Trailing by two not even 10 minutes into the game and coming off a road trip in which they picked up one out of a possible six points, the Rampage were staring at another tough situation.
Instead of packing it in, they fought back and took it to the Grand Rapids Griffins with a gutty effort that found them come back with three unanswered to earn a 3-2 victory.
For head coach Chuck Weber, it was nice to see his team respond to the pressure as his squad challenged themselves to be better prior to the game.
"We've been talking about work ethic all week. We made some tweaks to some system stuff," said Weber following the game. "We just talked about winning more races to pucks in our zone, the neutral zone and the offensive zone. We have to be a team that outworks other teams and I think the guys showed that tonight."
Looking for a response from his team, and his veterans especially, everyone seemed to step up their games. All four lines attacked the Griffins after getting down by two and Jon Rheault netted two (one in the first and a shorthanded beauty in the second) to tie it at two before Eric Selleck netted the game-winner with less than four minutes to play in the game, giving the home fans something to cheer about.
"Our mindset was no matter what happened to stick to the course. It's a long 60 minute game so we knew if we get down two, we can still battle back," said Selleck. "We had some good efforts from a lot of guys...We just took it to them."
"I think that's exactly what we needed," echoed Rheault to Selleck's comments. "Obviously we were all pretty upset with the way we played last weekend and to show that we could come back against a team like that, down 2-0, I think that's a great confidence boost for us and something to build off of in the next couple of games here."
While Weber was happy with his squad's performance, he was impressed with the way his starting netminder kept his composure after giving up two early goals. Jacob Markstrom picked up his second win of the season by stopping 24 shots along the way.
"I was really happy for Marky tonight. He really struggled in Chicago and it was a really gutty bounceback effort," said Weber. "(I) couldn't blame him on the two goals early, and I was really proud of the way he responded tonight. I thought he showed a lot of maturity in his game and I thought he stuck to it. He could have had a blow up or whatever thinking it was bad luck but I thought he showed a lot of maturity in his game tonight and battled through it."
The Rampage look to build on their momentum from the game when they take on Oklahoma City on Sunday.
"Obviously we lost our last four (heading into the game)," said Selleck. "We need to get the points. We got off to a bad start last year and we couldn't do it again. This was a huge win to get us back on track."
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