Rampage Goalie Roman Will has assumed the starting role in Calvin Pickard's absence.

After going 4-6-1 on their annual rodeo road trip, the Rampage returned to the AT&T Center this weekend, only to be outscored 8-1 over two games on Friday and Sunday.

In the first game back on Friday, the Rampage failed to score, losing 3-0 against the Manitoba Moose. The loss came in front of a crowd of 10,245. Veterans were honored, new recruits took their Air Force oaths and the Rampage donned camouflage sweaters for Military Appreciation Night.

Rampage defenseman Nikita Zadorov

Rampage defenseman Nikita Zadorov

The first period was laced with heavy hitting and physical play in both ends. The first goal was scored by Manitoba right wing Austen Brassard with just under 4:30 left in the period. Assists were awarded to center Patrice Cormier and defenseman Jan Kostalek.

“I thought they were a step ahead of us,” Head Coach Dean Chynoweth stated after the game. “We turned the pucks over too many times.”

On a power play in the second period, right wing Scott Kosmachuk scored his thirteenth goal of the season, elevating Manitoba to a 2-0 lead over San Antonio. The assists were credited to defenseman Brenden Kichton and center Nic Petan.

“I thought we were slow moving the puck, our execution wasn’t good and we’re not spending enough time the offensive zone to generate chances,” said Chynoweth. “We were trying to play too much one-on-one instead of pushing the puck up the rink.”

The third period went scoreless until Manitoba hit an empty net with about two minutes left in the game. The Moose won 3-0 and now lead the season series 3-0 with one more game scheduled for April 15.

Moose goalie Connor Hellebuyck sports a .921 SV% and 2.58 GAA in 58 games this season.

Moose goalie Connor Hellebuyck sports a .921 SV% and 2.58 GAA in 58 games this season.

Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck – who played a season of junior hockey for the Jackalopes in Odessa, Texas – recorded a 26-save shutout for the Moose.

On Sunday, the Rampage surrendered a goal to the Ontario Reign 10 seconds into the game. Starting goaltender Roman Will surrendered three goals on six shots and was replaced by Reto Berra.

Berra gave up two goals on 23 shots for a .913 save percentage. Defenseman Cody Corbett scored the lone goal of the weekend for San Antonio at 16:37 of the third period. Assists came from wingers Reid Petryk and Daniel Everberg.

Rampage winger Daniel Maggio earned 27 penalty minutes, an ejection and a verbal shellacking from Ontario’s coach when Maggio attacked defenseman Kurtis MacDermid with less than five minutes remaining in the game.

On Tuesday, the American Hockey League announced Maggio would be suspended for three games for the violent act.

Maggio, a known pugilist, leads the Rampage with 107 penalty minutes in 32 games. He has recorded nine fights this season – rather tame compared to the 23 scraps in which he participated in 48 games last season.

Chynoweth was more impressed with his team’s performance on Sunday, although the score was even more lopsided than in Friday’s game.

“I thought our effort was better; we did a lot of things better…the bench was better,” said Chynoweth of Sunday’s game. “The result is what it is.”

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