(Photo: Darren Abate, FRE / Darren Abate / AHL)
Pink in the Rink Send-off
The San Antonio Rampage shut-out the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate) by a final of a 2-0 on Friday, February 2nd before heading out on their annual “Rodeo Road Trip.” Rampage netminder Jared Coreau made 29 saves on 29 shots for the shutout. San Antonio went 1 for 2 on the powerplay, with Sammy Blais (6) tallying on assists from Jodan Kyrou (17) and Mitch Reinke (22). Adam Musil (5) also scored for the Rampage with Bobby MacIntyre (8) and Chris Butler (15) picking up up the assists. The Rampage wore pink jerseys and played on pink ice in honor of those battling with breast cancer.
Rodeo Road Trip
Every year during February the San Antonio Stock and Rodeo Show takes over the AT&T Center where both the Rampage and the NBA Spurs play their home games. This leaves the Rampage with no option but to go on an extended month-long road trip. The trip will cover some 6,090 miles and end with the team finally returning home on March 1st. It is a trip, that in the past, has all but eliminated San Antonio from the AHL playoff picture. This year’s Rampage currently hold a 4-15-3 road record including two overtime losses to begin the current road trip. With the team sitting just four points out of a playoff spot, this road trip is crucial to bolster their chances of making the postseason for the first time since 2015 when the team was affiliated with the Florida Panthers.
The Rampage began the Rodeo Road Trip with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Iowa Wild (Minnesota Wild AHL affiliate) on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. A majority of the scoring occurred during the first two periods and the Rampage held a 4-2 lead halfway through the second. However the Wild notched two goals during the last 10 minutes of the second to the tie the game heading into the third. The game would remain a 4-4 tie through regulation time but the Wild scored at 3:34 of overtime to completed the comeback victory. Trevor Smith (7), Musil (6), Niko Mikkola (1), and Blais (7) were the goal-scorers for the Rampage. Jordan Kyrou (18), Blais (9), Jordan Nolan (10), Austin Poganski (14), and Ryan Olsen (10) all added assists. Coreau made 26 saves on 31 shots. San Antonio went 0 for 3 on the powerplay.
Game number two of the road trip, on Saturday night, ended much like game number one did; another overtime loss to the Wild. This time the Rampage held a 2-1 lead late in the third period when the Iowa forward J.T Brown tied the game with just 8 seconds left on the clock. This time the Wild needed only 39 seconds of overtime to beat Jared Coreau making his second start in as many nights. Sammy Blais (8) scored once again for the Rampage and Klim Kostin (6) picked up his first goal since returning from the World Junior Championships. Reinke (23), Kyrou (19), Nolan Stevens (8), and Jordan Schmaltz (1) picked up points on assists. San Antonio went 1 for 5 on the powerplay.
San Antonio headed north from Des Moines, Iowa to Milwaukee, Wisconson, where the Rampage will face the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators AHL affiliate) at the UWM Panther Arena at 7:00 pm CST tonight (Monday, February 11th). After picking up two points in Iowa, the Rampage look to secure their first win in Milwaukee since January 21st, 2011. A win tonight would put the team within two points of a playoff spot, and prevent the Admirals from gaining any ground in a heated Central division playoff race. Only five total points separate the 4th place Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks AHL affiliate) from the 8th place Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate).
The Rampage will also make stops in Grand Rapids, MI, Rockford IL, Ontario and San Diego, CA, and the first-ever visit to Loveland, CO to play the Colorado Eagles (Colorado Avalanche AHL affiliate). The weekday series at the Budweiser Events Center will see the Rampage facing off against many of their former teammates from last year when both the Blues and the Avalanche sent prospects to San Antonio.
Blues Prospects Update
Sammy Blais has goals in four straight games which has doubled his goal total for the season at eight. The Montmagny, QC native has been a bright spot on a Rampage powerplay that has otherwise been mediocre. The 6’2″ left winger was drafted by St. Louis in the 6th round, 176th overall, in the 2014 Entry Draft, and has played 24 games for the Blues this year, scoring 2 goals and adding an assist.
Jordan Kyrou attended the AHL All-Star Game a few weekends ago as the lone representative from the Rampage. Kyrou participated in the Puck Control Relay and the Fastest Skater competition. Kyrou posted the second fastest time of the night and 4th fastest time in AHL history at 13.52 seconds. The Toronto, ONT native also helped the Western Conference All-Stars defeat the Eastern Conference All-Stars 17-14 in the skills competition. The 6’0″ center was drafted by St. Louis in the 2nd round, 35th overall, in the 2016 Entry Draft.