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Rampage Rewind: Things have gotten ugly

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December 28, 2015

 

Rampage Rewind: Weeks 10-11 —Dec. 11 – Dec. 27, 2015

After a quick BSN vacation, we come back to find the Rampage have continued to struggle. The team is suffering from a devastating 8-game losing streak at home and has won only three of the team’s last 11 games. This downturn has left San Antonio a distant third in the Pacific Division and ninth in the Western Conference. While the playoffs are still within reach, the team must start winning now, or the post-season will surely slip away.

The Week in Review

Games

The nightmare started with a 3-2 loss at home against Rampage nemesis, Texas Stars. San Antonio goaltender Calvin Pickard made 33 saves, but it wasn’t enough in a back-and-forth game that was extremely even throughout the 60 minutes. Once again, the Rampage scored first (Chris Bigras from Mikko Rantanen and Cody Corbett at 3:58 in the first period), but the team let the lead slip just four minutes later and never regained it. The Stars got the go-ahead goal midway through the second. Corbett added to his point totals for the night with a power play goal at 17:38 (from Bigras and Sam Henley), sending the teams tied into the third. However, it was Texas that would come out with the win after Julius Honka netted one in the third.

Three days later, San Antonio headed into Manitoba and suffered an absolute barn burner at the hands of the Moose. Manitoba opened up the scoring just four minutes into the opening frame, but the Rampage fired back in the closing minute as Rantanen scored his ninth goal of the season on a beautiful one-man effort. Sadly, it was the last time the lamp would light for San Antonio, while Manitoba would celebrate four more times throughout the second and third periods, giving them a 5-1 win.

The following night, the teams faced off again, and while the score reflected a much closer game, the Rampage fell victim to a pattern of behavior that has cost them many points this season: letting a lead slip away. After scoring the first two goals of the game (Rantanen in the first period and Nikita Zadorov in the second), San Antonio gave up three unanswered goals by Manitoba. The final score: 3-2 Moose.

On December 20th, the Rampage finally caught and break and beat out the Iowa Wild to the tune of 3-2 with Roman Will manning the net. Colin Smith started the scoring for San Antonio halfway through the first period. Iowa would get the next two goals, but the Rampage followed up with two of its own (Reid Petryk at 10:08 of the second and Zadorov at 13:32 in the third).

Another night in Iowa and another W for the record books, this time with Pickard back in the crease. This was a tighter game with only three pucks finding the back of the net. The Wild struck first with only six seconds left in the opening period. Dennis Everberg nothced his sixth of the season for the Rampage to tie it up just 4:34 into the second, and Smith sealed the deal with a short-handed beaut just two minutes into the third.

The winning would continue on Boxing Day as the team moved on to Texas. Unlike the last tilt in Iowa, this game was filled with goals. Two for San Antonio in the first (Zadorov, Everberg), followed by two for Texas in the second. The Rampage regained the lead off the stick of Joey Hishon at the 16:05 mark of the second, but the Stars came back just 40 seconds into the third to tie it. Again the Rampage answered back (Smith), the effort mirrored by the Stars two minutes later. Finally, Hishon netted his second of the night with a power play goal in the final seconds of the regulation.

Another back-to-back saw the team fall short of an impressive comeback bid against the Stars. Texas scored three goals, two in the first and one in the second, before the Rampage pushed back. Everberg scored his eight of the season in the second period, while Hishon struck 25 seconds into the third for his ninth goal this year. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Stars tightened up play and denied San Antonio its Cinderella story.

 

Highlights

Rampage vs. Texas Stars, Dec 13 (L, 2-3)
Rampage at Manitoba Moose, Dec. 16 (L, 1-5)
Rampage at Manitoba Moose, Dec. 17 (L, 2-3)
Rampage at Iowa Wild, Dec. 20 (W, 3-2)
Rampage at Iowa Wild, Dec. 21 (W, 2-1)
Rampage at Texas Stars, Dec. 26 (W, 5-4)
Rampage vs. Texas Stars, Dec. 27 (L, 2-3)

Plays of the Week

“The future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades.”

Roster Transactions

Nick Drazenovic (C) was signed to a PTO on December 14th. Drazenovic is an AHL stalwart, having logged 469 games in the league. The 6-foot, 205-lb Canadian was drafted 171st overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He has also been part of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins organizations. He has one assist in three games with the Rampage thus far.

Gabriel Beaupre racked up the frequent flyer miles over the past two weeks as he was brought to the Rampage on December 15th, sent back to the Fort Wayne Komets on December 19th, and returned to the Rampage on December 27th.

Mikko Rantanen was given permission to join his national team, representing Finland in the 2016 World Junior Championships. He has one short-handed goal in two games.

Calvin Pickard was reassigned to the Colorado Avalanche as Colorado’s back up goaltender Reto Berra was injured in a pre-game soccer scrum on December 21st. As a result, Spencer Martin was recalled to the Rampage to fill in while Pickard is in Denver.

Right wing Alex Belzile was recalled from Fort Wayne on December 27th. Belzile played 14 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2012-2013, during which time he recorded three goals and five assists. He has a total of 135 games played in the ECHL (46g, 79a) and is playing at just over a point-per-game pace this season with the Komets (13 games, 4g, 10a).

The Week Ahead

Games

The Rampage face the Texas Stars yet again tomorrow night (December 29th, 7:00 pm CST) in Texas. The clubs have split the season series so far with each team registering four wins and four losses. As ever, this should be an entertaining game. The Stars will be without leading goal scorer Devin Shore as he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.

Then the team hosts the San Diego Gulls on New Years Day (January 1st, 7:30 pm CST). This is a big game as the Gulls currently sit ahead of the Rampage in the standings. The Gulls have won six of their last ten games.

Storylines

Injury Bug

The Rampage have been sacked with injuries lately: Matt Clark, Marc-Andre Cliche, Maxime Noreau, and Andrew Agozzino are all out with various ailments, and Duncan Siemens has just returned to the line up.

Mikko the Man

Mikko Rantanen continues to show why he was selected in the first round of the NHL draft this past June. He leads the team in points (10g, 16a) despite playing in only 22 games. He is a +17, has 46 shots on goal, and is rocking a 21.7% shooting percentage. Keep an eye on him in the WJCs as he is playing against guys his own age after years of facing off against men many years older. Check out what might be the hardest fought empty-net goal you will ever see (Finland vs. Belarus, Dec. 26th; Finland won 6-0).

 

Standings

Rampage Standings Weeks 10-11

Player Stats

Rampage Player Stats Weeks 10-11

More from sarampage.com

Rampage Holiday Traditions
Rampage Seal Second Straight Win Over Wild
Rampage Sign Nick Drazenovic to a PTO
Rampage Tame Wild 3-2
Rampage Reassign Gabriel Beaupre to Fort Wayne
Rampage Tripped Up By Moose 3-2
Rampage Fall to Manitoba 5-1
Rampage Recall Gabriel Beaupre
San Antonio Rampage Weekly Update

sarampage.com video

Practice Recap 12/14/15

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