Monthly Archives: December 2012
The Rampage Report: December 26, 2012
With seven Ontario natives on the roster, this weekend’s contests in Toronto and Hamilton were two highly anticipated ones for some members of the team. Many of the Rampage players had family and friends in the crowd Friday night in Toronto and Saturday Night in Hamilton. The section behind the San Antonio bench Saturday night was full of proud parents cheering on their sons, which to me made for a certain “extra special” atmosphere.
After a 2-0 loss in Austin Wednesday night against the Texas Stars, the Rampage headed up to Toronto to face off against the Marlies. James Wright and Quinton Howden helped the Rampage get on the board first when they set up Jared Gomes for the first goal of the tilt. Ryan Hamilton tied the game for the Marlies before the opening period ended. The Marlies added two more goals in the second, and another goal in the third to give them a 4-1 victory over San Antonio.
The silver and black made their way down to Hamilton for the final game before the holiday break. The Bulldogs took a quick 1-0 lead just one minute into the game. When the puck dropped for the second period, so did the gloves. Eric Selleck and Kyle Hagel squared off to start the second period with a punch. Seconds after the fighting major penalties expired, the Bulldogs extended their lead to 2-0. Jon Rheault‘s goal midway though the second jumpstarted the Rampage’s offense. A late period power play goal by Greg Rallo evened the score heading into the final 20 minutes of play. Jon Sim and Rallo picked up the assists on the Rampage’s 3rd goal of the night, and second on the power play which was scored by Drew Shore. The Rampage sealed their victory with less than 4 minutes left in the game when Alex Petrovic notched his third goal of the season and put San Antonio ahead 4-2. Hoping to get back in the game, the Bulldogs pulled goaltender Cedrick Desjardins, but Casey Wellman put the puck into the wide open net. When the final buzzer sounded about a minute later, Dov Grumet-Morris along with the rest of the team and all of the Rampage fans in attendance celebrated the Rampage’s 5-2 victory and end of a six game winless streak. Read the rest of this entry
A Look Towards The Future: Drew Shore
For the past couple of seasons the Florida Panthers have been one of the worst teams in the National Hockey League. As much as I hate to say that, it’s true. However, despite years of mediocrity, things seem to finally be changing. The addition of Dale Tallon as the general manager might just be the best thing to have ever happen to this once struggling franchise. Even though the team saw great success last year, the offense wasn’t very good. This has been a problem for the Panthers over the years; however, with young players such as Jonathan Huberdeau, Sean Bergenheim, and Kris Versteeg showing fantastic promise, things seem to be headed in the right direction for this Panthers offense.
Another one of these young players that not too many people know about is Drew Shore. After a great career with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program U-17 team and U-18 team, Shore was drafted by the Florida Panthers with the 44th overall pick during the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. However, after he was drafted by the Panthers, he decided to play college hockey at the University of Denver. While at the University of Denver, Shore excelled to the top of the depth chart and during his last season as a Pioneer, he scored a career best 53 points (22 goals, 31 assist). His above average knowledge went along great with his great mobility and size. Not only can Shore skate well, but he can also get a little physical if he needs to.
Shore was able to join the Rampage last season towards the end of the year. In his eight games played, he scored a total three points (1 goal, 2 assist). This season is a little bit different. In his first full season with the Rampage, Shore has stepped up to be one of the leaders of this team. In the 28 games that he has played in so far, Shore has posted a total of 18 points. His total of 18 points puts him in second place on the team for most points, behind Jon Rheault. It is good to see the Panthers continuously developing young talent who is succeeding. Hopefully Shore can continue to put up these numbers for the rest of the season. Although he probably won’t see action in a Panthers uniform this season coming up; however, if he can continue to play like this, it won’t be long before he finds his way into the big leagues.
