The first two periods of Saturday’s game between the New Mexico Renegades and the Tulsa Rampage may have left the fans wondering if either team would win. Both were sluggish and unsuccessful on every scoring chance in those first two frames. Two frustrated coaches walked into their separate locker rooms and lit a fire that ramped up the excitement in the third.
Elated Renegades fans watched their hometown team begin the period with two even strength goals less than 30 seconds apart. As Rampage goaltender Chris Dylewski gathered his composure, Coach MacLeod rallied the troops. Midway through the period, defenseman Matt Boente cut the deficit in half with a power play goal assisted by Bobby Watson and Elliott Langford. As the clock ran down, New Mexico fans were exuberant until Assistant Captain Shane Khalaf tied the game with only three minutes left. That goal seemed to motivate both teams creating a spark of intensity for the remainder of regulation but with both goaltenders playing at their peak, the tie remained.
As the overtime began, players from both teams worked hard, but none as hard Tulsa’s James Ryerse. As he spearheaded an offensive rush, he was met with hard hits from the Renegades. Breaking free of the first hit, he was faced with yet another that seemed to take him out of the play but he was determined to end the sudden death frame for the Rampage. With Renegades all around, he was able to dish a pass to Bobby Watson who buried the puck for the Rampage 4-3 overtime win.