Game Preview: New Old Friends
Friday - $1 Beer Night
Puck Drop - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday - Ticket + 2 Beer Night
Puck Drop - 7 p.m.
The San Antonio Rampage will wrap up their season-opening homestand this weekend with a two game-set against the Colorado Eagles. While the Eagles will be making their first ever visit to the AT&T Center this weekend, the majority of the players on their roster will likely feel right at home.
The Eagles are brand new to the AHL, the franchise coming up from the ECHL after winning back-to-back Kelly Cups and now serving as the new affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. The Rampage was partnered with the Avalanche until teaming up with the St. Louis Blues this past summer, meaning there will be 16 players on Colorado’s roster on Friday who saw game action with the Rampage last year.
San Antonio has split the first two games on the schedule, a shutout win on opening night over the Grand Rapids Griffins and a 4-3 loss on Tuesday to the Milwaukee Admirals. The Eagles are still in search of their first AHL win, falling in overtime on opening night to the Chicago Wolves and then dropping a 5-1 decision to Chicago the following night. Friday will be the Eagles’ first game since October 6th.
Adam Musil has gotten off to a solid start for the Rampage, scoring his first goal of the season in the opener and adding an assist on Tuesday night. Musil helped set up Klim Kostin’s highlight-reel goal against the Admirals, in which Kostin went between his own legs in walking around defensemen Frederic Allard before slipping home his first goal of the season, and first since February 18th of last year. Brian Flynn and Jordan Nolan also have assists in each of the first two games, bringing Nolan within one point of 100 for his pro career.
Ville Husso took the loss against Milwaukee, stopping 20 of 24 shots. All four Milwaukee goals came on odd-man rushes, with the Admirals netting two breakaway goals in the first period and two 2-on-1 goals in the third period.
Of three goals scored by the Eagles this season, two have come from Rampage alumni. AJ Greer scored the first AHL goal in Eagles history, and Nicolas Meloche had the lone goal Saturday. Spencer Martin started both games in goal, stopping 40 of 48 shots over that weekend.
The Rampage hope to shore up their power play for Friday after going 0-for-4 against Milwaukee and giving up a 5-on-3 shorthanded goal, and the Eagles hope to get their man-advantage moving as well. The Eagles are 0-for-13 on the power play this season.
As they did in their first two games of the season, the Rampage will face a head coach in his first season with his current squad. Greg Cronin is the first head coach of the AHL Eagles, having spent the past seven seasons as an assistant coach in the NHL with Toronto and the New York Islanders. Cronin has been an AHL head coach before, running the bench in Bridgeport from 2003-05. In total, Cronin has 31 years of coaching experience as a head or an assistant at the NHL, AHL, and Division I college levels.
Rampage to Watch
Mackenzie MacEachern punched home his first goal of the season on Tuesday night, a rebound in front on a long-range point shot from Jake Walman for his first point as a member of the Rampage. MacEachern has been noticeable at both ends of the ice in his first two Rampage games, putting six shots on net in his debut and adding four more on Tuesday to rank second on the team two games into the young season. MacEachern had 60 shots in 46 games last season with Chicago and 69 shots in 55 games the season before. His noticeable jump has allowed Head Coach Drew Bannister to use him in all situations, including the top power-play unit in each of the first two games. MacEachern came into his first Rampage campaign with 11 goals and 21 points across 101 games in his first two AHL seasons but has been plenty involved in the San Antonio scoring attack early.
Eagle to Watch
Among the returning Rampage alumni is Andrew Agozzino, who led the Rampage in goals (23) and points (44) last season. Agozzino notched his first point of the season on Saturday with an assist and has totaled just three shots during his first two outings. Now in his seventh pro season, Agozzino posted 35 goals and 73 points across 113 games with the Rampage. He’s also a power play threat with 20 goals on the man-advantage over the last two seasons.
- Jared Thomas was assigned to ECHL Tulsa on Wednesday.
- Brian Flynn has points in back-to-back games. He posted points in consecutive games 16 times last year, with his longest points streak at eight games.
- Jordan Nolan leads the team with 11 shots on goal.
- The Eagles are the first opponent this season that the Rampage face in consecutive games. They will have 19 such sequences on the schedule this season.
- Colorado’s Greg Cronin was an assistant coach for Trevor Smith with the Maple Leafs.
- AJ Greer won the Yannick Dupre Memorial Award with the Rampage in 2017, recognizing his work in the community.
- The Colorado Eagles won the Kelly Cup, the ECHL’s championship trophy, in 2017 and 2018. They were just the fourth team to win in consecutive years. Ryan Olsen was a member of last year’s Eagles team.