Hewerton’s Seven Points Versus Tropics Pace Seventh Straight Rampage Win

by Sydney Nusinov

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA, (December 31, 2016) - Hewerton Moreira scored four goals and three assists and the Cedar Rapids Rampage scored the game’s final nine goals to rout the Florida Tropics 13-2 at the US Cellular Center on Saturday afternoon. Jonatan Santos added two goals and two assists and goalkeeper Brett Petricek was credited with 15 saves as the Rampage ran their winning streak to seven.

The Rampage had let large leads deteriorate in the second halves of their last two wins, but they played their most complete 60 minutes of the season and shut out the Tropics over the game’s final 40:01. Cedar Rapids has officially reached the midpoint of their schedule and will head into 2017 with an 8-2 record and a seven-game winning streak.

Santos got the Rampage on the board just 30 seconds into the game on a long shot that ticked in off the post. Over 10 minutes elapsed before Derek Huffman redirected a Sam Guernsey shot to give the Rampage a 2-0 lead, and Anthony Arico scored 18 seconds later to cut it to 2-1. Florida had seemingly weathered an early barrage and came close to tying the game, but Petricek stymied them repeatedly.

Santos and Gordy Gurson scored in the opening minutes of the second quarter, but Marco Rodriguez scored 17 seconds after Gurson’s goal to cut the lead to 4-2. The Tropics again had their chances but couldn’t cash in on their opportunities. Tony Walls scored a transition goal and Hewerton scored a power play goal less than 90 seconds later to extend the lead to 6-2.

Florida had a two-man advantage for 1:46 spread over the end of the second and beginning of the third quarters, but could not score. The Rampage turned up the intensity in the second half and forced countless turnovers with a smothering high pressure defense. Angel Curiel, who was buzzing all over the field, wrestled away several loose balls and scored two second half goals by pure hustle.

Gurson, who finished with two goals and an assist, extended his point-scoring streak to 26 games. Cedar Rapids, who had struggled on the power play this year, was successful today on three of five attempts. The Rampage also set a franchise record with 13 goals, surpassing the 12 they scored against Harrisburg on January 15.

With the win, and the Chicago Mustangs 9-4 loss at Milwaukee, the Rampage increased their Central Division lead to two games. The Mustangs, who handed Cedar Rapids their only two losses of the season, lost for the third time in four games.

The next Rampage game is January 6, a big home rematch with the Mustangs. Tickets are on sale starting at just $9 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or the U.S. Cellular Center box office.