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From the Rampage Desk: Week 14 - Home

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Houston Aeros v San Antonio Rampage Photo by Darren Abate/Getty Images

The beloved Rampage return home after a road trip that started out well but went downhill fast until it hit a bridge abutment. We’re looking for miracles at this point if the season will continue past it’s scheduled end. They are 2 games away from the half-season point, 2 games under .500 and in last place by a few games.

Roster/Injury Report

- Sam Jardine was assigned to the Eagles Wednesday. Good news if you’re a fan of the Avs not calling any D up in the foreseeable future.

- Still injured AFAIK, Elson & Vogelhuber are still out with LBI.

Team Stats & Leaders

16-18-2, 8th Pacific, 13th WC, 21st in League

JT Compher is 4th in AHL in SH%
Spencer Martin is t2 in AHL Wins, 4th in minutes, 3rd in Saves
AJ Greer is 4th in AHL Rookie Points, PP goals and points
Julien Nantel is t1st in Rookie SH goals

Power Play: 15.5% (25th) <— this is up a bunch
Penalty Kill: 84.8% (6th)

Goals for 2.5/gm (26th)
Goals against 2.92/gm (16th)

Shots for 27.61/gm (27th)
Shots against 29.36/gm (14th)

Shooting percentage: 9.1%
Save percentage: .901

PDO: 992
ST%: 100.3

For the first time all year the special teams percentage (PP+PK) is positive thanks to some recent luck or skill on the power play. This in turn has raised the Sh% to league average so they’re really just waiting for team save percentage to get up where it needs to be. Hopefully soon. Some really poor games in the latter half of the California trip made shots against rise alarmingly. As long as they get outshot by noticeable amounts on a regular basis, it’s going to be tough to win consistently. Looking forward to some of Topher’s analysis on the homestand to see what effects Mat Clark, Gus Young and Chris Bigras are having on shot suppression. Early indications are not good.

All-Star Game

AJ Greer and Spencer Martin will represent the Rampage at the AHL All-Star game in semi-rural Pennsylvania. The Skills Comp will be Sunday Jan 29th and the game itself on Monday Jan 30th. Both will be carried on Altitude, FSSW and other fine cable channels.

Fast Facts: Bakersfield

BAK 5 - SAR 2

Shots: 19-35 (35.2%) O’Brien with 4, Greer/Grimaldi 3
Special Teams: PP 0/2, PK 6/6
Spencer Martin saved 18/22 (.818) and Jeremy Smith 12/13 (.923)
Goals: Compher (9), Belzile (2)

Preview: Iowa/Texas

Perennial doormat Iowa has played one more game than San Antonio and has one more point. While the Rampage are mired in the Pacific basement the Wilds are somehow 5th in the weak Central. The Stars all-offense/no-defense style has them in the Pacific’s 5th spot while giving up the most goals in the Western Conference. Three wins gets us over .500 for the first time this year, after several tries maybe it actually happens this time.

Lines/Pairs from Tuesday:

Bourque - O’Brien - Grimaldi
Greer - Compher - Sislo
Whitney - Belzile - Petryk
Henley - Bourke - Nantel

Bigras - Lindholm
Siemens - Boikov
Young - Clark

Martin
Smith

Scratched: Nunn, Corbett, Jardine
Injured: Elson, Vogelhuber

Coach Veilleux broke up all the lines after some disturbing 3rd period breakdowns and the effect was total ineffectiveness. If he was trying to confirm who the passengers might be then I’ll bet he has a good idea now. Mike Sislo seems to have a knack for killing a line, I’d consider sitting him for a game. He might not deserve a complete night off but as we’ve seen earlier in the year dropping him to the bottom 6 just makes the bottom 6 worse. I hope for his sake Garry Nunn has been nursing an injury. If not, I can’t see why he (and his 6 goals) is sitting in the press box 3 games straight when struggle #1 all year has been finishing off plays.

AHL franchise moves

Rumors have been around for a while that the Vancouver Canucks want to move the Utica Comets somewhere closer to home. There’s a spare rink in Vancouver, Abbotsford is open since the Flames bolted and there could be a new barn built soon in Surrey, BC. This could happen this summer which should put the Rampage and Stars in the Central Division.

Also rumored is the Blues taking a new AHL franchise and placing it in Kansas City with new NHL franchise Las Vegas taking their affiliation with the Chicago Wolves. Logically, the Monsters, Griffins and either the Checkers or Moose would then be in the East.

Schedule

Friday vs Iowa 8:30pmET
Saturday vs Iowa 8pmET

Monday (MLK Day) afternoon vs Texas 4pmET

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Unbelievably, none of the 3 games conflict with the Avs. So stop by and support your prospects!