Daily Archives: February 2, 2013
Friday night the San Antonio Rampage hosted the Rockford IceHogs for their third annual Pink In The Rink game to help raise funds for breast health awareness. A record setting crowd of 16,205 were on hand to see the Rampage behind the 30 save performance of Jacob Markstrom shutout the IceHogs 1-0. The crowd was the largest for the franchise itself, and was also the largest crowd at an AHL game so far this season. The lone goal of the game was scored by Florida Panthers prospect John McFarland. It was his first goal of the season in 17 games.
The game also featured the season debut of defenceman Erik Gudbranson who saw his first action of the year since recovering from an off season shoulder injury. Gudbranson is expected to play two games before joining the Florida Panthers at some point during their four game road trip. The Panthers wanted the big defencemen to get a couple games under his belt before entering the lineup with the big club. His physical presence will be a welcomed site when he does finally join the Panthers.
Sunday afternoon the Florida Panthers begin their four game road trip with a visit to Buffalo to face the Sabres and red hot Tomas Vanek. The sharp shooting forward who can play either on the right or left wing, has started the year with 15 points in six games. He’s scored six goals and has nine assists, and is coming off a three goal two assist night against the Boston Bruins on Thursday. That was the eighth career hat trick for the player born in Vienna, Austria. He is currently on a pace to score 47 goals and pick up 71 assists which would give him some gaudy numbers for a 48 game season. Vanek’s highest point total his seven year NHL career was in 2006-2007 when he had 43 goals and 41 assists for 84 points. He was also a plus 47, and 15 of his goals came on the power play. He’s scored 40 goals or more twice in his career, and also has also scored 36 and 32 goals in two other seasons. He is the first NHL player to record five points in his teams’ first five games since Mario Lemieux in 1992-1993. He truly is the spark in the Buffalo offence, a team that traditionally doesn’t score too much, and is very good at two way hockey. That thanks to head coach Lindy Ruff.