Last time out the Ads held on for a 6-5 win against the Lake Erie Monsters. It wasn’t the same type of crazy that we had when the two met in Cleveland but it was still pretty nerve wracking to know the team almost coughed up a 6-2 lead.
Next up are the San Antonio Rampage – who we’ve seen in two previous encounters:
In those games we’ve seen big games in net from Magnus Hellberg and Scott Darling. While Hellberg was unlucky to not get the win in Round I – he stopped 43/45 shots including 4/5 in the shootout. Darling picked up his second shutout of the season when the Ads last played the Rampage – stopping all 34 shots on goal.
With the Ads starting up a massive stretch in the schedule, 7 games in 10 days, it’s going to be very fascinating to see how they work the goalies in this span.
UPDATE: Goaltending Shuffle.
In terms of the skating group in this match up – we have a tie in scoring: Filip Forsberg (2 goals, 1 assist) and Austin Watson (3 assists). There is still no real time table on just how long Forsberg will remain with the Ads in his third stint with the team. I feel like the folks up top in Nashville feel much more content to have him playing extra minutes and learning in the AHL than playing third-line minutes and learning in the NHL. Simply put, he’s getting more bang for his buck when it comes to his development. He should still be on the Ads top forward line with Miikka Salomaki and All Star Colton Sissons heading into these road games -and- being a crucial figure on the power-play unit. With his last game against the Monsters being a 4-point night (2 goals, 2 assists) I’m hoping for more good things from the Swede as he starts settling back into the North American sized rink and game speed out of World Juniors.
Now, about the enemy. The San Antonio Rampage enter tomorrow’s game off of a 3-2 shootout win on Monday night against the Utica Comets. That puts them at 14-20-1-3 (32 points) on the season. They’re still in the basement of the West Division – being dominated so far by Texas and Abbotsford. In their last ten games they have gone 3-5-1-1 … which isn’t brilliant BUT they are riding a three-game point streak heading into this game.
The stop scorers in this match up includes a six-way tie for the top in scoring with a single point. The two goal scorers, both with (you guessed it) one, for the Rampage against the Ads include noted pest Steve Pinizzotto and former-Admiral Jed Ortmeyer. I say noted pest because (A) he is and (B) last time against the Admirals he fought Mathieu Tousignant and (C) took a charging penalty on Joonas Rask into the boards that injured Rask’s right shoulder and sidelined him for 8 games.
Back to the subject of scoring – the Rampage haven’t put too huge of a dent up in the two games so it’s hard to tell what we’re getting. You look at their team’s scoring this season and there are two standouts: Bobby Butler and Vincent Trocheck. The rookie Trocheck holds the team lead in scoring with 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) – which is that little bit better than Ads rookie Sissons who has 24 points (14 goals, 10 assists). In 4 games this month Trocheck has 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists). He started the year off with a bang and cooled in December. It looks like he’s back on it.
Rampage goaltending right now is a platoon of Jacob Markstrom and ex-Charlotte Checker Rob Madore. While Markstrom has yet to face the Admirals this season Madore has seen them while playing in net for two different teams:
While he might have the recent experience playing against the Admirals it has been all Markstrom in net for the last 7-straight games for San Antonio. In that time he has gone 3-3-1-0 making 218/239 in saves for a 0.912 SV%. I anticipate him to make his eighth-consecutive start. If they go with Madore – look to his previous history as for a reason why he’s thrown in,
Expectations for tomorrow’s road game against the Rampage? How about this busy stretch in the upcoming schedule? Will the team find a groove and pick up lots of points or stumble during a very hectic amount of games and travel? Who starts more games in net, Hellberg or Darling? Will Forsberg still be an Admiral when the team finishes this long stint of games come Sunday Jan. 26th against Rockford?