The San Antonio Rampage had a very successful week, winning all three of its games and finishing its homestand 4-0.
The Rampage came up with a 2-1 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins last Tuesday, sweeping the season series 4-0. Alex Belize scored in the first period, and Trevor Cheek netted a goal in the second stanza. Troy Bourke, Duncan Siemens and Reid Petryk each had an assist in the win. Goaltender Spencer Martin held the Griffins to only one marker on 31 shots, and San Antonio held Grand Rapids scoreless on four power-play opportunities. Borna Rendulic skated in his 100th professional game in North America.
San Antonio had a 3-0 shutout of the Bakersfield Condors on Saturday, and the team went 2-for-2 on the man advantage. Defenseman Maxim Noreau scored his 11th goal of the season, and Ben Street, back in the Rampage lineup for the first time since Oct. 31, scored his fourth of the year and also added an assist. He extended a goal streak to three games (three goals from Oct. 30 to March 26) and point streak to seven outings (four goals and 10 assists from Oct. 10 to March 26). Street was recalled to Colorado on Nov. 2 before suffering a chest injury and missing four months of action. Nikita Zadorov collected two helpers, and Joey Hishon had one assist. Martin stopped all 37 shots faced, including 21 in the final frame.
The Rampage concluded its week with a hard-earned 3-2 overtime win against the in-state rival Texas Stars on Sunday. Mikko Rantanen, reassigned to San Antonio from the Colorado Avalanche earlier in the day, scored the game-winner 2:19 in additional time for his 22nd AHL goal. Nate Guenin added a marker, his second of the year, in the second period and also collected a helper on Rantanen’s overtime goal. Cody Corbett—who was recalled on Sunday from the Fort Wayne Komets—Joey Hishon and Samuel Henley had an assist each. Martin, in his fourth consecutive start for San Antonio, made 24 saves on 26 shots and improved his rookie record to 7-7-1 with a .921 save percentage through 18 games.
Rantanen leads the team in points with 53, goals with 22 and assists with 31, and he is the AHL’s leading rookie scorer. His 22nd marker of the season on Sunday tied the franchise rookie record set by Conner Brickley during the Rampage’s 2014-15 campaign. Noreau’s man-advantage tally on Saturday set a new franchise record for power-play goals scored by a defenseman in a single season with eight total. Street tied a franchise assist streak record of seven outings from Oct. 10 to March 26 (10 assists).
On Monday, Martin was named the AHL’s Player of the Week after posting a 3-0 record in net. He stopped 91 of 94 shots faced and ended last week with a 0.99 goals-against average and .968 save percentage. He is the first Rampage player to be awarded this honor since goaltender Jacob Markstrom in December 2012.
The Rampage had quite a few transactions this week. As a result of Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon still out of the Avalanche’s lineup with knee injuries, forward Andrew Agozzino and Zadorov were recalled on Sunday. Rantanen, who skated in three contests for the Avs since his recall on March 19, was reassigned on Sunday to finish out the remainder of the season in San Antonio. Blueliner Mason Geertsen was sent to the Fort Wayne Komets on Thursday and recalled back to the Rampage on Sunday.
San Antonio hits the road for two games this week, playing at the Rockford IceHogs on Friday before taking on the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday. Following this trip, the Rampage are home for four of its last five games of the season. The team's only other road contest is just up the highway to face the Texas Stars in its second to last outing of the year.
April 1 at Rockford IceHogs
April 2 at Milwaukee Admirals
April 6 vs. San Jose Barracuda
Fort Wayne Komets
The Fort Wayne Komets finished up a five-game homestand this week. They defeated the Wheeling Nailers 1-0 in overtime on Wednesday but fell 6-3 to the Toledo Walleye on Friday. The club concluded the week with a 3-1 win over the Evansville IceMen on Saturday.
Shawn Szydlowski was the lone Fort Wayne player on the scoresheet with the unassisted game-winner in additional time on Wednesday. Friday’s 6-3 loss saw three markers scored by Toledo in the final 20 minutes, one into the empty net.
Garrett Meurs scored two unanswered goals to propel the Komets to a 3-1 win over Evansville on Saturday. Meurs' tallies, his third multi-goal appearance this season, bring his total to 30 points (15 goals and 15 assists) in 46 games. Corbett, who has split the season between Fort Wayne and San Antonio, and Gabriel Beaupre added an assist each. Beaupre has totaled six points (two goals and four assists) in 46 outings, and Corbett has 18 points (five goals and 13 assists) in 30 appearances with the ECHL club.
The Komets travel to the Cincinnati Cyclones on Tuesday but return home for games against the Indy Fuel on Saturday and the IceMen on Sunday.