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The Rampage Report: December 17, 2012
It was a rare 11:05 am start for the San Antonio Rampage as they hit the ice Tuesday morning to take on the Houston Aeros at the Toyota Center in Houston. The two goaltenders were fairly solid during the first period, with the lone goal of the period belonging to Kris Foucault and the Aeros. The Aeros maintained momentum throughout the first intermission and added another goal 36 seconds into the second period to increase their lead to 2-0. With less than a minute left in the second period, Alex Petrovic and Colby Robak managed to set Greg Rallo up for his 10th goal of the season which brought the Rampage within one. The score stood at 2-1 in favor of Houston until the final seven minutes of play when Nick Palmieri ,David McIntyre, and Jarod Palmer were all able to fire shots past Jacob Markström giving the Aeros a 5-1 win.
Friday Night the Rampage paid a visit to Oklahoma City to face off against the Barons. After a scoreless first half of the opening period, Jordan Eberle got the scoring started for the Barons after taking advantage of a blunder made by the Rampage. Before the period came to a close, Taylor Hall and Colten Teubert added goals for Oklahoma City to give them a 3-0 lead heading into the second period of play. Midway though the second the Rampage finally got on the score sheet. Newly signed forward Jon Sim netted his first AHL goal since November 21, 2010 to make the score 3-1. Unfortunately that would be the only goal for the Rampage of the night, as Oklahoma City added two more goals to extend their lead to 5-1 before the final buzzer sounded. Things got rough during the final minutes of play and Alex Petrovic received two game misconduct penalties at the final buzzer for “Physical Abuse of Officials” and “Aggressive Fighting”.
The two teams were at it once again Saturday Night but this time it was the Rampage who managed to get on the board first, with Sim striking again for the silver and black. Justin Schultz tied the game up during the final minutes to level the playing field for the start of the second. The majority of the second period was all Eberle as he scored two goals to bring Oklahoma City ahead. In the final minutes of the period, Jon Rheault and Drew Shore set up Sim for his second of the night. Eberle recorded two goals throughout the third period, but Jon Sim snuck his third goal of the evening in between Eberle’s tallies. When the final buzzer sounded the final score was 5-3 Oklahoma City. Jordan Eberle finished the game with 4 goals for the Barons and Jon Sim finished with a hat trick for the Rampage.
After dropping two games in OKC the Rampage headed back home to San Antonio to prepare for their Sunday Evening game against the Charlotte Checkers. The Checkers got the night’s first goal when Drayson Bowman picked up his 14th of the season while Charlotte was on the penalty kill. Midway though the opening period, Eric Selleck picked up the Rampage’s first goal of game with Scott Timmins and Mike Mottau receiving the assists. Both Markström and Checkers goalie Justin Peters were solid in the second period and stopped every shot they faced to keep the score tied at 1. The game winning goal came midway through the third when Marc-Andre Gragnani gave the Checkers their second goal of the evening to make the final score 2-1.
The Rampage ( 10-13-0-3) currently are in 14th place in the American Hockey League’s Western Conference with 23 points in the standings. The only team with fewer points is the Hamilton Bulldogs who will face off against the Rampage Saturday Night in Hamilton. Before that match-up, the Rampage will pay visits to Austin to face the Texas Stars Wednesday and Toronto to face the Toronto Marlies Friday.
And congratulations to Rampage goaltender Jacob Markström for being named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Dec. 9th!
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The Hill I’ve Died On.
Hockey related revenue. Make whole. Decertification. Disclaimer of interest. Meet in secret places. Common ground. Mediation. Words and terms that we are all becoming very familiar with instead of upper or lower body injury, forechecking, skates like the wind, shootout, and he’s a monster (for you Pierre McGuire fanatics).
The roller coaster of my emotions have been well documented recently either here on this site, Twitter, or our Facebook fan page. The talks between the NHL and the NHLPA that occured last week have finally sent me to a place where I said I could never imagine going. I have now reached the point of no return. That place is on a hill. Not really, but I wanted to get some mileage out of that, and figured my soapbox is a way to do it. I’ve accepted the fact that we likely won’t have hockey this season. I’ve accepted the fact that this battle of millionaires versus billionaires is going no place fast. I’ve accepted the fact that no matter what I say, how much I miss it, how much I want it back, it doesn’t matter. To anyone.
