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From the Rampage Desk: Week 24 - Final California Trip

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The beloved Rampage return to California to face Ontario and San Diego this week and since they don't win at home I guess it's a great chance to get on the winning track!

News

- Justin Hamonic was optioned back to Ft Wayne on Monday. Just a few notes in case we don't see him again. Yes, he looked like a rookie defensive defenseman that's spent most of the year in the ECHL, but he's more effective than Mat Clark and that's troubling. No points and just 2 SOG in 7 games but I get the feeling the org like this guy.

- Nate and JP returned with Running With the Herd Live this week, covering the recent troubles and some speculation into what next year might bring

- Topher from RWtH put up Corsi numbers from the latest homestand and season-to-date. Look out for the new Ghost guy, he could be taking PT from your favorite player next.

- Blake Sebring is back this week with the latest Inside the Zone for all your Komets news and notes

Injury Report

- Ben Street should be cleared for contact this week and could return to play in one of the Griffins games

- Duncan Siemens isn't far behind Street

- Schumacher, Drazenovic and Beck (LBI) are out with various injuries and no schedule has been hinted at as yet

- Dan Maggio's suspension is over so he will be available vs Ontario if needed.

Recap: Lake Erie

Despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead Friday, the Rampage blew it again and lost 3-2 after limping meekly home in an ineffective 3rd period. Mat Clark rejoined the lineup and was once again paired up with Brandon Gormley despite mountains of statistical evidence that this is possibly the worst D-pairing in the history of the organization. A couple more blunders by these two let the Monsters tie the game, which was finished off by a PPG, so you can pretty much blame them for the loss if you like. Coach Dean apparently agreed and benched Clark for most of the 2nd.

There were a few bright spots as usual. Nate Guenin scored his first goal for the Rampage… Mikko got an assist giving him 50 points on the season and a Rampage rookie record… Alex Belzile scored his 3rd goal in the last 2 games and the whole ECHL line with Thompson/Nunn flanking him was solid for the most part… Nikita Zadorov set up Belz goal with a hammer of a shot from the point. He’s got 25 points in 46 games now, also led the team with 4 SOG and had a fight which we couldn’t see because of poor camera work… Sam Henley also had a fight standing up for his little buddy Troy Bourke… The 4th line of Bourke/Henley/Bordy had pretty effective game generating 5 SOG.

Coach Dean had a very telling presser after Sunday's latest loss with more questions than answers about the team’s poor play. The usual problems cropped up during the game and put the Rampage behind, there don’t seem to be any solutions unfortunately and no reason to believe they are going to change anytime soon. I see a lot of guys playing below their potential, not because of effort or apathy, there just seems to be a general lack of confidence and the mindset of playing together most of the time. This isn’t a great team by any stretch of the imagination but they aren’t rock bottom of the league either.

Shoutout to Garry Nunn who scored his first AHL goal after toiling in the ECHL for several years. He also had an assist and the second star of the game… Nikita Zadorov continued his solid play of late with an assist and led the team in SOG with 6… Mikko had a rare donut on the score sheet but damned if he still wasn’t impressive in the o-zone… If you look at the goalie stats you’d say Berra was poor and Roman was good and that’s partially true but Yogi got hammered by shots while Roman was just mopping up in score-effect time. Just a wild guess, but I think Reto’s very frustrated with some of the defensemen and it’s starting to wear on him.

Preview: Gulls/Reign

We know Ontario well from a couple of epic collapses against them last week but the Rampage played them well in one of the games at least. For 51 minutes. San Diego is red hot and hasn't lost in regulation in their last 10 games. No problem, if they can't get one on the board in California, Grand Rapids and their 11 game win streak awaits on Sunday. Ontario seems to be the likely target for a takedown, they are locked into 1st place in the conference by a good margin and seemed susceptible to the Rampage's plans back on the 9th. Tonight's game looks dicey at best.

Lines & pairs from Sunday:

Evs – Mikko – Borna
Thompson – Belz – Nunn
Aggz – Hish – Pete
Bourke – Big Sam – Bordy

Z – Guenin
Gormley - Clark
Mason – Max

Yogi
Roman

Scratched: Hamonic (nacho), Corbs (nacho), Mags (susp), Draz (inj), Schumi (inj), Beck (LBI), Street (UBI), Duncan (UBI)

Other than Hamonic returning to Ft Wayne and Maggio coming off suspension there are no other lineup or roster changes that have been noted by the team or Dan Weiss and I don't expect any really. I wouldn't be surprised to see the shitshow pair split up some more, Coach Dean seems to get the fact that they are absolutely horrible now. The problem is that they are still absolutely horrible with other players too.

Schedule

Rampage at Gulls Wednesday night 10:00pm ET

Rampage at Reign Friday night 10:00pm ET

All games on Ticket 760

Next up

A pair against old friends Grand Rapids Sun/Tue

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Both games directly conflict with the Avs so no chance I'm viewing these live. All info and recaps will be up as soon as humanly possible.