The Rampage earned a 2-1 win over the San Jose Barracuda on Friday night, gaining their third win in four games on home ice.
“Those are the ones you want back,” said Smith, who usually has success when going in alone on the netminder. “It was a little tight on chances all the way through and you get a golden opportunity and for me, I want to score that.”
The Rampage outshot the Barracuda 37-30 in the free-wheeling contest, with Petryk assisting on both San Antonio markers. Rantanen and Maxim Noreau also added assists, while goaltender Roman Will, fresh off his NHL debut with the Colorado Avalanche against the Barracuda’s parent team, the Sharks, made numerous game-saving stops in the third period especially.
“I’m feeling really good right now,” said Will, who made two stops in his 18 minutes of action in relief of another former Rampage goalie, Calvin Pickard against the Sharks Tuesday night. “The guys played really good in front of me and they helped me today. I’m so happy we got the win.”
“Roman was good. He was real good,” said Rampage coach Dean Chynoweth. “They made some tough plays at the net. They throw a lot of pucks to the net, and I thought he stood tall in there.”
When asked from his perspective, how does he feel about his game right now, Will responded, “I feel like I’m in the zone right now. Sometimes, I would not say the puck looks bigger, but I see it so clear and when I don’t see my players block it, everything is working out right now.”
In a 2-1 game with the Barracuda pressing for the equalizer, Will was especially stingy, making key saves in the game’s last minute. Does he mind the pressure?
“I’m feeling like the game is more fun actually. Because there’s more pressure and it’s a good feeling that the guys really believe in me and I believe in them. It’s a good feeling, especially at the end of the game. After it’s beautiful to get the win and celebrate with the guys,” added the Czech netminder.
The Rampage seemed to be missing out on the good bounces during their recent rough stretch, but tonight, those bounces went in their direction. Everberg’s first goal was a shot that was blocked by a San Jose stick, went straight up into the air and landed near Everberg around the cage and found it’s way past the goal line.
“The first goal, it touched my hair,” joked Everberg, who played 15 games with the Avalanche to start the season. “It was a lucky bounce around the net.”
Chynoweth was pleased with the response to Sunday’s 6-1 loss to Texas, both in effort and the physical attitude of the club.
“I liked the first two periods. I really liked the energy we came out with in the first. The score didn’t indicate how much the play favored us at that time. Then we had those power plays and weren’t really able to capitalize and I knew by the third those calls would be evened up at some point.”
“We had a really good week of practice. Whenever you’re coming off a weekend like that (3-games-in-3-nights) and you have the number of days of practice we had, you try and get to the guys together and there were fundamental things you’re still working on as a team and our team play. The big thing is the consistency from whether it’s from one period to the next. That was the message. To stay in the moment, treat each shift like it’s your last and make sure we focus on the little details.”
The Rampage continue their homestand Saturday night against the Barracuda, and then break for the AHL All-Star game Monday. San Antonio returns for Pink in the Rink next Friday before embarking on the season-long annual odyssey, the 11-Rodeo Road Trip.