Rampage Prove Mettle in 5-3 Win Over Baltimore

by Sydney Nusinov

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA, (January 20, 2016) - If there were any lingering doubts about the potential of the Cedar Rapids Rampage to compete for a playoff spot and more this season, they were put to rest with the Rampage’s 5-3 win over the defending Newman Cup champion Baltimore Blast Friday night at the US Cellular Center.

The Rampage ended a two-game losing streak and improved to 9-4 to stay atop the Central Division. Baltimore, who went 33-6 the last two regular seasons, fell to 8-4, but maintain a healthy lead in the Eastern Division.

The Rampage got some early luck when Hewerton Moreira’s corner kick deflected off a Baltimore defender past goalkeeper William Vanzela. Forty three seconds later Patrick Kelly took a long Brett Petricek pass and made some magic on the boards and beat Vanzela to his left side to make it 2-0.

In the second quarter Gordy Gurson scored to extend the lead to 3-0 and to run his point-scoring streak to 29 straight games. The Rampage threatened to open the game up, but couldn’t convert several chances, leaving the door open for a Baltimore rally.

Tony Donatelli’s goal with 32 seconds left in the half got Baltimore back in the game and his early third quarter goal cut the lead to 3-2. Donateli’s second goal set off a tense period of fouls, penalties, and near misses, but no goals for the next 23:14.

Jonathan Greenfield gave the Rampage some relief and breathing room with his power play goal at 10:27 of the fourth quarter. Derek Huffman got the party started by beating Vanzela to a loose ball along the boards and scoring into the empty net 29 seconds after Greenfield’s goal. The Blast scored with two seconds left to dirty Petricek’s goalie line, but the late goal could not diminish Petricek’s sterling night.

The Rampage have little time to enjoy their victory because the Syracuse Silver Knights come to the US Cellular Center for Saturday’s game. Every game is meaningful in the tightly bunched Central standings.