The trip to the Western States Hockey League Showcase got off to a rough start. Issues with the generator on the bus resulted in a 20 hour trip with no heat, no air, no interior lights, no television, etc. but the boys made the best of it and somehow came out smiling and ready to play the first game of the tournament. It was an exciting one for the families and fans of the Rampage who watched the team dominate the Bakersfield Junior Condors throughout most of the game.
Just five minutes into the first half Assistant Captain Nick DiRado broke out to score an unassisted goal to put the Rampage up by one. Moments later the fans were thrilled with what appeared to be a second goal for the Tulsa team but to their dismay, that "goal" was ruled out due to it being kicked into the net. The game continued with both teams re-energized and playing very physically. With Antonio Baccari sitting in the box for Tulsa, the focus switched to playing more defensively during the penalty kill but a Bakersfield turnover resulted in a breakout by Bobby Watson. He fed the puck to Grady Graham who scored the ever popular shorthanded goal putting Tulsa up by two and the end of the half.
Graham and Watson combined early in the second half to nab an even strength goal that seemed to deflate the Junior Condors. Their depression was short lived as a Rampage penalty gave a power play opportunity in which former Rampage forward Jeff Lundberg was able to score for the Condors. Just minutes later Watson and Graham combined again to feed the puck to Shane Khalaf who added another even strength tally for Tulsa. The Condors nabbed a second power play goal and followed it with an even strength goal to bring their hopes within one but it was to no avail. Just 11 seconds into a Rampage power play, Graham and Watson fed Khalaf again who added to the Tulsa side of the scoreboard. The Condors coach was less than pleased and in expressing his discontent, was assessed a bench minor that would give Tulsa one more opportunity. Assistant Captain, Cory Reynolds capitalized on that opportunity by netting a power play goal to finalize the 6-3 Rampage victory.
Goaltender Hayden Capuozzo was impressive, yet again. This game earning a 91.7% save percentage by stopping 30 of the 33 shots he faced in the game.