Rampage wrap up 2-game series vs. Tucson at the AT&T Center tonight at 7pm
GAME PREVIEW: The San Antonio Rampage (22-16-3-0) wrap up their two-game series against the Pacific Division leading Tucson Roadrunners (21-12-2-1) on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center. Chris Butler recorded his third power-play goal of the season in the first meeting between the two teams, while Alex Belzile extended his point streak to an AHL-career best seven games. Ville Husso shut the door on a career-high 53 shots in Friday’s game against the Roadrunners, helping the Rampage earn one point in a 2-1 overtime loss. Former Rampage forward and current Tucson player Mike Sislo recorded a helper on Dysin Mayo’s game-tying goal in the second period.
CLIMBING THE LEADERBOARDS: Rampage forward Rocco Grimaldi played in his 167th game with the Rampage on Friday, Jan. 19 against the Roadrunners, passing Logan Stephenson for the 10th-most games played in franchise history. Earlier this season Grimaldi passed Greg Rallo for the fifth-most points (119) and fourth-most goals (57) in club history. Additionally, Grimaldi is three goals away from passing Joël Perrault for the third-most goals and two points away from Dave Spina for the fourth-most points in team history. The former 2011 second-round draft pick by the Florida Panthers (33rd overall) was selected to the 2018 AHL All-Star classic.
BETWEEN THE PIPES: Netminder Ville Husso recorded a career-high 53 saves on Friday, Jan. 19 against Tucson, helping the Rampage earn one point in a 2-1 overtime loss. The 53 saves was the most by a Rampage goaltender since Dec. 2, 2006 when David LeNeveu collected 55 saves against the Chicago Wolves. Husso has gone 6-3-1-0 over his last 10 games, posting a 1.84 goals-against average and .969 save percentage. The 2014 fourth-round draft pick (94th overall) ranks first among AHL rookies with a 2.41 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage this season.
STREAKY PLAYER: Forward Alex Belzile has registered 14 points (5g/9a) in his last 17 games with the Rampage, including two multiple-point games and three power-play goals over that span. The sixth-year pro is on the longest point streak for the Rampage this season, recording one point in each of his last seven games. With 35 games remaining in the season, Belzile has already reached AHL career-highs in goals (8), assists (13) and points (21) in a single season.
CAREER-SEASON: Defenseman Chris Butler recorded his seventh goal of the season on Friday, Jan. 19 against the Tucson Roadrunners, marking the most goals ever scored in a single season by the 10th-year pro. Butler is the sixth Rampage player to break 20 points this season (7g/13a) and leads the team with three game-winning goals.
HOME SWEET HOME: San Antonio will play its next four games at the AT&T Center where they have gone 13-6-2-0 this season. The Rampage’s next four games will be against division opponents, including the Tucson Roadrunners, San Jose Barracuda and the Texas Stars. The Silver and Black have gone 8-3-2-0 against the Pacific Division this season at the AT&T Center, recording 31 goals while killing 48 of their opponents’ 53 power-play opportunities.
POWER SURGE: San Antonio has recorded seven power-play goals in their last six games, including Chris Butler’s first period goal against the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday, Jan. 19. Belzile has recorded a point on five of the seven power-play goals, tallying three goals and two assist. Samuel Blais has been the main facilitator for the Rampage power-play unit over the past six games, collecting four assists and one goal.
PLAYING IT CLOSE: The Rampage have gone 11-4-3-0 in games decided by one goal this season, including a shootout win against the Stockton Heat on Jan. 6. 10 of the 18 games were decided in overtime or a shootout where the Rampage have gone 7-0-3-0. Only the Texas Stars (14), Belleville Senators (12) and Lehigh Valley Phantoms (12) have recorded more wins in one-goal games this season.
WINTER OLYMPICS: 10 former Rampage players will participate in the upcoming Olympics in PyeongChang, including Bobby Butler, Matt Gilroy, Chad Kolarik, Maxim Noreau, Andrew Ebbett, Cody Goloubef, Quinton Howden, Michal Repik, Jonas Ahnelov, and Dennis Everberg. The 2018 Winter Olympics begin on Friday, Feb. 9 and conclude on Sunday, Feb. 25.