Attention Colorado Avalanche fans, if you’re interested in following the team’s prospects down in San Antonio, we’ve got you covered. We are going to have Tony in the press box for every home game and he will be writing game recaps as well as features all season long.
San Antonio, Texas -- Goaltender Spencer Martin kicked out 37 Texas shots and Adam Musil scored a goal and two assists as the San Antonio Rampage opened their two-game pre-season set with a 4-2 win over the Stars in front of 4,998 at the AT&T Center.
Martin was sharp from the opening whistle, and he needed to be as the Rampage were outshot in the contest, 39-16.
“It’s pre-season but we’ve been playing hockey for about a month with the Avalanche with some high-intensity camps,” said Martin, now in his third pro season. “It felt like regular season out there. It felt really good.”
Martin and the Rampage penalty killers did their jobs tonight, limiting the Stars to one power play goal on nine chances, which was one reason for the shot discrepancy. “A lot of their shots they were throwing pucks at my legs tonight trying to get rebounds,” said the former third-round pick, who got his first taste of the NHL last season, playing in three games in Denver. San Antonio was 2-6 with the extra skater.
Alex Belzile, who played exceptional hockey in the Colorado Eagles’ run to the ECHL Kelly Cup last season, opened the scoring with a quick wrister that beat Texas goaltender Philippe Desrosiers up high at 5:06 of the first on the power play.
Avalanche second-round pick in the 2015 draft, defenseman Nicolas Meloche, picked up the first of his first two assists on the night in his first taste of professional hockey coming out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
After the Stars tied the game 20 seconds into the second period, Josh Atkinson, another blueliner looking for a roster spot out of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, zipped in a high slapshot from the blueline for a 2-1 Rampage lead at 7:47 of the middle session. Musil assisted, along with defenseman Jesse Graham.
Musil’s goal 1:31 into the third frame put the Rampage up by two with Meloche and Michael Joly assisting, as the St. Louis Blues third round pick tipped in Meloche’s blueline laser. “I was outstanding in front of the net and got a lucky tip. I’ll take it and move on. Tomorrow’s another game. I’m six-foot-three so I got to use my body, I got to get to the net, play in the dirty areas. That’s something I have to focus on.”
Another defenseman, Nolan De Jong nabbed the final Rampage marker at 7:59 from Musil on another long-range shot from the line.
Five slashing penalties were meted out as the NHL/AHL officials continue to try and limit the extraneous stickwork before the season opens next weekend.
The two teams meet again Saturday afternoon at 5 at the HEB Center in Cedar Park just north of Austin. The close neighbors will get together 14 times during the regular season as AHL Western Division rivals.