The beloved Rampage wrapped up the first real homestand of the season this weekend. Coming in they had gone 2-2-1 and hadn’t won back to back games since before Thanksgiving. Three wins later they’ve put a little distance on the 5th place team in the Pacific and can look proudly at a 9-4-1 home record so far.
SA 4 – CLE 2
Despite spending 8 minutes on the PK in the 1st period an early goal from AJ Greer backed up by another from Dom Toninato gave the Rampage the momentum they needed and Ville Husso shut the Monsters down for his first win in 6 weeks.
Goals: Greer, Toninato, Butler, Blais
PP 1/5, PK 5/5
SA 2 – RFD 1 (SO)
This was a weird game, the Rampage had 4 shots in the 1st, 21 in the 2nd and 10 in the 3rd/OT. David Warsofsky won the shootout with the only goal given up by either goalie.
PP 0/4, PK 6/6
SA 4 – RFD 1
This game, especially the 3rd period was an instant classic. Rocco iced the game late with an insurance goal and an ENG 2 minutes apart. The real fun was the shot suppression over the IceHogs who lead the AHL in shots per game. Fun fact: Former Rampage/Avalanche winger Andreas Martinsen scored both goals for RFD this weekend and there were no assists on either.
Goals: Agozzino, Butler, Grimaldi (2)
PP 1/1, PK 4/4
Goals for: 9
Shots for: 109
Goals against: 4
Shots against: 94
Shot share: 53.7%
The Rampage are now really shooting the puck a lot. Not long ago they were in the bottom third of the league for shot production and now they’re up to 5th at almost 32 per game. That’s a huge change. Last week we saw a shooting percentage that was pretty grim around 6% but that’s now edging closer to their season Sh% of 10.2%. After another solid shot share weekend the season mark is up to 52.3%. Given that they’ve had to kill 19 more penalties than they’ve had power plays, this is pretty impressive. Speaking of penalties, I think the staff have given up trying to get the guys to stay out of the box and are just dealing with it. Ten power plays vs fifteen kills this weekend and other than the 6 PK game vs Rockford it didn’t hurt them noticeably.
The Blues are having some major injury woes right now and that’s a driving force behind this week’s changes.
– Sam Blais was recalled to STL after Thursday’s game
– Tage Thompson was recalled earlier this week and is now on a line with… Sam Blais
– Klim Kostin has left the team to play for Russia in the upcoming World Junior Championships in Buffalo. The finals are in the first week of January and he won’t be back until then at the earliest.
– To offset this the Rampage have called up Thomas Frazee from Norfolk and Michael Joly from the Eagles.
On the injury side, Reid Petryk has UBI after a vicious hit in the Monsters game. J-C Beaudin has a broken finger but could play this weekend. Joe Colborne is still MIA. As of right now the Rampage have either 13 or 14 forwards (depending on Beaudin) and 7 Ds for the upcoming road trip.
The Rampage head to Winnipeg to face the Mooses b2b on Thursday/Friday before going on Christmas break. Manitoba is the best team in the AHL right now and have scored points in 14 straight games. They have the 2nd best PK, 3rd best PP and lead the league with 3.9 goals per game. Their one weakness is shots against, 29th in the league, but when you’re winning every game by an average of 1.76 goals you’ll have that. I haven’t seen them play this year but if they’re anything like the Jets the strategy is to get a lead early and cruise. The one shot the Rampage have is to score early. Good luck, gents.
Thursday 8pm ET at Manitoba
Friday 8pm ET at Manitoba
Special thanks to the San Antonio Rampage for the cover photo and to the AHL for all statistics