The San Antonio Rampage won all three of its games played this past week and has only lost one contest in the last nine outings.
The Rampage began a three-game homestand with a 4-3 overtime win over the San Jose Barracuda on Wednesday. The victory was the club’s first of the season at home when trailing after two periods in 14 games. Borna Rendulic, Ben Street and Brandon Gormley all lit the lamp before Gary Nunn sealed the deal 2:11 into additional time. Nate Guenin had two assists, while Maxim Noreau, Joey Hishon, Mikko Rantanen, Rendulic and Street had a helper each. Goaltender Reto Berra made 29 saves on 32 shots.
The game was also highlighted by the signing of 5-year-old James Evans to an honorary one-day contract with San Antonio. Evans took a puck to the head during warmup on March 27, an injury that required three staples. Despite being taken to the hospital for treatment, Evans returned to the AT&T Center to see the Rampage defeat the Texas Stars 3-2 in overtime. Evans attended the team’s morning skate on Wednesday and skated out with the players during introductions.
Head coach Dean Chynoweth served a one-game suspension on Wednesday as a consequence of his actions following the team’s 2-1 loss in Milwaukee on April 2.
On Friday, San Antonio defeated the Iowa Wild 4-3 in a shootout for its sixth-straight home win. After giving up two Iowa markers in the final period, Rendulic scored with just 21 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. However, the game decision had to be made in the shootout, and Street came up big, scoring the lone goal in the final round. Samuel Henley and Hishon also tallied in the contest, and Mason Geertsen, Dennis Everberg and Rantanen had an assist each. Berra allowed three goals on 39 shots but stopped all three skaters in the skills competition. Rendulic, who had a three-point outing (one goal and two assists), posted his second consecutive multi-point game. Sergei Boikov, who signed to an amateur tryout contract last Monday after his junior season with Drummondville ended, made his professional debut.
The Silver and Black picked up a 4-3 victory against the Wild in OT on Saturday. The win was the club’s seventh straight at the AT&T Center, which tied a franchise record for consecutive victories at home. After getting a goal from Street in the second stanza, Rantanen scored with 35 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. Rantanen’s marker, his 23rd of the season, also set a new franchise record for goals by a rookie. Nunn tallied his second game-winner of the week and second of the game 2:20 into the extra frame. Guenin, Street, Noreau, Everberg and Reid Petryk had a helper each, and Hishon tied a season high with three assists. Berra, in his fifth-consecutive start, turned away 25-of-28 shots.
Street has been on fire since his return from a chest injury, registering seven points (three goals and four assists) in seven contests. He has 19 points (six goals and 13 assists) in 13 games this season. Hishon is third on the team with 42 points (14 goals and 28 assists) in 60 outings and has a goal and four assists in his last three outings. Everberg is fourth on the team with 38 points (14 goals and 24 assists) in 52 contests and has four helpers in his last five appearances.
|Mikko Rantanen |
Rantanen, the Colorado Avalanche’s 10th overall pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team on Wednesday. He is the second player in franchise history to be awarded this honor. The following day, Rantanen became the first Rampage player to be named to the AHL’s Second All-Star Team. He is the youngest player to ever suit up for San Antonio and leads the team with 59 points (23 goals and 36 assists) in 50 games. He’s currently on an eight-game point streak in which he’s collected nine points (two goals and seven assists) and has not appeared on the scoresheet in just nine outings all year. Rantanen has set Rampage rookie records for goals, assists and points this season and is the league’s top rookie scorer.
In recent Rampage transactions, left wing Trevor Cheek was reassigned to the Fort Wayne Komets last Tuesday. Cheek split time with the Rampage and Komets this year, playing in 34 AHL contests and collecting nine points (four goals and five assists). Left wing Troy Bourke was also reassigned to Fort Wayne on Saturday. Bourke spent a majority of his time in San Antonio, playing in 56 games and registering nine points (two goals and seven assists).
Following the Avalanche’s final contest of the season on Saturday, Andrew Agozzino was reassigned to San Antonio. Agozzino, who was recalled to the NHL on March 27 following the loss of Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon due to knee injuries, skated in nine total contests with the Avs, seven during his most recent stint with Colorado, and collected two assists.
The club plays its final two contests of the regular season at the Texas Stars on Wednesday and returns home for the season finale on Friday against the Manitoba Moose. Unfortunately, the Rampage will miss the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs this year after being officially eliminated from contention on April 2.
April 13 at Texas Stars
April 15 vs. Manitoba Moose
Fort Wayne Komets
The Fort Wayne Komets wrapped up the regular season this week with three games and head to the ECHL Western Conference Quarterfinals as the Midwest Division champions.
