San Antonio – The Rampage swept the Texas Stars in their 3-games-in-3 days AHL series, with a 3-1 win, their fourth straight win overall. The victory ran the Rampage record to 5-1 for the first time in team history at the start of the season, and tied San Antonio with two other teams for the best record in the league.
San Antonio grabbed the first-period lead when defenseman Jordan Schmaltz ripped a bomb under the glove of Texas goaltender Mike McKenna at 10:14 on a rare power play opportunity as San Antonio has the fewest power play chances in the league.
Rocco Grimaldi accepted the faceoff win by Reid Petryk and crossed the puck right to left along the line for Schmaltz’ blast and recorded his 100th Rampage point. Grimaldi is the seventh Rampage player to hit double digits for their Alamo City career.
The Rampage found it difficult to get shots on net again, as they managed only eight shots in the first 40 minutes. One of those shots came off Klim Kostin’s stick at 11:50 of the second period off a 2-on-1 breakout, beating McKenna with a wrist shot top shelf. Kostin, a St. Louis Blues first round pick last June, turned 18 last May. Defenseman Chris Butler picked up his 150th pro point on the play, with Andrew Agozzino getting the other helper.
With a 2-0 lead, San Antonio goaltender Spencer Martin sparkled again, with a kick save and a beauty from the slot on former AHL MVP Travis Morin late in the first period. Martin saw the ice tilted through the second period, as the Rampage were outshot 24-8 through two. Friday night, the Rampage were outshot 27-8 in their 3-2 shootout win over the Stars. Martin finished the game with 29 saves, and has allowed only six goals on 100 shots this season in improving to 4-0 on the year with a 1.47 GAA.
Adam Musil’s empty net goal with 1:50 left in regulation sealed the sweep after defenseman Dillon Heatherington pulled the Stars to within a goal with a shot off San Antonio’s Nicolas Meloche’s face.
In an interesting aside, the Rampage have scored five goals in two home games – all scored by Blues farmhands. Agozzino leads the team with 2-5-7, however…Kostin left the game in the second period after being kneed by the Stars’ Jason Dickenson. Kostin needed help getting to the locker room, and Rampage coach Eric Veilleux said he hadn’t heard about the extent of the injury…rare stat – Grimaldi didn’t register a shot after leading the team last year in that category...the last time Rocco was held off the shot sheet was last Jan. 14th, a span of 37 games and the only time he was held with a shot all last season…Andrei Mironov finished the weekend with a goal and an assist and +3 with four shots…the Rampage will be without A.J. Greer and Gabe Bourque, called up to fill-in for the injured J.C. Compher and Tyson Jost spots on the big club...Up next -- Friday night vs. San Jose…the Rampage also meet San Diego Saturday in a lighter schedule than their 3-in-3 weekend set…the Rampage next three-game blitz doesn’t come until the last games of the season, with two of them vs. Texas!