Nick Magyar (Kitchener Rangers): In the start of the best-of-seven Round 1 OHL playoff series, the Kitchener Rangers defeated the Windsor Spitfires 6-5 in overtime on Thursday in Game 1. Kitchener also won the series' second game on Saturday, 6-4. Nick Magyar scored the first goal of the contest for his opening point of this year’s postseason. In Game 3 on Monday at Windsor, the Rangers won their third straight contest by defeating the Spitfires 2-1. Magyar ended the regular season with 20 points (11 goals and nine assists) in 49 contests. Kitchener plays Game 4 of the first round at Windsor on Wednesday, with the club having a chance to sweep the series and move on to the next round. If necessary, Game 5 is set for Friday.
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies: As the No. 1 seed in the best-of-seven Round 1 of the QMJHL Playoffs, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies posted two shutouts in a row against the No. 16-seeded Drummondville Voltigeurs and extended their winning streak to 16 games. The Huskies defeated the Voltigeurs 10-0 in Game 1 on Friday and won 6-0 in Game 2 the following night. AJ Greer lit the lamp twice on Friday and twice on Saturday for four points in two playoff outings. In 33 regular-season appearances, he totaled 27 points (16 goals and 11 assists). Greer has now scored at least one goal in his last five outings and has posted two markers in each of his last three matchups. JC Beaudin has five points in two playoff contests after collecting one goal and three assists on Friday, a playoff career high, and one helper on Saturday. He also extended his point streak to 14 games (13 goals and 17 assists). Beaudin had 82 points (33 goals and 49 assists) in 58 regular-season outings. Julien Nantel had an assist on Friday and a marker the next match for two points in as many playoff games. Nantel totaled 46 points (22 goals and 24 assists) in 52 regular-season games. Rouyn-Noranda continues its playoff run with Game 3 on Tuesday and Game 4 on Wednesday. Game 5 would be on Friday, if necessary.
Sergei Boikov (Drummondville Voltigeurs): Drummondville was shutout 10-0 by Rouyn-Noranda in Game 1 on Friday. The Voltigeurs were also defeated 6-0 by the Huskies in Game 2 on Saturday in the first round of the best-of-seven QMJHL playoff series. Sergei Boikov played in both playoff contests. In 52 regular-season outings, Boikov had 26 points (six goals and 20 assists). The Voltigeurs host the Huskies in Game 3 on Tuesday and Game 4 on Wednesday of the QMJHL Round 1 playoffs.
Nicolas Meloche (Gatineau Olympiques): The No. 5-seeded Gatineau Olympiques defeated the No. 12-seed Quebec Remparts in the first two games of the best-of-seven Round 1 series in the QMJHL Playoffs. Gatineau had a 1-0 win on Friday and defeated Quebec 2-1 in Game 2 on Saturday. Nicolas Meloche skated in both playoff contests. He split the year with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and Gatineau, totaling 33 points (13 goals and 20 assists) in 53 regular season outings. The Olympiques travel to Quebec for Game 3 on Tuesday and Game 4 on Wednesday in the opening-round series. Game 5 is Friday, if necessary.
Alexis Pepin (Val-d’Or Foreurs): The No. 4-seed Val-d’Or Foreurs hosted No. 13-seed Blainville-Boisbriand Armada for Game 1 on Friday and Game 2 on Saturday. Val-d’Or won 3-2 in the first contest on Friday but dropped a 4-1 outing to the Armada the following night in Game 2. Alexis Pepin played in both playoff matches and scored the game-winning goal during a second-period power play in the first game. The forward totaled 47 points (23 goals and 24 assists) in 62 regular-season matchups. Val-d’Or plays at Blainville-Boisbriand on Tuesday in Game 3 and on Wednesday in Game 4. The club returns home on Friday for Game 5.
Gustav Olhaver (Swift Current Broncos): Gustav Olhaver finished the year with eight points (three goals and five assists) in 51 total games. He started the season with the Seattle Thunderbirds, recording five points (two goals and three assists) in 31 contests before being claimed on waivers by the Swift Current Broncos on Dec. 28. In 20 outings with the Broncos, Olhaver collected three points (one goal and two assists). Swift Current finished the regular season with 58 points, which ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference, and missed the playoffs.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): The University of Denver advanced to the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four with a 7-2 win over Boston University on Saturday and a 6-3 win over Ferris State on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Saturday’s win in the West Regional Semifinal of the tournament advanced the team to play Ferris State in the "Elite Eight," and the win on Sunday earned DU the title of West Regional champions. Will Butcher scored twice on Saturday against Boston University but did not find the scoresheet on Sunday against Ferris State. The defenseman is fourth on the team in points with 31 (eight goals and 23 assists) in 38 games. The Pioneers will take on North Dakota State in Tampa, Florida, on April 7 in the National Semifinals. This will be DU’s first appearance in the Frozen Four since 2005 and the school’s 14th trip overall, which stands as the sixth most in NCAA history. The National Championship game will be held on April 9 in Tampa.
