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From the Rampage Desk: Week 9 - Home is where the Hogs are

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The beloved Rampage head home after capping off the Turkey Trip with a couple of nice wins against the Chicago Wolves. They face the Rockford IceHogs for two games, SA & RFD faced off in Illinois last Wednesday with the Hogs earning an OT win 3-2.

News

- Andrew Agozzino was returned to the Rampage after 2 games with the Avs. Looks like he'll be on a line with Smitty and Borna for the weekend's games.

- Coach Roy remarked that Andreas Martinsen will remain with the Avs after Alex Tanguay and John Mitchell return to the lineup. Martinsen has a goal and two assists in 11 games with Colorado.

- Garrett Meurs was sent back down to Ft Wayne on Wednesday

- Catch the latest episode of Running With the Herd Live

- tigervixxen penned a Fall Update on our guys in San Antonio for our good friends at Burgundy Brigade

- The Rampage met some STH at the driving range this week, check it out

- Dan Weiss' latest Rampage practice report features guest stars Big Sam Henley and Coach Dean

- Friday night is Ugly Christmas Sweater Night at the AT&T Center and the Rampage will be sporting these lovely jerseys:

Injury Report

Michael Schumacher missed Sunday's game for undisclosed reasons
Dan Maggio has been out since getting more or less knocked out in a fight last week
Mikko Rantanen missed a couple games with a wrist issue but returned for both Chicago games
Reid Petryk missed a game last week for undisclosed reasons but he has also returned

Quarter-Season Snapshot

San Antonio has played 20 games, just one past the quarter-season mark, and enjoy an 11-3-6 record (.700 P%) while laying 2nd in the Pacific Division and 3rd in the WC. Here are the usual stats:

Goals - 67 total (3.35/gm), 16 PP, 2 SH, 49 at even strength (2.45/gm)
Goals against - 57 total (2.85/gm), 14 PK, 2 SHGA, 41 at even strength (2.05/gm)
Shots for - 572 (28.6/gm)
Shots against - 682 (34.1/gm)
PIMs - 303 (15.2/gm)

Sh% - 11.7
Sv% - 91.6
PDO - 103.3

Special teams index (PP+PK) - 103.9

Shots for % - 45.6

Not a lot to complain about here other than the shots against and that seems to be trending downward lately. The Rampage's shooting percentage is a little high but historically this has been an accurate shooting team. There's a lot of power play goals but even if they slumped the goals per game would be respectable.

For more in depth and true shot metric analysis from Topher Minasi at RWtH, check out his 1st quarter summary

Recap: Chicago

Other than a 9-1 SOG run by Chicago to start the game the Rampage had Saturday's game well in hand, and I think the scorer was a bit generous on that 9-1 run anyway. Chicago opened the scoring 5 minutes into the 1st when Hubert Labrie made a weak clearing attempt and the 4th line got trapped for a while. Max Noreau drew a soft tripping call late in the first and converted it himself with a nice goal assisted by Mikko & Z. The second period was played at a furious pace but mainly stayed in the neutral zone with few scoring chances. The Rampage really took over in the 3rd scoring 3 goals (Evs, Cheek + Smitty’s ENG) and limiting the Wolves to 4 total shots.

Zadorov got the first star for his 2 assists but it was kind of an up & down night for him. A couple of the usual turnovers resulted in odd-man rushes the other way but I like that the staff are not visibly trying to restrain his game. Letting him be active offensively while working on the turnovers and other defensive mistakes is going to make him better in the long run. Everberg was the first star for me. He rolled into town fresh off being demoted and was a force out there playing in all situations. The top line (with Hish & Mikko) struggled most of the night but it definitely wasn’t because of him. I’ll give some big props to M-A Cliche who got a slapshot right in the face from Hubie in the middle of the 1st period, came back in the 2nd and had 2 assists to boot.

After Saturday's win the Rampage still needed another to make the Turkey Trip a success and keep up the pace they’ve set in the 1st quarter. There wasn’t a lot of back and forth in this game, usually one team would dominate for minutes at a time with the other back on it’s heels. Borna Rendulic got SA on the board with a slick wrister from the top of the right circle a minute into the 2nd after some good work from Mikko and a sharp pass from Colin Smith. Rantanen gave the Rampage a 2-0 lead early in the 3rd but they gave it back a few minutes later. Joey Hishon iced the victory with a wacky empty netter from the red line and San Antonio went home with 5 points in 4 games over Thanksgiving week.

Mikko’s 3 points gives him 17 for the season, tied for the team lead with Smitty but in 7 fewer games. Evs had another assist giving him 7 points in 5 AHL games so far. After a long layoff, Pickard had a truly awful game against MKE but bounced back nicely over the weekend giving up 2 goals total with a Sv% of .960. He may not be at the top of the stat columns in the AHL, but his record of 8-1-4 is impressive given that he’s faced the 2nd most shots of any goalie in the league. He’s also the only goalie in the league with 10+ starts and only 1 reg loss.

Preview: Rockford

The IceHogs travel to San Antonio for the first and only time this season. The Rampage bagged a single point off them in RFD last Wednesday without Mikko Rantanen or Dennis Everberg, so I like our chances here. We know the top 2 lines from practice and I'll give a guess at the others:

Aggz - Smitty - Borna
Evs - Clish - Mikko
Schumi/Cheek - Hish - Pete
Bordy - Big Sam - Bourke

Bigras - Clark
Duncan - Max
Mase - Z

Picks
Will

Scratched: Cheek/Schumi, Labrie (please!), Mags (noggin)

Schumi missed Sunday's game for undisclosed reasons so he's a question mark. I'd really like to believe that the Staff will stick with Geertsen on the paring with Zadorov but it's probably false hope. That top-6 is really stout and this is the best forward lineup we've seen in many weeks.

Schedule

Friday Night vs Rockford 8:30pm in the ET

Sunday afternoon vs Rockford 5:00pm in the ET

All games on Ticket 760

Links

Stats

Standings - Rampage 2nd in Pacific, 6 percentage points behind ONT

Preview

Next up

Wednesday/Thursday nights vs Charlotte & Stockton

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Neither game conflicts with the Avs so stop by and support your prospects, enjoy!