The Komets dropped a 4-1 decision to the Quad City Mallard on Wednesday and fell 5-2 to the Indy Fuel on Friday. Gabriel Beaupre had the primary assist on Fort Wayne’s lone goal against Quad City on Wednesday. Goaltender Spencer Martin made 25 saves on 30 shots in Friday’s contest and has a record of 9-9-1 in 20 ECHL outings this year.
Fort Wayne ended the regular season on a high note with a 3-2 overtime win against Indy at home on Saturday.
The Komets face the Cincinnati Cyclones in the best-of-seven opening round of the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Game 1 and Game 2 will be played in Fort Wayne on Friday and Saturday.
Nick Magyar (Kitchener Rangers): The Kitchener Rangers began the second round of the OHL playoffs this week, falling in the first two games at the London Knights. Kitchener was doubled up 6-3 by London on Friday and dropped a 5-3 decision on Sunday. Nick Magyar skated in both of the club’s outings and has one goal in seven playoffs contests. In the regular season, Magyar totaled 20 points (11 goals and nine assists) in 49 appearances. The Rangers continue the best-of-seven series at home on Tuesday and Thursday. If necessary, Game 5 will take place on Friday and Game 6 on Sunday.
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies: The No. 1-seeded Rouyn-Noranda Huskies began quarterfinal play against the No. 13-seeded Blainville-Boisbriand Armada last week. The Huskies had their 18-game winning streak end with a 1-0 loss in regulation on Friday but got back to their winning ways with a 5-0 shutout of the Armada in Game 2 on Saturday. All three of the Avs’ prospects recorded at least a point in Saturday’s contest with alternate captain Julien Nantel and JC Beaudin scoring a goal and AJ Greer collecting two assists.
Nantel has five points (two goals and three assists) in six playoff contests after totaling 46 points (22 goals and 24 assists) in 52 regular-season games. Greer has nine points (five goals and four assists) in six playoff outings, tied for fourth best on the team. He had 27 points (16 goals and 11 assists) in 33 regular-season appearances. Beaudin has 10 points (four goals and six assists) in six postseason contests, ranking third in team scoring. During the regular season, he collected 82 points (33 goals and 49 assists) in 58 games.
The best-of-seven quarterfinal round continues on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Additional matchups are scheduled for Sunday and next Tuesday, if necessary.
Sergei Boikov (Drummondville Voltigeurs): Boikov signed an amateur tryout contract with the Rampage last Monday following the Drummondville Voltigeur’s First Round playoff loss to Rouyn-Noranda. Boikov participated in all four playoff games and registered six penalty minutes. In 52 regular-season outings, the defenseman totaled 26 points (six goals and 20 assists). In addition to playing for Drummondville, Boikov represented Russia at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Finland. He skated in seven contests and helped his home country take home the silver medal.
Nicolas Meloche (Gatineau Olympiques): The No. 5-seeded Gatineau Olympiques began the quarterfinal round against the No. 6-seeded Moncton Wildcats last week. Moncton took a 3-1 decision on Friday in Game 1, but Gatineau followed the loss with a 3-0 shutout victory on Saturday. Nicolas Meloche scored the Olympiques’ lone goal in Friday’s contest but did not play the following night. The marker was his first playoff point in five outings. During the regular season, Meloche split time with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and Gatineau, collecting 33 points (13 goals and 20 assists) in 53 games. The quarterfinal playoff series continues on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Alexis Pepin (Val-d’Or Foreurs): The No. 4-seeded Val-d’Or Foreurs fell in six games to the No. 13-seeded Armada in the opening round of the playoffs, ending the club’s 2015-16 campaign. Alexis Pepin finished the postseason with three points (two goals and one assist) in six playoff contests. The forward totaled 47 points (23 goals and 24 assists) in 62 regular-season outings.
Gustav Olhaver (Swift Current Broncos): Gustav Olhaver finished his first North American season with eight points (three goals and five assists) in 51 games. The forward started the year as a member of the Seattle Thunderbirds, recording five points (two goals and three assists) in 31 outings before being claimed on waivers by the Swift Current Broncos in late December. He played in 20 contests with the Broncos, tallying one goal and two helpers. Swift Current finished the regular season ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference with 58 points and did not make the playoffs.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): The University of Denver Pioneers dropped a heartbreaking 4-2 decision to the North Dakota Fighting Hawks in the Frozen Four on Thursday. Despite a scoreless first period, North Dakota came out firing in the second stanza, notching two goals in the first seven minutes. Will Butcher put DU on the scoreboard 2:50 into the third frame before the Pioneers answered again 8:01 later to tie the game. With less than a minute to play in regulation, North Dakota scored the go-ahead goal and added an empty-net tally with two seconds remaining to secure the 4-2 win.