JT Compher (University of Michigan): In the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, the No. 2-seeded University of Michigan took on No. 3-seed Notre Dame on Friday and came away with a 3-2 win in overtime. The win was Michigan’s first in the NCAA Tournament since 2011, and JT Compher had the primary assist on the OT-winning goal. The school then faced No. 1-seed North Dakota in the Regional Final on Saturday and lost 5-2 to end its postseason run. Compher did score two key goals for his team, tying the contest in both the second and third stanzas, but UND used three unanswered tallies in the final period to earn the Frozen Four berth. Compher ended his season on an eight-game point streak in which he collected 16 points (five goals and 11 assists). The junior forward had his best season yet, almost doubling his point total that he had in each of his first two seasons at Michigan. He recorded 63 points (16 goals and 47 assists) in 38 outings in 2015-16.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State): St. Cloud State dropped a 5-4 decision in overtime to Ferris State in the NCAA West Regional semifinals at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Saturday. The loss ended the NCHC champion St. Cloud State’s season. Ben Storm skated in the contest but did not record any points. In 29 games this season, the junior defenseman totaled seven points (two goals and five assists).
Anton Lindholm (Skelleftea AIK, SHL): Skelleftea AIK swept HV71 in four games during quarterfinals, closing out the round with a 1-0 win last Tuesday. Anton Lindholm skated in last Tuesday’s contest, collecting 20:59 of ice time. The defenseman now totals two penalty minutes in four playoff outings. During the regular season, Lindholm collected four assists in 30 appearances. Skelleftea begins its best-of-seven semifinal series against the Vaxjo Lakers on Friday. Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday and Game 3 next Tuesday.
Wilhelm Westlund (Djurgarden, SHL): Djuargarden lost its best-of-seven SHL Playoffs quarterfinal series against Frolunda HC in five games. After trailing the series 2-1 after three contests, Djurgarden dropped a 3-1 decision in Game 4 on Tuesday and suffered a 5-1 loss in Game 5 on Thursday to end its postseason. Wilhelm Westlund did not skate in any of the playoff contests this week and only appeared in three total SHL postseason matchups. He played in 11 contests with Djurgarden during the regular season after spending most of the year with Vita Hasten in the Allsvenskan league, tallying 14 points (three goals and 11 assists) in 42 games.
Sami Aittokallio (Karpat Oulu): In the Liiga Playoffs Quarterfinals, Karpat Oulu shutout TPS 3-0 in Game 3 last Tuesday but fell 2-1 in Game 4 on Thursday. In Game 5 on Saturday, Karpat defeated TPS 5-2 before coming out victorious with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 6 on Monday to end the best-of-seven series. Goaltender Sami Aittokallio has yet to appear in net during Karpat’s postseason run. In 33 regular-season contests, Aittokallio had an 18-4-9 record, .920 save percentage and 1.97 goals-against average. Karpat plays Tappara in the semifinals beginning on Friday.
Maximilian Pajpach (Tappara U20): Tappara's season is over after it lost to KalPa in the Liiga Junior-A wild-card series of the playoffs. In 22 games this year, goaltender Maximilian Pajpach finished with a .874 save percentage.
Andrei Mironov (Dynamo Moscow): Defenseman Andrei Mironov completed his fourth year with Dynamo Moscow, collecting 13 points (three goals and 10 assists) in 40 regular-season games. In nine playoff contests, Mironov had a goal and an assist. Dynamo Moscow finished the regular season with 105 points, fifth best in the West. Reaching the conference semifinals in the KHL Playoffs, the club fell in six games to SKA Saint Petersburg to end its postseason run.
Denis Parshin (Avangard Omsk): Forward Denis Parshin completed his second season with Avangard Omsk, totaling 31 points (10 goals and 21 assists) in 57 games. He appeared in eight playoff contests and recorded four points (two goals and two assists). Avangard finished the regular season in first place in the East with 106 points. In the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals against Salavat Yulaev, the two clubs took the series the entire way before Avangard was defeated 2-1 in Game 7.
Luke Walker (Klagenfurt AC): Luke Walker finished the regular season with 11 points (three goals and eight assists) in 36 games and scored one goal in three playoff contests. Klagenfurt AC concluded its 2015-16 campaign in eighth place with 68 points. The club took its first-round quarterfinal series to a Game 7, but KAC eventually fell to EC Red Bull Salzburg to end its season.