Rampage: Scouting the Enemy

(Photo Credit: San Antonio Rampage)

The Milwaukee Admirals are currently riding a three-game winning streak. We haven’t had the chance to say something like that since they started off the 2017-18 season winning the first four games. It has been a slow process but one that the entire Central Division outside of the Manitoba Moose seem to have endured along the way so far. The Admirals are now in second place of the division behind the Moose as they embark on a three-game road trip. Can this momentum be carried into the first Texas swing of the season?

The San Antonio Rampage have a record of 20-15-2-0 (42 points, 0.568 points percentage). They are currently fourth in the Pacific Division and sixth in the Western Conference standings – seated directly behind the Admirals (0.583). The Rampage are 5-5-0-0 in their last 10 games. They are returning home after a three-game road trip in California which all ended in games tight contests. They won a 2-1 shootout against the Stockton Heat. The Rampage then lost 4-3 to the Heat before dropping another close decision of 2-1 against the San Jose Barracuda.

As this is the first time the Admirals and Rampage have met you might spy a few players that are familiar from the Amtrak Rivalry in recent years. That’s because the Rampage have a working partnership with the St. Louis Blues who have no dedicated AHL affiliate this season. That changes next season as the San Antonio Rampage will be the full-time AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues when the Colorado Avalanche shift operations to the Colorado Eagles who will be moving up from the ECHL.

Ville Husso and Samuel Blais are two of the former members of the Chicago Wolves who have been having great AHL runs with San Antonio.

Husso split last season between the AHL and ECHL but the 22-year old Finn has been solid in the new environment: 2.66 goals against average and 0.917 save percentage in 15 appearances. Blais has been split between the NHL and AHL this season. The 21-year old’s first run in the NHL with the Blues has seen him produce 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in 10 games for the Blues. Blais has 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) in 14 games as a member of the Rampage in the AHL. That includes a 3 point (2 goals, 1 assist) night in his return from the NHL.

The current leading scorer for the Rampage is Andrew Agozzino who has 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) in 36 games. He is followed closely by Jordan Schmaltz who has 22 points (5 goals, 17 assists) in 29 games which has him inside the top ten scoring defensemen in the AHL this season.

A permanent staple of the Rampage offense has been Rocco Grimaldi. He might only be 24-years old. He might only be 5’6″ out on the ice. But Grimaldi has already found himself fifth all-time on the Rampage scoring list with 117 points (57 goals, 60 assists) in 163 games. Grimaldi has also put in 6 games this season as a member of the Avalanche where he has 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists).

“What’s our ol’ pal Félix Girard been up to,” you ask. Girard has 9 points (7 goals, 2 assists) in 37 games this season. It isn’t quite as explosive as it was when Girard joined the Avalanche organization last season after being traded -but- I guarantee he will be his ever effective self when it comes to the face-off dot and penalty kill.

As for goaltending Husso isn’t the only quality choice at the Rampage’s disposal for tonight or Sunday’s games against the Admirals. Spencer Martin has a record of 12-8-2-0 in 23 appearances this season to go along with a 2.77 goals against average and 0.901 save percentage. Back on 11/10/17 he earned the sixth shutout of his three-year AHL career by stopping all 39 shots he faced on the road against the Rockford IceHogs.

What are your expectations for the weekend set against the San Antonio Rampage? Do you think the Milwaukee Admirals are trending the right direction before this road trip?

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