SAN ANTONIO – The good news: four games into the regular season, the San Antonio Rampage are still undefeated in regulation.
The bad news: the team's three-game winning streak came to an end Saturday night.
In front of a packed AT&T Center with the Stanley Cup in the venue for St. Louis Blues Night, the Rampage came up short in their first shootout of the season, 2-1 to the Chicago Wolves.
Goaltender Adam Wilcox made his Rampage debut and performed admirably, stopping 31 of the 32 shots he faced and pitching a shutout through two periods. The Wolves still managed to break the ice six minutes into the third period thanks to a turnover in the San Antonio zone. Off of a weird carom in front of the net, Lucas Elvenes had a clean look and buried a wrister glove side to put Chicago up 1-0.
Four minutes later, the Rampage found the equalizer. Defenseman Jake Walman threw the puck on goal and forward Nick Lappin put home the rebound for his first goal of the season. Left winger Nathan Walker was credited with an assist on the goal, extending his point streak to four straight games, keeping him in a tie for the AHL lead with six total points.
With the score tied at 1 at the end of regulation and overtime, the game progressed to a shootout. Gage Quinney drew first blood for Chicago, finishing with a nifty backhand that proved to be the game winner. All three Rampage attempts were stopped by Wolves goaltender Garret Sparks, who ended the night with 32 saves.
"I was excited to get my first start down here," Wilcox said. "I've never played a game in the Western Conference, so that was fun for me. It's a little disappointing get one point instead of two, but overall I thought it was a good game."
"Adam had a really good game," head coach Drew Bannister said. "He's been off for a long time. He played one period with St. Louis in an exhibition game, so there might have been a little bit of nerves, but he saw the puck well. He was moving well and competed hard in the net. I thought he was really good for us."
The Rampage will now hit the road for the first time this season. The first game of their six-game road trip is against the Tucson Roadrunners Friday at 9:05 p.m. KSAT12 Sports will have more on the Stanley Cup's appearance in San Antonio Sunday night on Instant Replay at 11 p.m.