The beloved Rampage close out their pre-season schedule this afternoon with the back end of a home & home with the Texas Stars. San Antonio fell 3-2 in overtime on Thursday to begin the Eric Veilleux era.
The Rampage iced a very try-out heavy lineup, 9 out of 18 skaters, in their first pre-season contest. After Texas opened the scoring mid-2nd period, Rocco Grimaldi stole a puck for a breakaway and tied it up a minute later. The Stars went ahead 24 seconds into the 3rd but AJ Greer tied things up with less than a minute to go. After a few minutes of scrambly OT play Texas finished the game off.
Pre-season is quite informal in the AHL so there’s no boxscore and the only feed was the Stars via audio only. Our good friend Rampage Nate was present and said it looked like a game with a ton of try-outs. It makes sense, over the course of the season San Antonio is going to call up some of these fellows in times of need so the staff should have an idea of their capabilities. No cuts were announced yesterday but I bet some were made since the AHL and ECHL camps run concurrently this year due to the World Cup. All three teams in the Avalanche org open their seasons on the same day, a week from tonight.
Whitney - O’Brien - Grimaldi
Greer - Garbowski - Nunn
Ranger - Belzile - Sanford
Houck - Frazee - Nicholls
Jardine - Kessel
Boikov - Hamonic
Verpaelst - Sdao
Grimaldi and Greer scored goals. No assist on Rocco’s and I think Joe Whitney had the shot on AJ’s.
Power play was 1-4
Smith played around 30 minutes and saved 12 out of 13
Simpson played around 32 minutes and saved 11 out of 13
Shots were 34-26 in favor of the Rampage
Your 3 stars of the night: Troock (GWG for TX), Greer and Grimaldi
Sdao and Verpaelst both had fights
Nicholls and Grimaldi both left the ice after blocking shots. Grimaldi was out for the post-game interviews so I assume he’s fine.
F: Bourke, Elson, Nantel*, St Amant, Mychan, Petryk*, Henley, (Compher)
D: Geertsen*, Stanton, Corbett, Lindholm, (Bigras)
G: Martin, Lieuwen
Not a lot you can take from this game with this lineup, but there is some. Coach Veilleux’s system seemed to work and the Rampage had offensive pressure for quite a bit of the game. Texas could outshoot damn near anyone last year so a 34-26 margin is promising. The goalies were both great. Hard to tell from just listening to the opponent broadcast but AJ Greer and Grimaldi got a lot of mentions. I also noticed Josh Nicholls, the big RW from the Eagles, getting some airtime. Hopefully something closer to the opening night roster shows up in Cedar Park today so we can get a feel for how things are progressing with the guys who will actually play for the team.
Rampage at Stars, Saturday 4pm ET - Radio via the Stars Network
Regular season opens next Saturday night vs Milwaukee
News and notes
- The Colorado Eagles opened their pre-season with a 4-3 shootout victory at Rapid City last night. They play a rematch tonight in Loveland if you’re looking for something to do.
- The Prince George Cougars of the WHL, former team of Troy Bourke and current team of Avs prospect Josh Anderson and camp invitee Brogan O’Brien, are on a whlae of a streak to open the season. 7-0 and ranked 1st in the entire CHL.
- Tyson Jost started his college career last night with a goal and assist for North Dakota
- Cam Morrison had 2 assists and 6 SOG for Notre Dame in his freshman debut
- J-C Beaudin assisted on the game-winner and won an insane 23/31 faceoffs against Chicoutimi last night. He has a goal and 3 assists for Rouyn-Noranda since returning from Avs camp
- Former Rampage center Nic Drazenovic and his wife recently had a son and named him Mikko Dean. Interesting paradox of a name there.
- Finally, poor Ben Street... Dude almost had a skate go through his carotid artery last night in a red wings pre-season game. He went to the hospital and the team says he’s doing fine but this is another troubling injury for a guy that can not stay healthy. Hope he recovers quickly and all that but this should be telling him something.
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Final cuts from the Avs have to be made by Tuesday at 5pm ET which means anyone other than Mikko or Trent Vogelhuber will be on the wire Monday at lunchtime if they’re getting sent down. If/when we get a roster from the Rampage this week we’ll be sure to put that out. Enjoy!