The Rampage dominated the New Mexico Renegades in the first game of the series with Assistant Captain Shane Khalaf leading the way. Khalaf opened and closed the scoring for the day as well as gaining an assist between the tallys in the 6-3 Rampage victory.
The Tulsa team came out strong in the first, keeping the puck in the Renegades end much of the period. That effort paid off midway through the first as the Rampage capitalized on a slashing penalty to New Mexico assistant captain Garrett Phillips. Tulsa native Shane Khalaf nabbed the power play goal and followed four minutes later by assisting on the teams first even strength goal. That goal scored by one of the team’s new additions, James Ryerse, who was signed by the team on Wednesday.
Perhaps believing the victory was already in hand, the Rampage came out slow in the second and the visitors wasted no time evening up the score. In the first half of the second frame, the Renegades netted two even strength goals that sent Rampage Coach Chad MacLeod into a fury. Quick to heed the coach’s instruction were the two newest members of the team. Sean Heidrick (who was traded to Tulsa on Thursday) fed the puck to Antonio Baccari (who signed with the Rampage on Thursday) for a power play goal to bring Tulsa back into the lead. Defenseman Matt Boente quickly followed with an even strength tally, but it was the final goal of the period that brought the crowd to it’s feet. With only three seconds left, Boente lead a shorthanded rush, feeding the puck to Bobby Watson who made a gorgeous pass to Jeff Lundberg who netted the crowd pleasing short handed goal.
Early in the third, New Mexico forward Evan Johnston made an attempt to change the momentum but it was all Tulsa the rest of the way. The Rampage continued to pepper the opposing goaltender allowing Shane Khalaf to end the game with an even strength goal for the 6-3 win. Rampage goaltender Chris Dylewski faced 23 shots in the victory.