The story of the 2017-18 San Antonio Rampage season could very well be the melding of prospects from the Colorado Avalanche and the St Louis Blues. This blending of talent was a key to the Rampage’s 2-1 victory over the visiting Ontario Reign in tonight’s season opener.
While both goals were scored by Blues prospects (Samuel Blais and Jordan Schmaltz), the key assists came from Avalanche contracted players. Rocco Grimaldi and Gabriel Bourque both made incredibly skilled plays directly leading to both goals. In addition, the defense played extremely well early and just well enough late to hold the Reign off the scoreboard.
Spencer Martin, meanwhile stopped 18 of 19 shots he faced to pick up the win. The lone blemish, a goal scored by Michael Mersch, a direct result of the Avs top goalie prospect misplaying a puck behind his own net. Otherwise, the 22 year old netminder was very good late in the game to secure the win.
Streamables – (Courtesy of Nathan Rudolph @AvalancheReview)
Rampage 1 – Reign 0
1st Period (10:48) SA Samuel Blais (1) ASST: Rocco Grimaldi (1), Andrew Agozzino (1)
Rampage 2 – Reign 0
2nd Period (2:17) SA Jordan Schmaltz (1) ASST: Gabriel Bourque (1), Adam Musil (1)
Rampage 2 – Reign 1
2nd period (13:23) – ONT Mersch (unassisted)
- The Penalty Kill was perfect (3-3) and limited the Reign to virtually no offensive chances.
- Dominic Toninato played a quietly impressive defensive game, especially in the third period when the Rampage were facing some pressure from Ontario.
- Despite having prospects–and vets–from rival organizations, the team seemed to be in sync and had good communication.
- Somehow, the aggressive Reign managed to commit zero penalties in the game, meaning we have no idea how the power play will look.
- 18 year old Blues prospect, and first round draft pick, Klim Kostin played about how you’d expect an 18 year old who has been with the team for all of two days to play.
- David Warsofsky not only rode the struggle bus tonight, he rode shotgun. Bad decisions with and without the puck.
- The intro video was the same as the preseason game despite social media showing teasers of footage from media day.
The Rampage return to game action Thursday night in Bakersfield, facing the Condors for the first time this season. Puck drop is at 8:30 CT and the game can be heard on Ticket760 or streamed on AHL Live.