(Photo Credit: Darren Abate)
The San Antonio Rampage officially began a new era of hockey in South Texas on October 6 when they took the ice as the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues.
It was a week of highs and lows for the Silver and Black that saw issues on both sides of the ice. In case you missed it, I’ll be recapping the week that was for the Rampage every Sunday with the latest new feature to Blues Rants known as the “Rampage Rants”.
So, let’s dive in, shall we?
Saturday, October 6: Rampage open season with a shutout of Griffins
A 28 save night from Ville Husso lifted the San Antonio Rampage to a 4-0 season opening night victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins. Joey LaLeggia, Adam Musil, and Ryan Olsen all had goals in the game for the Rampage, who snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Griffins with the win.
“I think it was a strong performance from us,” Rampage head coach Drew Bannister said. “I liked our third, we limited their chances and were able to capitalize on some chances there. Overall, I’m happy with how we responded in the second period.”
Husso looked to be in midseason form in the season opener, stopping all 28 shots he faced. He earned the sixth shutout of his career and became the only goaltender in the first full two days of the season to post a shutout.
“It was a good game and we all played a solid game,” Husso said. “It made it really easy to be in the net.”
Tuesday, October 9: Rampage suffer a defensive setback in first loss of the season
The Rampage suffered their first loss of the 2018-19 season on Tuesday night, falling 4-3 to the Milwaukee Admirals. The game featured several setbacks on the defensive side of the puck.
Milwaukee jumped out to a two-goal lead thanks to key mistakes from San Antonio. Anthony Richard got ahold of a loose puck and skated down the ice, beating Rampage goaltender Ville Husso. Two minutes later with the Rampage on a two-man advantage would score again after a San Antonio turnover with Tyler Gaudet scoring on Husso.
Zach Sanford tallied his first goal of the season along with Kostin’s second. Mackenzie MacEachern also had his first goal of the season in the loss.
Friday and Saturday, October 12 & 13: Rampage drop two straight to Eagles
The Rampage suffered two straight losses to the AHL’s newest team, the Colorado Eagles, to conclude their season-opening homestand over the weekend.
Friday night saw the Silver and Black fall 2-1 to Colorado after two scoreless periods of hockey to begin the game. Sanford opened the scoring and beat Colorado goaltender Pavel Francouz with a wrist shot to put the home team up a goal.
The tally would be Sanford’s second goal of the season.
Colorado responded with two straight goals as Igor Shvyrev and Logan O’Connor lit the lamp to give the Eagles their first league win in the team’s short history. San Antonio goaltender Jordan Binnington stopped 18 of 20 shots in a losing effort.
Saturday night saw the same two teams face off with the same result. The Rampage would get on the board first with Stephen Perfetto opening the scoring on his very first shift of the game. He redirected a shot past Francouz to put the home team up a goal.
From there it was all Colorado as J.C. Beaudin knotted the game up at one with a rebound that found its way past Husso. With San Antonio down two men, Scott Kosmachuk lit the lamp to put the Eagles up 2-1 and Nicolas Meloche added a goal in the final frame to seal the win.
San Antonio’s offensive woes continued on Saturday as the Rampage mustered just two goals in two games against the Eagles. Bannister said after the game that fans shouldn’t expect much scoring from this team.
“At the end of the day we’re not going to be a team that scores a lot,” he said. “We’re going to be in a lot of one-goal games. That’s the way it is. We’re going to have to be solid defensively and take advantage of our opportunities. I don’t think we’re doing that well enough right now.”
- In their three losses, San Antonio is 0-for-12 on the power play. On the season, the Rampage are just 1-for-16 on the man advantage.
- San Antonio has scored five goals in their last three games. That’s an average of 1.6 goals per game.
- Brian Flynn‘s point streak ended at three games on Saturday night.
The Rampage will now hit the road for the first time in the 2018-19 season and will play the next four games away from the AT&T Center. San Antonio will face the Manitoba Moose on Friday night at the MTS Centre.