The term “must-win” is rarely used in hockey in the month of November. With a difficult road schedule ahead, though, and coming off a two game losing streak, the San Antonio Rampage were as close to that situation as a team can be. The home team did not disappoint, defeating the rival Texas Stars, 5-2, on Saturday night.
After a slow start, which saw the Stars jump out to an early 1-0 lead on a Max French goal, Spencer Martin stepped up and changed the tone of the game with one save. With just five minutes gone in the contest, Stars forward Denis Gurianov was hauled down from behind by Nicholas Meloche and awarded a penalty shot. Spencer Martin, however, made the left pad stop, keeping the deficit at a single goal.
“Yeah, you just can’t go down 2-0 at that point of the game” Martin quipped, with a smile, after the game.
The Rampage would take the momentum into the second period and capitalize early and often. AJ Greer got things started with a sharp angle goal just 92 seconds into the middle frame. Alex Belzile and Tage Thompson would add two more and the Rampage turned a one goal deficit into a two goal lead after 40 minutes.
After a Jason Dickinson goal pulled the Stars to within one, Andrew Agozzino and Rocco Grimaldi scored a pair of goals just 56 seconds apart to put the game out of reach and send all but a handful of the 6,702 in attendance home as happy hockey fans.
Spencer Martin, who was presented his AHL/CCM Player of the Week trophy before the game, stopped 23 of 25 shots, earning his 7th win of the season and the Rampage had four players with multi-point games, led by Agozzino’s 1g-2a performance.
Streamables – (Courtesy of Nathan Rudolph @AvalancheReview)
Rampage 0 – Stars 1
1st period (2:52) – TEX Max French (2) ASST: Samuel Laberge (3), Colin Markison (2)
Rampage 1 – Stars 1
2nd period (1:32) – SA AJ Greer (2) ASST: Andrew Agozzino (8)
Rampage 2 – Stars 1
2nd period (6:31) – SA Alex Belzile (2) ASST: Chris Butler (7), Jordan Schmaltz (11)
Rampage 3 – Stars 1
2nd period (15:57) – SA Tage Thompson (5) ASST: Chris Butler (8), Andrew Agozzino (9)
Rampage 3 – Stars 2
3rd period (5:26) – TEX Jason Dickinson (7) ASST: Curtis McKenzie (7), Travis Morin (17)
Rampage 4 – Stars 2
3rd period (11:17) – SA Andrew Agozzino (7) ASST: Tage Thompson (4), Jordan Schmaltz (12)
Rampage 5 – Stars 2
3rd period (12:13) – SA Rocco Grimaldi (3) ASST: David Warsofsky (6), Samuel Blais (5)
- This game was one of San Antonio’s best all around efforts of the season and possibly THE best effort at even strength. Additionally, the struggling PK was 2-2 and the power play looked very good despite not scoring.
- Good Spencer made a timely reappearance. After allowing an early goal after a bad defensive breakdown, Martin came up huge, stopping Denis Gurianov on a penalty shot, seemingly changing the momentum of the game.
- The defensive pairing of Jordan Schmaltz (0-2-2) and Chris Butler (0-2-2) combined for four points and were both a +4 for the game.
- It’s difficult to find much wrong with last night’s game. That said, I didn’t like the start to the game. The first 5-7 minutes were all Stars and you’d hope the team would have come out at the start with a little more energy considering how big this game was considering the upcoming schedule.
- They beat the Stars 5-2. I got nothing.
Tue, Nov 21 (8:30pm) – @Bakersfield
Wed, Nov 22 (9:00pm) – @San Jose
Sat, Nov 25 (9:00pm) – @Bakersfield
Sun, Nov 26 (5:00pm) – @Ontario
All times local.
All games can be heard on Ticket760 or streamed on AHL Live.