The beloved Rampage crafted what could turn out to be a signature victory on Wednesday night vs Ontario. There was a lot to build off, now they need to back it up against the strongest team in the division. Twice.
Ontario Fast Facts
SAR 5 - ONT 1
Shots: 27-21 (56.3%), Garry Nunn led with 5, Stanton had 4, lotsa guys with 2
Special Teams: PP 2/8, PK 4/5
Spencer Martin saved 20/21 (.952)
Goals: Bourke (1), Greer (4), Nunn 2 (3,4), Lashoff (1)
- This was an incredibly physical game which doesn’t favor the new-look smaller & speedier Rampage. It started right off the bat with a big hit by Gabe Bourque, which ended up getting an early PP and took off when Duncan Siemens flattened some dude and then beat the crap out of the guy that stood up for him, knocking him out of the game. Downside was losing Jimmy O’Brien and some major abuse taken by AJ Greer but all the hitting and fights seemed to tire out the Reign while SA kept right on skating. I’ve seen many games by the Rampage/Monsters devolve into gratuitous violence but Wednesday they took it, pushed back when necessary and kept right on with the game plan.
- Garry Nunn had a helluva game. He had 4 shots, scored on 2 and the others were high-danger scoring chances. They weren’t together for all the points but the 4th line of Bourke (1G), Henley (2A) and Nunn (2G) had a big night.
- Spencer Martin bounced back from a couple of dicey outings with a solid win despite not getting much work for long stretches.
- AJ Greer’s goal kept him at a point per game, now tied for 8th in the AHL and tied for first among rookies
- JT Compher stepped up with O’Brien’s absence in the 3rd and took a lot of important draws. He’s starting to look better and better on the defensive side and if that keeps up it won’t be long before he’s ready to get some NHL minutes.
- Other than OB’s injury and Sam Jardine getting kicked out for not having his tie-down rigged up there isn’t much. No real passengers, even Corbett & Lashoff played ok for the most part.
It’s an easy to call to say this was San Antonio’s best game of the young season so far. Better than that I think it proved something to the players in the locker room, that they can match up with any kind of team in the league and have success if they play like they did Wednesday. They finally broke through the barrier and were able to generate plenty of scoring chances while playing a tight defensive game.
Despite the excellent win vs the Reign the Rampage are still a couple games under .500 and sit in 7th place in the Pacific. Stockton is the best team in our division so far but they’ve lost a few key players to NHL callups recently and their goalies aren’t historically good vs the Rampage.
Lineup from Wednesday:
Greer - Compher - Grimaldi
Bourque - Belzile - Sislo
O’Brien - Nantel
Bourke - Henley - Nunn
Stanton - Siemens
Jardine - Lindholm
Lashoff - Corbett
OB was kind of a keystone player and a huge loss. Now someone needs to fill in at center somewhere, Mychan is a wing so it won’t be him. Candidates are Nantel and Grimaldi, should be interesting to see what they do and if they break up the kid line. Pretty hard to do a big line shuffle on the road after a huge win.
- Jimmy O’Brien left Wednesday’s game after getting pulverized and did not return. He’s been sent back to San Antonio which sounds a little scary since Duncan didn’t even do that when Hubie almost killed him last year. From Dan Weiss’ chat with Coach Veilleux this morning it doesn’t look promising for a quick return.
- Jesse Mychan was called up from the Eagles yesterday and will be in the lineup tonight. Mychan is a big scoring wing that had a goal just about every other game for the Eagles last year. He’s leading the Eagles in points this year with 9G/7A in 11 games. Since he’s going directly into the lineup it’s a safe bet Vogelhuber is not ready to go.
- The Rampage also signed forward Alexandre Ranger from the Norfolk Admirals to a PTO today. Don’t think he’ll be available for tonight’s game unless he really hustles it.
- No updates on the guys back in San Antonio like Bigras (?BI), Elson (LBI), Smith (UBI) and Petryk (broken foot).
Pre-game sound today from Coach Veilleux and Garry Nunn
Friday vs Stockton 10:30pm ET
Saturday vs Stockton 10:30pm ET
All games on Ticket760
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Tonight’s game starts an hour and a half into the Avs/Jets, no thanks. Tomorrow is also late as all get out for an East Coaster like myself but no conflict.