Rampage Face Long Playoff Odds After Second Straight Blowout Loss in Milwaukee

by Sydney Nusinov

MILWAUKEE, WI (February 12, 2017) – Sunday’s final meeting between the Cedar Rapids Rampage and the Milwaukee Wave wasn’t strictly winner-take-all, but after an 8-2 loss at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, the Rampage’s playoff hopes are on life support.

The Wave clinched the season series between the teams by virtue of a 31-17 goal differential after the teams split their four games. The Wave won the final two contests, both in Milwaukee by a combined 22-5, including their 14-3 win on January 29.

It was the fourth loss in seven games for the Rampage (11-6), while the Wave (12-6) have now won eight of their last nine. The Rampage now need to win their final three games and hope Milwaukee loses at least one of their last two, which are both at home where the Wave are 7-1.

The Rampage got off to a tentative start and allowed an early soft goal to Ian Bennett and then survived a barrage of near misses before goalkeeper Brett Petricek got his feet under him. It looked like Cedar Rapids would go into the second quarter trailing by only a goal, but Max Ferdinand’s long zig-zag run ended up with him chipping Petricek to make it 2-0 with less than half a second left in the quarter.

An unmarked Andre Hayne put Milwaukee up 3-0 halfway through the second quarter and Robert Renaud’s one-timer from Hans Denissen made it a 4-0 game with 1:33 left in the half.

The teams traded penalty kick goals in the third quarter with Hewerton Moreira chiseling into a 5-0 deficit and breaking the shutout at 9:37 of the third quarter. Tony Aguilar cut the deficit to 5-2 at 1:18 of the fourth quarter and the Rampage were awarded a power play shortly after that, but the rally fizzled out.

The few offensive chances the Rampage were able to generate were snuffed out by goalkeeper Josh Lemos, who was named Player of the Game for the second straight time in the series. Lemos most notably robbed shots by Gordy Gurson and Sam Guernsey for two of the 15 saves for which he was credited.

Bennett scored the knockout punch at 10:03 of the fourth quarter, and then added an empty net goal to pad the lead. With his seventh hat trick of the year Bennett now has 49 goals on the season.