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From the Rampage Desk: Week 4 - First West Coast Trip

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The beloved Rampage take the show back on the road after a single home game for 3 contests vs our Pacific Division brethren in California. Ontario is the top team in the league right now (5-0-0) and San Diego is right behind SA with a 4-1 record.

News

Dan Weiss has this week's Rampage Report guest stars: Bordy, Bigras and Coach Dean

Cheryl had a phone interview with Mikko Rantanen this week, good insight into the rookie here. As always, BSN also has your Rampage Rewind.

Topher Minasi from Running With the Herd had his first shot metrics review of the season this week. This is fantastic info that we've been craving for years on our youngsters. He'll be charting all the home games this year and keeping track of who's driving play.

RWtH's weekly podcast reviewed last week's home opener and previewed the first trip out west.

Komets

The Komets enter the weekend as one of 3 undefeated teams in the ECHL and 2nd in the Western Conference. Ft Wayne plays Indy for the 3rd time tonight then heads home to play Cincinnati on Saturday.

Gabe Beaupre has recovered from offseason surgery and was optioned to the Komets this week.

Trevor Cheek has 5 goals and 2 assists in 4 games so far for Ft Wayne. Justin Cohn gave him some praise this week.

Recap: Home Opener vs Stockton

The Rampage faced their first bit of adversity this year with Andrew Agozzino & Dennis Everberg, two-thirds of the most productive line in the young AHL season, not around. Didn’t matter. Mikko Rantanen made his AHL debut and promptly scored a goal, an assist, and had 5 SOG while playing big minutes in all situations. Scoring from forwards not on the first line also made it’s first appearance of the year, and from unlikely sources. Big Sam Henley had a goal, Smitty scored his first of the year, Bordy had 2 assists, Bourke had an assist – all 5v5. Chris Bigras chipped in with his first goal as a pro and added an assist. M-A Cliche got a shortie. It was fabulous. Oh, and Pickard was fantastic for the 3rd game in a row.

Thanks to RWtH's Corsi Report we have a little more insight into what's going on with the lines and pairs. Hishon’s line (+Martinsen/Rendulic) was highly sheltered (100% O-zone starts in fact) and yet had the worst Corsi Rel of all 4 by a mile. Not good and not sure how you fix that. The other 3 lines were fantastic, especially Bourke/Sam/Bordy who started in the d-zone just about all the time.The 1st line was huge, I’m dying to see what the numbers will look like with Aggz back.

Duncan/Max are definitely the shutdown pair, the other 2 pairs started mainly in the O-zone, and were the only pair with a negative shot attempt differential. I'd take a wild guess and say that Bigras/Clark faced the toughest competition overall, they definitely had the most ice time. This game is hard to glean much from since it was a blowout right off the bat and we have nothing to compare it too statwise.

Preview

Haven't heard of any changes from last game's lineup, hopefully Aggz gets back in. Word on the street from the Reign is that Peter Budaj will get his 6th straight start tonight but that Ray Emery will get his first action in Saturday's game. Considering it's a day following night with another game Tuesday, we might see Roman Will for the Rampage as well.

The Reign enter tonight's game with a 5-0 record giving up a stingy 1 goal per game thanks to Budaj's stellar play and 3 shutouts. This is going to be a toughie, I love what I'm seeing from San Antonio so far but this will be quite different than beating up on teams like Grand Rapids and Stockton. If we leave California Tuesday night with 3 points I'll be happy with the trip, anything more will make me giddy.

Last week's lines:

Mikko - Street - Smitty
Martinsen - Hish - Borna
Schumacher - Clish - Pete
Bourke - Big Sam - Bordy

Bigras - Clark
Duncan - Max
Mase - Reds

Picks
Will

Scratches: Maggio, Labrie

Schedule

Friday night at Ontario 10pm in the ET, radio on Ticket 760

Saturday night at Ontario 6pm in the ET, radio on Ticket 760

Tuesday night at San Diego 10pm in the ET, radio on Ticket 760

Links

Stats

Standings

Preview

Next up

A weird 3-in-3 next weekend, home vs CHI/away vs Stars/home vs CHI again

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We have something I've never experienced before going on tonight. The Avalanche will play a game and be finished before our AHL affiliate takes to the ice. Saturday's game is nice and early no matter what time zone you hang your hat in, so stop by and support your prospects this weekend. Enjoy!