Weekend Preview: San Antonio Rampage vs. Chicago Wolves

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Photo by Drew Patterson

San Antonio Rampage (29-18-4-0) 62 pts – 6th in Western Conf.
vs.
Chicago Wolves (26-19-5-1) 58 pts – 9th in Western Conf.

Saturday Feb 21st – 7pm CST
Sunday Feb 22nd – 3pm CST

The Rampage went into this year’s Rodeo Road Trip 9 points clear of the last playoff spot. Going into this weekend’s two-game set with Chicago, the Silver and Black sit just four points ahead of 9th place in the division. The team holding that spot? The Chicago Wolves.

While the Rampage have started the trip 2-3, teams like Grand Rapids (points in 9 of 10), Texas (points in 8 of 10) , and Hamilton (points in 8 of 10) have gone on hot streaks, tightening up the Western Conference playoff race. Chicago, meanwhile, much like the Rampage, have hovered around .500 in their last 10 and have slipped from 6th to 9th place.

The Rampage, coming off a Wednesday morning 4-0 whitewashing of Rockford on the shoulders of a balanced offense and Michael Houser, will need the league’s top scoring offense to come through once again this weekend. Chicago is a very good defensive team in the mold of their NHL affiliate Blues. They also have two very good goalies in rookie Jordan Binnington (17 wins 2.33GAA .915%) and former Rampage fan favorite Matt Climie (9 wins 2.34GAA .911%).

The Wolves are led on offense by Shane Harper, whose 21 goals has him tied with Bobby Butler for 3rd in the AHL and Ty Rattie who has scored 17 goals while getting five games with the Blues.

This will be the last time these teams see each other barring a playoff matchup. The two team split their previous two meetings in San Antonio in December.

I could say this is the biggest weekend of the season so far and I wouldn’t be wrong. That said, every weekend from this point on will be the “biggest weekend” with the conference being so tight from top to bottom.

Notes:

  • Mark Mancari played in 113 regular season games and 5 more playoff contests (we remember those…) with the Wolves over two seasons, putting up 39g-57a-96pts combined.
  • Wolves defenseman, Mathieu Brodeur, suited up for the Rampage for six games over two seasons as a Coyotes prospect from 2009-2011.
  • The Rampage have scored a league leading 68 goals in the second period. The Wolves, meanwhile, have allowed just 39 goals in the middle frame which is 3rd best.
  • The team to score first will have a huge advantage in these games. The Rampage are 20-5-2 (0.778) and the Wolves are an astounding 20-3-1-1 (0.840) respectively when cracking the scoreboard first.

As always, you can listen to Rampage hockey on Ticket 760 with the best broadcaster in the AHL Dan Weiss calling all the action.

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