After Wednesday's solid 51 minute performance followed by an epic collapse, the beloved Rampage now face the guys wearing their old uniforms. This won't have the emotional impact of the set in Cleveland, but they played the Monsters close a few weeks ago and came up with 3 points in two games, so getting a win of any kind becomes paramount.
- Avalanche captain Gabe Landeskog was suspended for 3 games on Thursday. They don't need to call anyone up and I don't think they will. After the deadline teams get a total of 4 callups and 2 of those were used for the paper moves for Bigras and Martinsen so far. Not that it should play into the thinking, but the Rampage are extremely short on players right now and the Komets are even worse off than that. There really isn't much room to make moves right now.
Mikko returned from his bout with the flu Wednesday, albeit a few pounds lighter
Yogi started Wednesday's game but he looked pretty strung out at game time
Hish and Bordy are still battling the flu
Schumacher returned from an undisclosed injury but only made it halfway through the game
Clark, Noreau and Drazenovic were all out with undisclosed injuries
Taylor Beck missed the game with LBI, perhaps something that happened in morning skate
Duncan Siemens and Ben Street are skating with the team in NC jerseys, no word on how far out they are
Dan Maggio will miss both games this weekend from a suspension
Recap: Ontario part 2
Lots of folks are going to look at the highlights and blame Reid Petryk’s horrible turnover for this collapse but it’s so much more than that. The Rampage played a solid 51 minutes of hockey but when the time came to close out the game they were too tired from playing only 9 forwards and couldn’t match the Reign’s tempo at the end.
After a promising first, the Rampage quickly dropped down 0-2 after a couple of slapshots blew past Reto Berra early in the 2nd. They battled back, starting as usual with a goal from Mikko Rantanen then another from Big Sam Henley. Somehow there was optimism going into the 3rd and after a few nice chances from the ECHL line of Thompson/Belzile/Nunn, Alex Belzile scored a pair around midway of the period. Unfortunately that 4th goal would be the last shot on goal the Rampage would get on the night. Ontario gradually gained momentum and when they pulled Peter Budaj with 3 minutes left the pressure was massive. They quickly tied it and soon after that Petryk’s hideous turnover trying to exit the zone went right to Nic Dowd and he fired it past Berra for the game-winner.
If I hadn’t seen this same madness unfold several times in Lake Erie over the years, I’d be a lot more depressed about the loss. It happens with this team. It’s too bad because they really had a chance to put up a serious confidence boost and the first regulation win in exactly a month. They didn’t and hopefully they have short memories because the Monsters are in town for the weekend and they played them fairly tough in Cleveland a few weeks ago.
Preview: Lake Erie
As crushing as the journey from Alex Belzile's 2nd goal to watching Nic Dowd blow any chance at points out of the water was, the Rampage have to put it out of their minds and get a win somehow. Yes, there are more ECHLers than AHLers ready to go right now but they dictated play to the best team in the division for long stretches Wednesday. They can do the same to the Monsters too.
Lines/Pairs from Weds:
Aggz – Mikko – Pete
Evs – Belz – Borna
Thompson – Big Sam – Nunn
Schumacher – x – Bourke
Z – Guenin
Gorms – Corbs
Mason – Hamonic
Scratched: Maggio (suspension), Beck (LBI), Bordy (flu), Hish (flu), Clark (inj), Noreau (inj), Drazenovic (inj), Street (UBI), Siemens (UBI)
Rampage vs Monsters Friday night 8:30pm in the ET
Rampage vs Monsters Sunday afternoon 5:00pm in the ET
Radio on Ticket 760 we hope
A quick trip to California to play the Gulls and the Reign
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No conflict with the Avs in either game so stop by and support your prospects and Nate Guenin. Enjoy!