The San Antonio Rampage finished its five-game homestand with a record of 0-5, as the club this week fell 5-4 to the Ontario Reign on Wednesday, dropped a 3-2 decision to the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday and finished with a 4-2 defeat by the Monsters on Sunday.
The Rampage lost 5-4 to Ontario on Wednesday despite scoring four unanswered goals in the second and third periods. Markers came from the sticks of Alex Belzile (two), Mikko Rantanen and Samuel Henley and assists were collected by Nate Guenin (two), Dennis Everberg (two) and Cody Corbett. Everberg’s first helper stood as his 50th professional point. Goaltender Reto Berra stopped 37 of 42 shots. Ontario scored three times in the final 2:36 en route to its comeback victory.
Friday’s game saw Lake Erie score three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 win over San Antonio. Guenin lit the lamp for his first goal with the Silver and Black, and Nikita Zadorov, Everberg and Rantanen each picked up a helper. Berra made 34 of 37 saves in the loss.
The Rampage was doubled up 4-2 by the Monsters on Sunday. Brandon Gormley notched a goal and Zadorov and Mat Clark both added an assist. Roman Will relieved Berra of his duties during the middle frame and stopped all 12 shots he faced. Joey Hishon returned to the lineup after missing two games due to an injury. Berra stopped 17 of 21 shots.
Rantanen leads the team with 50 points (21 goals and 29 assists) and is currently tied with Chad Kolarik for the franchise rookie points record. He is currently the AHL’s rookie points leader and ranks second among rookie goal scorers.
San Antonio heads to California for games on Wednesday at the San Diego Gulls and Friday at Ontario before returning home for a two-game series against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday and Tuesday.
March 16 at San Diego Gulls
March 18 at Ontario Reign
March 20 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins
Fort Wayne Komets
The Fort Wayne Komets traveled up to Alaska to face the Aces on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The club walked away with just one win but also took a point in the first two contests, pushing Wednesday’s game to overtime and Friday’s outing to a shootout.
On Wednesday, Fort Wayne fell 3-2 to Alaska in the extra period after tying the game with 4:05 left to play. In Friday’s 5-4 loss to the Aces, goaltender Spencer Martin made 29 saves on 33 shots before allowing two goals in the shootout. Trevor Cheek scored the tying goal with just five seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.
Saturday’s 8-2 win by the Komets avenged the two previous losses to the Aces. Cheek scored twice to bring his season total to 16 goals. He also has eight assists in 23 ECHL games. Defenseman Gabriel Beaupre skated in all three contests, but Garrett Meurs was absent from lineup. Meurs suffered a concussion last week and did not make the trip to Alaska.
Fort Wayne continues to lead the Midwest Division with 75 points and is in good position to make an ECHL postseason run. The team travels to the Evansville IceMen for a game on Thursday before returning home for the start of a five-game homestand with back-to-back contests against the Quad City Mallards on Friday and Saturday.
Nick Magyar (Kitchener Rangers): The Kitchener Rangers had a busy but successful week, winning three of their four games played. Kitchener fell 8-2 at home to the London Knights last Tuesday but defeated the Owen Sound Attack 3-2 in overtime on Friday. On the road, the Rangers took a 7-2 win over the Flint Firebirds on Saturday and defeated the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4-2 on Sunday. Nick Magyar collected a point in each of the last three contests of the week, scoring his team's first goal on Friday and the game-winner on Sunday. He added a helper in Saturday’s contest and now has 20 points (11 goals and nine assists) in 46 games. The Rangers play their final contests of the regular season this week, with three games in as many days: at the Windsor Spitfires on Thursday, against the Sarnia Sting on Friday and at the Owen Sound Attack on Saturday. Kitchener has 93 points on the season and is locked in as the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference.
