After splitting two games with Chicago last weekend, the Rampage packed their (mostly Blues branded) bags and headed out to Tuscon for a showdown in the desert.
Friday, October 18, 2019
The Rampage and Roadrunners met just 12 days ago in San Antonio. A game that the Rampage took hold of and won 5-2. With both special teams hot and Ville Husso giving up just one goal in three games, San Antonio looked to continue rolling.
The teams exchanged power plays in the first, and the Rampage got an extra one that would extend into the second period. Seven minutes into the second period Niko Mikkola opened the scoring, taking a feed from Mitch Reinke along the blue line. His wrister from the right faceoff dot on the blocker side of Adin Hill made it 1-0 Rampage.
Tuscon scored the next two goals, however. Nolan Stevens tied the game in his first appearance of the season, but the Roadrunners answered and regained the lead and took it into the third period.
San Antonio pushed hard in the third and finally had it pay off with 47 seconds left in the game. Nick Lappin scored his second goal in as many games. But it was not enough, as the Roadrunners won the game in overtime.
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Slow starts in the second half of back to backs seem to be the name of the game early in the season.
Tuscon started Ivan Prosvetov in net, and Husso would get the nod for San Antonio again. Both goaltenders put on excellent displays through the first, especially Husso.
Tuscon outshot the Rampage 26-10 halfway through the second period. But it was Mitch Reinke who eventually broke open the scoring, and the Rampage led 1-0 at the end of the second.
The Roadrunners scored three unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes of the third period. Frustration set in and Nathan Walker had words with Tucson’s Michael Bunting, and that eventually came to blows.
The Roadrunners scored one more, and the Rampage answered with a goal from Tanner Kaspick. Unfortunately, that was all the Rampage could muster, and they dropped the game 4-2 for their first regulation loss this season.
The PK had its perfect streak broken at 19 this weekend but only gave up one power-play goal. Still a solid showing this early in the season.
Ville Husso is 3-1-1 with a 0.926% and 2.22 GAA. If the goaltending continues down this path (and with Jake Allen scoring goals on himself), there’s a chance Ville gets a real look at some NHL action this season.
Niko Mikkola seems to be an excellent physical blueliner in the making. At the first sign of an injury to a defenseman in St. Louis, I’d look for Mikkola to get the call and possibly replace some of the sandpaper the Blues lost with Edmunson gone.
What’s on Tap?
The Rampage head east for yet another back to back matchup with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Penguins are 3-2-1 through 6 games and will look to stay hot, having won their last two games.
Also, be on the lookout for a new “Join the Herd” segment profiling some of the Rampage players we look forward to wearing the Bluenote someday!