Rampage Show Late Life in 11-7 Opening Loss in Milwaukee

by Sydney Nusinov

MILWAUKEE, WI - The Cedar Rapids Rampage got a rude awakening in their first game of the 2017/18 season.  Their game in Milwaukee looked a lot like what happened the last two times the Rampage came to town, but this time Cedar Rapids showed some late fight before ultimately falling, 11-7, before 5,019 at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

Things got off to a bumpy start as Rampage goalkeeper Brett Petricek was dispossessed of the ball and Robert Renaud scored an unassisted goal just 1:24 into the game. The Rampage weathered the next few minutes and then tied the game on a Derek Huffman goal at 7:00. Taylor Bond was whistled for tripping and Ian Bennett scored his first of five goals, on a perfect power play assist by Max Ferdinand.

Drew Ruggles scored on a turnover just over a minute later, but a minute later Joshio Sandoval was credited with a goal when his shot from a bad angle was inadvertently kicked into the goal by former Rampage Jonatan Santos.

Bennett scored to start the second quarter and Mohamed Kenawy scored his first professional goal to cut the deficit to 4-3. Osvaldo Rojas was given a blue card for tripping Marcio Leite and Daniel Mattos scored on the ensuing power play. Bennett scored again to close out the scoring in the first half and Milwaukee was off to the races, leading 6-3 at halftime.

The third quarter was all Milwaukee as goals by Renaud, Bennett, and Ricardo Sobreira spun the lead to 9-3. Bennett got his fifth at 5:12 of the fourth quarter to make it 10-3, and it would have been easy for Cedar Rapids to hang their heads and concede another embarrassing defeat in the building where they lost their last two visits by a combined 22-5.

Instead a Huffman restart goal ignited a feisty comeback.  The Rampage scored three more times with goals by Tony Aguilar, Bond, and Huffman (his third of the game), cutting the deficit to 10-7, before Sobreira closed out the scoring for Milwaukee.

“I was impressed in the fourth quarter how we didn’t give up,” said new Rampage Head Coach Jonathan Greenfield. “We’re a young team and we made some mental errors.  The Wave are experienced and they play like an experienced team.”

The Rampage will have less than a week to prepare for their next two games, which are back-to-back in Baltimore, and Lakeland, Florida on Friday and Saturday. “We need to improve our continuity,” said Greenfield. “We need to tighten some things up on restarts, limit our mistakes and improve our fitness.”

The team will open its home season in two weeks when they host the Harrisburg Heat on November 18. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster or at the US Cellular Center box office.