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies: The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies are on a 12-game win streak after they swept all three opponents in front of the home crowd last week. They captured a 7-3 win over the Val-d’Or Foreurs on Wednesday, a 5-4 win over the Victoriaville Tigres on Thursday and a 6-2 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes on Sunday. JC Beaudin had two power-play goals and an assist on Wednesday versus Val-d'Or, and AJ Greer assisted on Beaudin’s second marker. Beaudin again had two goals on Thursday and another score on Sunday. Greer also had a two-point game on Sunday, registering a goal and an assist. Julien Nantel returned to the lineup on Thursday for the first time since Feb. 5 and lit the lamp for the 20th time this season. Nantel now has 43 points in 50 games. In 31 games in the QMJHL, Greer has 24 points (13 goals and 11 assists). Beaudin has 78 points (33 goals and 45 assists) in 56 games. Rouyn-Noranda continues to lead the QMJHL with 109 points and has clinched the top playoff spot as the regular-season champion. The Huskies are on the road for their final two games of campaign, taking on the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Friday and the Gatineau Olympiques on Saturday. Nantel signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Avalanche on Wednesday.
Sergei Boikov (Drummondville Voltigeurs): The Voltigeurs won their game against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, 4-1, on Friday but dropped a 3-1 decision to the Armada the following night. Sergei Boikov notched a power-play goal on Friday and has 26 points (six goals and 20 assists) in 50 games this season. Drummondville has captured a playoff spot as it ranks sixth in the West Division with 56 points. The team finishes the regular season at home on Friday against Rouyn-Noranda and on Saturday against Val-d’Or.
Nicolas Meloche (Gatineau Olympiques): The Olympiques defeated the Quebec Remparts 6-2 on Friday but fell 3-2 to the Rimouski Oceanic on Saturday. Nicolas Meloche has not played since Feb. 28 and totals 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 27 games with Gatineau. He has 33 points (13 goals and 20 assists) overall this season after recording 16 points (eight goals and eight assists) in 25 contests with Baie-Comeau at the start of the year. Fifth-ranked Gatineau hosts Val-d’Or on Friday and Rouyn-Noranda on Saturday in the club’s final two games of the regular season. The Olympiques have also captured a spot in the QMJHL postseason as they rank fifth overall with 93 points.
Alexis Pepin (Val-d’Or Foreurs): The Foreurs lost 7-3 versus the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Wednesday, but they defeated the Victoriaville Tigres 4-1 on Friday. Val-d'Or dropped a 5-2 decision to Shawinigan on Saturday. Alexis Pepin lit the lamp in Wednesday’s game but had a four-game point streak (three goals and an assist) end on Friday. The forward now has 44 points (23 goals and 21 assists) in 60 games. Val-d’Or plays back-to-back road contests on Friday and Saturday against Gatineau and Drummondville. Those will be the club’s final two contests of the regular season before it begins postseason play. The Foreurs are locked in as the fourth overall seed for the playoffs with currently 100 points.
Gustav Olhaver (Swift Current Broncos): The Swift Current Broncos fell 5-2 to the Regina Pats on Wednesday, defeated the Prince Albert Raiders 4-1 on Friday and lost 2-1 in overtime to Prince Albert on Saturday. Gustav Olhaver returned to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 26 on Wednesday but did not play in the other two games. In 20 games played with Swift Current, Olhaver has three points (one goal and two assists). He has eight points (three goals and five assists) overall this year after he played his first 31 games this season with the Seattle Thunderbirds. The Broncos play their final three contests of the regular season on the road this week, facing the Eastern Conference-leading Brandon Wheat Kings on Tuesday, Regina on Friday and the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday. Swift Current ranks 10th in the Eastern Conference and will not make the playoffs as the club is eight points out of the eighth place.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): The University of Denver swept the University of Nebraska Omaha in two games of the NCHC quarterfinals on Friday and Saturday to advance to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff. DU also extended its win streak to 11 games, the longest since the 2001-02 season. On Friday, the Pioneers took a 5-2 win in front of the home crowd, and Saturday’s game stood as the longest game ever played in Magness Arena history as the school captured a 4-3 win in double overtime. Will Butcher picked up an assist in both games and now has 29 points (six goals and 23 assists) in 35 games. DU travels to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to take on St. Cloud State University in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff semifinals on Friday. A win on Friday sends the team to the conference championship game on Saturday.
