The team pulled out a couple of wins this week, but the losses evened things out and left the team in the same spot it was last week: sixth in the division with a whole lot of ground to make up.
The Weeks in Review
The week started off well with a win against the Bakersfield Condors. It was a fairly one-sided affair with the Rampage putting 27 shots on net while Roman Will faced only 17. Chris Bigras netted his fifth goal of the season, Borna Rendulic got his 8th, and Joey Hishon scored his 10th.
A surging comeback was foiled against the San Jose Barracuda as the Barracuda picked up a 6-4 win on Jan. 9th. The Rampage scored early in the first (Mat Clark), but former Lake Erie Monster Bryan Lerg tied it up just three minutes later. San Jose then went on to score three unanswered goals, the last of which came just 1:53 into the second. Sam Henley scored his second of the season to bring the Rampage within two, but San Jose answered back, again three minutes later. Another goal for San Antonio (Nikita Zadorov) came under a minute into the third, pulling the team within striking distance once again. Unfortunately, San Jose got another one, this time after four minutes. Bigras dropped the lead back to two late in the third, but it was not enough to send the game to overtime.
Spencer Martin earned a shut out on Jan. 10th as San Antonio got some revenge on the Barracuda. The game went scoreless through regulation with Martin stopping all 26 shots sent his way. Reid Petryk was the hero in overtime with his sixth of the year.
The boys headed into Stockton to face the last place Heat. The Heat came out strong, scoring two goals in the middle of the first frame. Petryk split the lead in half with a short-handed goal off a pass from Henley. Stockton again scored a pair in the second, going up 4-1 on the rampage by the midway mark of the game. Dennis Everberg notched his tenth of the year to close out the scoring in the middle period. Another set of two goals from Stockton gave them a solid 6-2 routing of the Rampage.
Defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Chris Bigras were recalled to the Colorado Avalanche. Both players had a good showing with Bigras holding his own in his first career NHL game.
Defenseman Brandon Gormley was assigned to the Rampage after clearing waivers from Colorado. Gormley appeared in 26 games for the Avalanche after being acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes in an off-season trade that saw Stefan Elliott go the other way. He had one assist during his time in Colorado.
Forward Mikko Rantanen returned from Finland after having won gold in the World Junior Championships. He is currently two points behind Colin Smith for leading Rampage scorer.
The Week Ahead
San Antonio kicks off a season-high nine-game home stand tonight (Jan. 15, 7:30 pm CST) against the Milwaukee Admirals. The Admirals are coming off a four-game losing streak, followed by a week of downtime. The team lost to the Iowa Wild last Friday night to the tune of 4-1. Milwaukee currently sits in fourth place in the Central Division. The two teams face off again on Saturday (Jan. 16, 7:00 pm CST). *Breaking news: Stefan Elliott was traded to the Nashville Predators and will be suiting up for the Admirals this weekend. Expect a strong showing from the former Avalanche defenseman.
The team then welcomes the San Diego Gulls for a mid-week showdown (Tues., Jan. 19, 7:00 pm). The Gulls are now fourth in the Pacific and have gone 5-4-1-0 in the team’s last ten games.
Goaltender Spencer Martin was outstanding in his first AHL shut out. He saw the puck well and made it look easy. Marc-Andre Cliche returned to the line up on January 8th.
Just when the Rampage needs support the most, the Avalanche pull two of the team’s best defenseman in Chris Bigras and Nikita Zadorov. Avalanche Head Coach Patrick Roy indicated that he is considering recalling Mikko Rantanen as well. What’s stopping him? Rantanen is recently reported as having an upper body injury. Just when the team gets back the sorely missed Fin, it is looking at losing him again, one way or another. The team was without the services of Joey Hishon and Borna Rendulic for parts of last week due to injuries, but both are back in the line up.
We’ll let Rampage play-by-play announcer Dan Weiss take this one:
Scoring no doubt a concern. Rampage scored 67 goals first 20 games, have just 43 in the last 18.