Butcher was named a 2016 Second Team (West) All-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association on Friday. He recorded 32 points (nine goals and 23 assists) in 39 games during his junior year, ranking third in the nation in scoring by a defenseman. He also earned First Team All-NCHC honors in March.
The NCAA National Semifinals and Final were held in Tampa, Florida, at Amalie Arena, home of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning. North Dakota went on to defeat the Quinnipiac University Bobcats 5-1 on Saturday for the National Championship title.
JT Compher (University of Michigan): The University of Michigan fell 5-2 to the University of North Dakota on March 26 in the NCAA Regional Final to end the school’s 2015-16 campaign. JT Compher had a career year, collecting 63 points (16 goals and 47 assists) in 38 outings. The junior concluded the season on an eight-game point streak in which he registered 16 points (five goals and 11 assists). He was named to the United States National Team for the 2016 IIHF World Championship earlier on Tuesday.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State): The NCHC champion St. Cloud State’s season ended in the semifinals of the NCAA West Regional with a 5-4 loss in overtime to Ferris State on March 26. In 29 games this season, Ben Storm registered seven points (two goals and five assists).
Anton Lindholm (Skelleftea AIK, SHL): Skelleftea AIK shutout the Vaxjo Lakers 2-0 last Tuesday but fell 2-1 in the fourth game of the semifinal series on Thursday. In Game 5, Skelleftea took home a 5-3 victory on Saturday. Skelleftea fell 4-3 in overtime in Game 6 on Monday. The series-deciding seventh game is Wednesday. Anton Lindholm skated in all four matchups this last week and has now appeared in 10 playoff contests, totaling six shots on goal and a plus-2 rating. In 30 regular-season outings, Lindholm had four assists, 26 shots on goal and 18 penalty minutes. His time on ice has increased from 16:02 during the regular season to 19:13 in the playoffs.
Wilhelm Westlund (Djurgarden, SHL): Wilhelm Westlund skated in 42 games with HC Vita Hasten in the Allsvenskan league and played in 11 SHL games with Djurgarden. He had 14 regular-season points (three goals and 11 assists), all of which came with Vita Hasten. Djurgarden lost its best-of-seven quarterfinal series against Frolunda HC in five games to end its season. Westlund played in three of the team’s postseason matches but did not record a point.
Sami Aittokallio (Karpat Oulu): Sami Aittokallio made 29 saves and helped his team to a 3-2 overtime win in Game 6 over Tappara on Monday. After dropping the first two games of the series, Karpat defeated Tappara 4-1 last Tuesday in Game 3 and picked up a 3-2 win in the second overtime on Thursday. Game 5 on Saturday also required additional time but saw Tappara come out with a 4-3 overtime win. Game 7 is set for Tuesday and determines which team moves on to the Liiga Finals. Monday's overtime victory was just Aittokallio’s second appearance in net during Karpat’s postseason run. In 33 regular-season contests, the netminder had an 18-4-9 record, 1.97 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.
Maximilian Pajpach (Tappara U20): Goaltender Maximilian Pajpach played in 22 games this season and finished with a .874 save percentage and a 3.77 goals-against average. Tappara lost to KalPa in the Liiga Junior-A wild-card series of the playoffs to end its season.
Andrei Mironov (Dynamo Moscow): In Andrei Mironov’s fourth campaign with Dynamo Moscow, he recorded 13 points (three goals and 10 assists) in 40 games. Dynamo swept HC Sochi in the Western Conference quarterfinals but fell in the semifinals to SKA Saint Petersburg in six games. Mironov tallied a marker and a helper in nine postseason outings.
Denis Parshin (Avangard Omsk): Avangard Omsk finished the regular season in first place in the East with 106 points. The club swept Neftekhimik in four contests during the quarterfinals but lost 2-1 in Game 7 of the semifinals to Salavat Yulaev. In 57 regular-season outings, Denis Parshin totaled 31 points (10 goals and 21 assists). The forward also recorded four points (two goals and two assists) in eight playoff appearances.
Luke Walker (Klagenfurt AC): Luke Walker finished the regular season with 11 points (three goals and eight assists) in 36 games and had one goal in three playoff outings. Klagenfurt AC ended its 2015-16 campaign in eighth place with 68 points. The club faced EC Red Bull Salzburg in the quarterfinals but fell in Game 7 of the series to end its postseason run.