We’ve heard all the rhetoric. “We” are close to a deal”. That there’s no way it can’t be settled if we can just agree on a few things. Blah, blah, blah. Face it. I’m not 17, nor am I 25 or 30. I’m a bit older, and a bit wiser (at least I say I am), and am no longer going to act like this is the only thing that I live for. Because for the past 80 plus days, of which should have been filled with hockey, I have survived. I’m not dead, suicidal, or having convulsions because there’s no NHL hockey.
The Rampage Report: December 10, 2012
After snapping out of an eight game win-less streak with wins against Rochester and Lake Erie the San Antonio Rampage started their week with two games against the Abbotsford Heat in British Columbia. The teams hit the ice Tuesday night and it didn’t take long for Casey Wellman to open the scoring for the Rampage in the opening minutes of the period. Jon Rheault received the first penalty of the game, and the Heat were able to capitalize on the power play to even the score six minutes into the contest. The Rampage regained the lead before the first period ended when Colby Robak set up Greg Rallo to give San Antonio the 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission. Abbotsford’s Max Reinhart recorded his first goal of the season to tie the game back up midway through the game. Solid goalkeeping by both Jacob Markström and Heat goalie Barry Brust kept the game tied at two until the end of regulation and sent the two teams into overtime. The Rampage didn’t need much extra time to find the back of the net once the overtime period started. Jason DeSantis netted his first goal as a member of the silver and black which was also the game winning goal after just 35 seconds of extra time.
The two teams were back at it 24 hours later at the Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre. Rampage forward Scott Timmins started off the scoring for the night with his third goal of the ’12-’13 season early in the first. A few minutes later, Jared Gomes and Jonathan Hazen collected assists on Justin Vaive‘s first goal of the year. Timmins set up Quinton Howden for the Rampage’s third goal of the night to give them a 3-0 lead heading into the final period of play. With less than two minutes to play, and the Heat net empty, Timmins and Rampage Captain Nolan Yonkman were able to help Howden seal the victory and make the final score 4-0. Markström stopped all 36 shots that were fired at him, and the Rampage headed back to the States with an Abbotsford Heat sweep and 4 more points for the standings. Read the rest of this entry
A Look Towards The Future: Jacob Markstrom
Let’s face it; ever since the Florida Panthers traded star goaltender Roberto Luongo to the Vancouver Canucks, they have been desperately trying to find a replacement goaltender. Since then we have seen players like Tomas Vokoun, Jose Theodore, and Scott Clemmensen take over as the man in between the pipes. The Panthers thought they have found their new guy when they brought in Tomas Vokoun. Despite playing well for four seasons in a Florida uniform, the team wasn’t having overall success. The Panthers then decided to go in a different direction, by signing Jose Theodore as their starting goalie prior to last year. The move turned out to be a success as the Panthers were able to clinch a playoff spot by winning the Southeast Division. Although Theodore helped lead the team to the playoffs, there were tons of rumors going around that Luongo wanted to come back to the Panthers; however, that never happened. During this span of six years, the Panthers decided it would be a good idea to draft a goalie and groom him in the AHL. The goalie that was drafted was Jacob Markstrom. Read the rest of this entry
One Step Up, Two Steps Back
After two days of what appeared to be heightened optimism that included pizza being brought into the meetings by Steve Fehr, many felt that the NHL lockout was finally coming to an end. However faster than a Patrick Sharp one timer, the tailspin that developed on Thursday changed all that. Possibly for a very long time. The glow, the optimism, and the hope that games would begin as early as Christmas day were all shot down yesterday evening. By voicemail. Hah! Modern technology. What a glorious world we live in where we can avoid confrontation by leaving a voicemail with a decision. Although it’s 2012, the memo could also have been delivered via text message.