JT Compher (University of Michigan): JT Compher was named to the All-Big Ten first team on Monday. The junior forward’s 52 points (13 goals and 39 assists) in 34 games is a personal best and his 39 assists lead the nation. He’s ranked second in the country in points and leads the Big Ten with 18 power-play points (three goals and 15 assists). In the University of Michigan’s final two games of the regular season, the Wolverines swept Penn State University with a 7-1 win on Friday and a 6-1 win on Saturday. Compher collected two helpers in the first game and a power-play goal in the second. Michigan will play either Penn State or the University of Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals on Friday with the chance to play in the conference final on Saturday. Both games will take place in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State): In the first round of the NCHC playoffs, St. Cloud State University swept Western Michigan University at home with a 4-3 overtime win on Friday and a 4-2 victory on Saturday. Ben Storm did not skate in Friday’s contest but played on Saturday. He now has seven points (two goals and five assists) in 26 games. St. Cloud State plays the University of Denver in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff semifinals on Friday, with the winner advancing to the title game on Saturday.
Anton Lindholm (Skelleftea AIK, SHL): After having a first-round playoff bye, Skelleftea AIK begins the quarterfinals on Wednesday against HV71 with additional games scheduled through March 28, if necessary. In 30 SHL games, Anton Lindholm had four assists.
Wilhelm Westlund (Djurgarden Hockey, SHL): In the first round of the playoffs, Djurgarden Hockey defeated Brynas IF in three games. Djurgarden took a 5-4 win in overtime on Thursday in the first game of the series, but the club fell 5-2 on Saturday in Game 2. Wilhelm Westlund's squad came up big on Monday with a 5-4 victory in the decisive third game. Westlund played in all three of the playoff contests this week and skated in 11 SHL games during the regular season. Djurgarden plays Frolunda HC in the quarterfinals starting on Wednesday. The series is set through March 28, if necessary.
Sami Aittokallio (Karpat Oulu): Karpat Oulu was doubled up 4-2 by JYP last Tuesday, with Sami Aittokallio making 24 saves in the loss. Karpat then defeated the Pelicans 4-1 on Thursday in the club’s final game of the regular season. Karpat had a first-round bye in the Liiga Playoffs and faces TPS in the best-of-seven quarterfinals, which starts on Friday.
Maximilian Pajpach (Tappara U20): Tappara won its final two games of the regular season, beginning with a 5-1 win over Ilves on Friday and then a 2-0 shutout of the Blues on Saturday. Maximilian Pajpach did not appear in net in either contest. He has a .874 save percentage through 22 games. Tappara next plays KalPa in the wild-card playoffs.
Andrei Mironov (Dynamo Moscow): Dynamo Moscow defeated SKA Saint Petersburg 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday in Game 2 of the playoffs. In Game 3, Dynamo Moscow shutout SKA Saint Petersburg 4-0 on Friday, but it was shutout 4-0 by the same team on Sunday in Game 4. The series is tied 2-2. Andrei Mironov did not collect any points in this week’s games. He has now skated in seven playoff contests and picked one goal and one assist. Mironov had three goals and 10 assists in 30 contests during the regular season. The club continues the conference semifinals with Game 5 on Tuesday and Game 6 on Thursday.
Denis Parshin (Avangard Omsk): Denis Parshin scored, but Avangard Omsk lost 3-2 in overtime in Game 1 of its conference semifinal series against Salavat Yulaev last Tuesday. Avangard bounced back and overcame Salavat 5-4 on Thursday in Game 2. However, Avangard dropped Games 3 on Saturday 3-1 and Game 4 on Monday 2-1. Denis Parshin picked up a helper in Thursday’s game and has totaled four points (two goals and two assists) in seven playoff contests. He had 31 points (10 goals and 21 assists) in 57 regular-season outings. Avangard Omsk faces a must-win Game 5 on Wednesday if it wants its playoff hopes to stay alive.
Luke Walker (Klagenfurt AC): Klagenfurt AC took the series the entire way during the first-round quarterfinals, but it eventually fell 5-2 to EC Red Bull Salzburg on Friday in Game 7. During the team’s playoff run, Luke Walker played in three games and scored one goal, which came in KAC's 3-2 loss in Game 6 of the series last Tuesday. He finished the regular season with 11 points (three goals and eight assists) in 36 games.