the crossbar.
As the minutes wound down in regulation, both sides would continue the aggressive pace set throughout the game, each side producing at least 40 shots by game’s end. A late hooking penalty by Philippe Maillet put the Rampage on a fifth power play of the night, however, and just eight seconds later, a well-orchestrated passing play to Jordan Nolan in the low slot gave the Rampage their go-ahead goal with only 91 seconds to play. Bobby MacIntyre sealed the deal with an empty-netter a minute later, taking the W in Ontario 4-2.
Mitch Reinke earned two primary assists in the game, bringing him within
1 point of the franchise record for points by a rookie defenseman, at
33 total. Jordan Kyrou earned first-star honors after a 3-game point
drought with a goal and two assists.
The win brings the Rampage back up to 6th in the Central division, and 5 points out of 4th for the final playoff spot, with 2 games in hand. Tonight the Rampage continue the Rodeo Road Trip with a visit to the San Diego Gulls, who after a strong mid-season rally sit at 3rd in the Pacific with a 28-16-3-3 record. After that, the Rampage will close out the Road Trip with two weeknight tilts against the 5th-in-the-Pacific Colorado Eagles on Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, Friday Night will be the Rampage’s annual Military Appreciation Night, held traditionally at the end of the month-long absence.