Brendan Ranford’s patented forehand-backhand move dooms Stars in a shootout

Seven of the last ten meetings between San Antonio and Texas had been decided by one goal going into Monday’s game. Both teams made it eight of the last eleven as former Star Brendan Ranford scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Rampage the 2-1 victory.

A quick note about the first period: AHL Live had technical difficulties for the first 15 minutes of the first period. From the play-by-play gathered on Texas’ Twitter feed, Justin Peters sounded like the first period hero.

His strength of play was confirmed once the video feed returned. San Antonio dominated possession, outshooting Texas 11 to 4 through the first 20 minutes.

In yet another vulgur display of gooning in contrast to the hit up high on Gemel Smith by Iowa’s Nick Seeler, Sergei Boikov boarded Jason Dickinson from behind in one of the most blatant boarding calls I’ve seen in years.

Texas capitalized on Boikov’s game misconduct. Julius Honka unleashed a blistering slapper from the point that Mark McNeil deflected past Spencer Martin.

Texas almost scored in a bizarre rush up ice with five minutes to go in the second. Austin Fyten had a partial 3 on 1 but opted to deke Martin on his own. It failed but neither McMurtry nor Mangene could clean up on the rebound despite both managing to grab the puck.

The mad scramble in front of the cobalt ice resulted in plenty of facewashing and potty mouthed exchanges triggering 4 on 4 play.

The 4 on 4 resulted in a great opportunity for Mark McNeil who had a partial breakaway he couldn’t turn into gold.

In the third period San Antonio nearly got on board when a Rampage forward had a full breakaway attempt. Peters stretched his right pad to close the only bit of daylight near his right skate the puck was making its trajectory toward.

Penalty trouble was the theme of the remaining last half of the final frame. First Chris Bigras interfered with Matej Stransky, but Stransky, in an attempt to avoid the illegal check, got his stick up high on Bigras so the refs called minors on both.

San Antonio pressured in response, drawing a holding call on Andrew Bodnarchuk despite replays clearly showing Bodnarchuk merely pushing the Rampage player down.

The Texas penalty kill could never be trusted to hold the post, and as has been the case all season, Rocco Grimaldi tallied the tying goal on the Rampage power play with a wrister from the left circle.

In overtime Denis Gurianov had the shot on a two on one but whiffed completely. Texas followed that shift up with a bizarre series of missed passes between Dickinson, Nick Ebert, and McNeil. Honka had a beauty of a shift, getting everyone to bite on his stick feints, but nothing came of it.

Texas dominated the extra frame, but after some more questionable officiating, the shootout commenced.

Gurianov was the first up, firing a chip shot right into Martin’s chest. Colin Smith was the next shooter, pulling the puck too high on Peters. Ethan Werek stretched out the Rampage netminder but couldn’t lift the puck high enough. Brendan Ranford went backhand topshelf against his former team for the only tally in the shootout.

McNeil had a shot to tie it, but was the victim of a successful Hasek-esque dive by Martin to intercept the attempt, giving San Antonio the win.

Texas returns to action Wednesday against the Chicago Wolves at 7.

Texas Stars Line Up

Denis Gurianov – Jason Dickinson – Mark McNeil

Brandon DeFazio – Travis Morin – Matej Stransky

Austin Fyten – Mike McMurtry – Matt Mangene

Coly Ully – Justin Dowling – Ethan Werek

Dillon Heatherington – Julius Honka

Andrew Bodnarchuk – Nick Ebert

Justin Hache – Darren Dietz

Justin Peters

Scratches: Herbert, Bystrom, Stevenson, Smith

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