GAME PREVIEW:This evening’s contest marks San Antonio’s 54th game of the 2009-10 American Hockey League campaign, 29th road game and 10th game of a 14-game Rodeo road trip. The Rampage enter tonight’s matchup with an overall record of 24-20-3-6 and are currently in sixth place in the AHL’s West Division standings, trailing the division-leading Chicago Wolves by 13 standings points, with 57 in 2009-10 thus far.
On Sunday, the Rampage defeated the Milwaukee Admirals by a 2-1 score at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Rampage enter tonight’s game with a franchise record of 250-293-19-19-30 and an all-time record of 109-163-7-11-18 away from the Alamo City.
AGAINST CHICAGO:San Antonio holds an all-time record of 17-37-4-1-2 against the Wolves, including a 6-20-1-1-1 record in Chicago. This season, the Rampage are 0-3-0-0 overall against the Wolves and tonight marks San Antonio’s first of four trips to Allstate Arena in 2009-10.
Rampage goaltenders Justin Pogge (3-1-0) and Josh Tordjman (3-6-0) have each faced Chicago in their careers, while Wolves netminders Peter Mannino and Drew MacIntyre are (1-0-0) and (7-3-0), respectively, against San Antonio over the course of their careers.
San Antonio left wing Brett MacLean (2g, 1a in GP) leads the Rampage attack against the Wolves in 2009-10, while Chicago left wing Brett Sterling (4g in 3 GP) leads the Wolves offense against San Antonio this year.
In the last meeting with Chicago the Rampage fell to the Wolves on January 15, 2010, by a 2-1 score at the AT&T Center. San Antonio opened the scoring at the 3:40 mark of the first on a goal by left wing Stefan Meyer. Rampage blueliner Sean Sullivan was credited with an assist Meyer’s tally. The San Antonio lead held up until Chicago left wing Brett Sterling lit the lamp with an unassisted marker at the 14:37 mark of the second stanza. The contest then remained knotted at a goal apiece until the 11:57 mark of the final frame when Wolves right wing Tim Stapleton scored the game-winner with help from forward Joey Crabb and center Matt Anderson. Chicago netminder Peter Mannino stopped 32 of the 33 San Antonio shots he faced for the victory, while Rampage goaltender Josh Tordjman turned away 38 of 40 Wolves shots in the loss. San Antonio was 0-for-6 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill on the evening.
SCOUTING THE WOLVES:Chicago, the AHL affiliate for the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers, enters tonight’s contest in first place in the AHL’s West Division with a record of 33-17-0-4 after defeating the Houston Aeros by a 3-0 score on Sunday at Toyota Center in Houston. The Wolves are 18-6-0-2 at home this season and 8-0-0-2 in their last 10 games. The Chicago scoring punch is led by center Jason Krog, who enters tonight’s game ranked tied for fourth among AHL skaters in scoring (12g, 44a in 52 GP) and tied for first in assists (36). Wolves left wing Brett Sterling enters tonight’s contest ranked first among all skaters in goals (29). Sterling and Chicago right wing Tim Stapleton are tied for third in game-winning goals with six apiece. Wolves defenseman Arturs Kulda is ranked first among AHL skaters and blueliners in plus-minus (+35). Chicago blueliner Chris Chelios is ranked first among league defensemen in shorthanded assists (3) and shorthanded points (3). Wolves defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy is tied for second among blueliners in game-winning goals. Chicago netminder Peter Mannino is ranked first among goaltenders in goals-against average (1.76) and save percentage (.940).
RODEO ROAD TRIPPING: As the 2010 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo sets up shop at the AT&T Center for the majority of the month of February, tonight’s game marks the 10th game of a 14-game, 29-day road trip for the Rampage. The Rampage are currently 6-1-0-2 on a trip that will see San Antonio travel a total of 8,614 miles with stops in Toronto, Syracuse, Cleveland, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Peoria, Milwaukee, Chicago, Rockford and Grand Rapids.
WILD WILD WEST: Eight of San Antonio’s 14 Rodeo road trip contests are against West Division foes. The Rampage are 11-17-3-3 overall and 6-7-2-1 on the road against West Division clubs in
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: San Antonio netminder Justin Pogge was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 14 after recording victories on three consecutive days and stopping 97 of 100 shots faced this past weekend in Peoria and Milwaukee.
CLOSE CALLS: Seventeen of San Antonio’s last 27 games have been decided by only one goal. The Rampage are 15-6-1-5 during that span and 12-4-3-6 in one-goal games this season.
OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN: Rampage All-Star defenseman Sean Sullivan is currently ranked fourth among AHL blueliners in points (36), tied for third in goals (10) tied for third in game-winning goals (2), tied for first in shorthanded points (3), tied for second in shorthanded goals (1) and tied for second in shorthanded assists (2).
POTENT PENALTY KILL: The Rampage have only allowed 14 power-play goals on 110 opponent man-advantage opportunities in their last 23 games (87.3%) and enter tonight’s contest ranked in the top 10 in the AHL in overall penalty killing percentage (4th, 85.7%) and road penalty killing percentage
ON A RAMPAGE: After notching an assist on Sunday, San Antonio left wing Brett MacLean has 25 points (12g, 13a) in his last 25 games and currently leads the Rampage in goals (23), points (42) and plus-minus rating (+12). MacLean has played a role in 19 (44.2 %) of San Antonio’s 43 power-play goals this season. In 51 games in 2009-10, the London, Ontario, native has a team-leading 11 man-advantage goals (third in AHL) and eight power-play assists.
ROAD SHORTIES WITH AUTHORITY: The Rampage enter tonight’s game tied for second among AHL clubs in road shorthanded goals scored (6), trailing first place Hershey by one shorthanded goal.
MILESTONE MET: Saturday’s game represented the 100th professional game of San Antonio right wing Ryan Weston’s career.
STILL NO SHUTOUTS: San Antonio, Peoria and Springfield are the only AHL clubs that have yet to record a shutout during the 2009-10 season.
DRAFT TALENT: San Antonio’s roster currently features eight players selected in the first three rounds of the NHL Entry Draft:
1st round NHL draft picks:
Mikkel Boedker was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes (8th overall) in 2008.
Al Montoya was selected by the New York Rangers (6th overall) in 2004
Nick Ross was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes (30th overall) in 2007
Kyle Turris was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes (3rd overall) in 2007
2nd round NHL draft picks:
Brett MacLean was selected by Phoenix (32nd overall) in 2007
Stefan Meyer was selected by Florida (55th overall) in 2003
3rd round NHL draft picks:
Jonas Ahnelov was selected by Phoenix (88th overall) in 2006
Francis Lessard was selected by Carolina (80th overall) in 1997
COYOTE WATCH: The Phoenix Coyotes, San Antonio’s NHL affiliate, are off to a stellar start in 2009-10 with a record of 37-21-5 through 63 games and are currently in 2nd place in the National Hockey League’s Pacific Division, trailing the first place San Jose Sharks by 10 standings points.