This relationship between the NHL and the NHLPA is getting more sour by the minute, and it seems as though the two sides are behaving like immature high schoolers. Yesterday’s response which came from Bill Daly stated that the PA’s offer was unacceptable, could have, and should have been delivered in person. The situation, which is partly laughable, and partly embarrassing, reminds me of when I was a 20 year goofball and I broke up with my girlfriend over the phone! For some reason I thought that it would be easier doing it that way than face to face. I was wrong for taking the path of least resistance, and after the fact I knew it. But I was a kid who really didn’t know better. In the current situation we’re talking about adults. Professionals who have a signifcant amount of experience in negotiations.
While both sides still share blame in this, Michael Grange referred to Gary Bettman yesterday as the “bad boyfriend” of the NHLPA. Snicker. Bettman however is not the only villan here, as it was noted that NHLPA rep Donald Fehr had made remarks that “we’re close to a deal”, which apparently they weren’t. And told his players to” hold out for more”. This has turned into a mess of epic proportions and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if more games are cancelled today (by the time this story posts they may already have). Read the rest of this entry
A Look Towards The Future: Alex Petrovic
There are a lot of fantastic young players who have the potential to be great one day playing currently playing for the San Antonio Rampage. While the team is stacked to the top with these great young prospects, a few of them really stick out. One of those players is defender Alex Petrovic. Alex Petrovic was selected by the Florida Panthers 36th overall during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. You might recall that that was the same year that the Florida Panthers selected Erik Gudbranson with the 3rd overall selection. The decision to go with two defenders within the first couple of rounds showed that the Panthers were slowly, but surely trying to get younger at the position. So far we have all seen what Gudbranson could do; however, we have yet to see what Petrovic could do in a NHL uniform. Hopefully we get a chance to see just what the youngster could do. Read the rest of this entry
10 Things That Must Be In Place When The Lockout Ends
I have admitted to life without hockey as being something that I can deal with. I never would have thought that it was possible to be this far into a lockout where I actually can say that. I didn’t come up with a plan B, nor did I slit my wrists or throat, or jump off a bridge either. Surely there has been a Saturday night or two, or a weeknight here or there that could have been a bit more enjoyable with the best game on earth available for viewing. However I have adapted. And I’m still alive. And if you’re reading this, then so are you. Bad enough I happened to pick this year as the year to go out on my own and away from a network to start my own website. But with the support of my terrific staff, and friends, it was well worth doing, and I wouldn’t have changed anything. Which brings me to where we are today.
There is talk that with the recent meetings, things could be settled soon. Maybe as early as Friday, or Sunday, and that’s a good thing. While I won’t start the parade until the ink is dry, and the official announcement has been made, I think that both sides have finally realized how silly this is, and that in order to preserve the game and whatever fanbase is left, a deal must be made. Each side needs to give something up and feel some pain, which is what I have said all along. That’s how negotiations like this go, and we might be on our way to that point right now. But, if this last little get together ends up all for naught, then please cancel the season and don’t bother us until next year’s training camp. It’s way too stressful.
Is The End Finally Near?
Not the end of the world like on last night’s episode of Go On. I’m talking about the NHL lockout. Yesterday a group of players led by Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews sat across the table from a group of owners led by Ron Burkle of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The most interesting part of this meeting was that it was held without Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr. Even better, it’s been determined that things are looking up, and that there is some “guarded” optimism that came from yesterday’s sessions.
It was reported by TSN that more meetings will be held today, which is true, as the discussions will be sandwiched between a scheduled board of governors meeting and a press conference by Gary Bettman at 1:00 P.M. For the first time in weeks there seems to be something to be positive about, and both sides apparently seemed to be willing to give something up in order to settle this stalemate. A stalemate that has reached ridiculos proportions, and has angered fans, cost people jobs, and has effected the economy of many franchises and the establishments around them. But that is a whole ‘nother story isn’t it.