The Milwaukee Admirals had yesterday off to rest after a lengthy road trip ended on a flat note and managed to spill into Saturday’s game. Not only that, but the Nashville Predators have also provided the Admirals with a little Christmas cheer with the additions of Frédérick Gaudreau, Adam Pardy, and Reid Boucher. They are rested and restocked. Now they can prep for a team that they haven’t seen since the opening weekend of the season.
The San Antonio Rampage enter tonight’s game with a record of 11-12-1-0 (23 points, 0.479 points percentage). They are in last place of the Pacific Division and find themselves thirteenth in the Western Conference.
When these two teams last met it was the first two games of the season for both. Obviously there have been a few changes since the Admirals claimed a 2-1 win and matched it with another 2-1 win the next night to start the campaign. There are three Admirals on the previous roster sheet when these teams played that are now with the Predators: Petter Granberg, Matt Irwin, and Austin Watson. On the flipside to that the Rampage are now without Mikko Rantanen and Ryan Stanton. Rantanen is now with the Colorado Avalanche while Stanton was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Cody Goloubef.
That doesn’t seem so bad, as far as missing pieces go, but there are nine players who didn’t play for the Rampage in those first two games of the season against the Admirals that are now on their roster. One of those names coming in will be a familiar one in Gabriel Bourque. It was a rough 2015-16 season for Bourque who played 26 games between the NHL and AHL. Injuries held him back and he has already played 22 games in the 2016-17 season between San Antonio and Colorado. He has 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 16 games this season for the Rampage.
The Rampage have four players in double-digit points right now: Rocco Grimaldi, 17 points (7 goals, 10 assists) in 23 games… A.J. Greer, 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in 21 games… Joe Whitney, 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in 24 games… J.T. Compher, 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in 12 games.
Spencer Martin has been the main man in net for the Rampage this season. Though, I don’t know if that is entirely his doing or down to injuries around him as they have also had Jeremy Smith, Ken Simpson, and Nathan Lieuwen play for them as well. At the moment Martin, Smith, and Simpson are on their roster. The former Admiral Smith has not played since late-October.
Martin has played in 18 games, holds a record of 11-7-0-0, 2.31 goals against average, 0.924 save percentage, and a shutout. In the Rampage’s last two games Martin was in net and saw two different results on the road against the Iowa Wild. He earned a 27-save shutout the first night and allowed 4 goals against the next night.
Expectations for tonight’s game? How big of a boost will it be for the Admirals to have those three players being brought into the mix? With this being the Admirals last home game until after Christmas break do you feel this is an important game to get momentum back on an upswing before such a long road trip?
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