The San Antonio Rampage finished the 2015-16 season in seventh place in the Pacific Division with a 33-35-8-0 (74 points) record and a .487 win percentage. The club got off to a good start, winning five of its first six games and riding a 10-game point streak to begin the year. San Antonio was the last AHL team to lose a game in regulation as well.
The Rampage also finished the season strong by tying a franchise record with seven straight home wins from March 20 to April 9. The team went on to win nine of its last 11 contests.
|Mikko Rantanen |
Mikko Rantanen had an outstanding rookie season, leading San Antonio in goals (24), assists (36), points (60) and plus/minus (+20). This campaign marked his first year playing in North America and he recorded at least one point in 42 of his 52 AHL games. When he made his AHL debut on Oct. 24, the forward became the youngest player in Rampage history at 18-years-old. He also scored a goal on his first shot. The Finnish forward was named the AHL’s Outstanding Rookie for the 2015-16 season, sharing the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award with Providence’s Austin Czarnik.
Rantanen ended the season ranked ninth overall in the AHL in points and is only the seventh teenager in league history to reach the 60-point mark in a single campaign. He also represented the Rampage at the AHL All-Star Classic and captained Team Finland to a gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. Rantanen was added to his country’s roster for the 2016 IIHF World Championship and will look to bring home another gold medal starting on Friday with a contest against Belarus.
Defenseman Maxim Noreau finished second on the team in points with 45 (12 goals, 33 assists) and tied for fourth in the league in scoring among blueliners. He also led the team with eight power-play goals in 64 contests.
Before being called up by the Avalanche, Pickard had a strong start to the season in San Antonio. The netminder skated in 21 games for the Rampage, posting a 9-8-4 record with a .917 save percentage. He was named the AHL’s Goaltender of the Month for October.
Goalie Spencer Martin split time between the Rampage and the Fort Wayne Komets throughout his first professional season, backstopping 18 games in San Antonio. He finished with a 7-7-0 record, three shutouts, a 2.65 goals-against average and a team-leading .921 save percentage with the Rampage and earned AHL Player of the Week honors on March 28.
Fort Wayne Komets
The Fort Wayne Komets defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones 2-0 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday. The win advanced the Komets, the second seed in the Western Conference, to the Semifinals against the sixth-seeded Utah Grizzlies. Fort Wayne won the first two games of the series, defeating Utah 6-4 on Friday and 5-3 on Saturday.
Left wing Troy Bourke recorded two assists in Wednesday’s victory. He added a goal and a helper on Friday and picked up another assist on Saturday. The forward has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in nine playoffs games so far.
On Friday, forward Trevor Cheek found the back of the net and recorded two assists in the victory. He has six points (two goals, four assists) in nine playoff contests and finished the regular season with 25 points (17 goals, eight assists) in 28 games.
Fort Wayne travels to Utah for Game 3 on Wednesday and Game 4 on Friday. If necessary, Game 5 will be on Saturday in Utah.
Nick Magyar (Kitchener Rangers): Magyar collected 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) in 49 games with the Kitchener Rangers this season. The Rangers finished the 2015-16 campaign in fourth place in the Western Conference and fell to the London Knights in the second round of the playoffs. Magyar found the back of the net once in nine games played this postseason.
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies: The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defeated the Moncton Wildcats 5-1 on Tuesday in Game 3 and 1-0 on Wednesday in Game 4. However, the Wildcats won 2-1 on Friday to force the series to a sixth game. Rouyn-Noranda finished the series on Sunday with a 5-4 win. The Huskies’ victory advanced them to the President Cup Final against the Shawinigan Cataractes. Game 1 is on Wednesday in Rouyn-Noranda.
Both AJ Greer and Julien Nantel tallied on Tuesday, and JC Beaudin recorded a goal and an assist on Sunday. Beaudin now has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in 15 playoff games. Greer has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) and Julien Nantel has seven points (four goals, three assists), both in 15 postseason outings.
Sergei Boikov (Drummondville Voltigeurs): Boikov put up 26 points (six goals, 20 assists) in 52 regular-season outings in his third year with the Drummondville Voltigeurs. The defenseman skated in four postseason games and did not record any points. Drummondville was the last team to qualify for the playoffs and fell in four games to the top-ranked Huskies in the opening round. In addition to playing for Drummondville, Boikov represented Russia at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Finland, where he skated in seven contests and helped his native country earn a silver medal. The blueliner also signed an amateur tryout contract with the Rampage on April 4 and skated in the AHL club’s final four games.
Nicolas Meloche (Gatineau Olympiques): The defenseman started the season with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, where he skated in 25 games and recorded 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) and ended the year with the Gatineau Olympiques. He collected 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 28 outings with Gatineau. The Olympiques qualified for the playoffs in fifth place and fell to Moncton in the quarterfinals. Meloche had a marker and two helpers in nine postseason contests.
Alexis Pepin (Val-d’Or Foreurs): The Val-d’Or Foreurs ended the 2015-16 campaign by falling to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in six games in the opening round of the playoffs. Pepin finished the postseason with two goals and one helper in six playoff games. The forward collected 47 points (23 goals, 24 assists) in 62 regular-season outings.
Gustav Olhaver (Swift Current Broncos): Olhaver finished his first season in North America with eight points (three goals, five assists) in 51 outings. The forward started the year with the Seattle Thunderbirds, recording five points (two goals, three assists) in 31 games before being claimed off waivers by the Swift Current Broncos in late December. He skated in 20 games with the Broncos, registering one goal and two helpers. Swift Current finished the regular season in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 58 points. The club did not make the playoffs.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): The University of Denver Pioneers lost to the North Dakota Fighting Hawks in the Frozen Four to end the season. The trip to the National Championship Semifinals was DU’s first since 2005 and the school’s 14th overall, giving it the sixth most in NCAA history. Butcher recorded 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) in 39 outings this year, ranking the assistant captain third in the nation in defenseman scoring. He was named a 2016 Second-Team All-American (West) by the American Hockey Coaches Association and earned First Team All-NCHC honors in March.
JT Compher (University of Michigan): The University of Michigan ended the 2015-16 campaign with a loss to the University of North Dakota in the NCAA Regional Final. Compher finished the season with an eight-game point streak in which he registered 16 points (five goals, 11 assists). The junior had a career year, collecting 63 points (16 goals, 47 assists) in 38 games, more than doubling his previous high of 31 points in 2013-14. The forward finished second in scoring in the Big Ten and first in assists (47), assists per game (1.24), power-play assists (19) and points (24) and plus/minus rating (+35). He was also named to the United States Men’s National Team for the 2016 IIHF World Championship, which starts on Friday in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Compher will forego his senior season as he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Avs on April 25.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State): NCHC champion St. Cloud State’s season ended with a loss in overtime to Ferris State on March 26 in the semifinals of the NCAA West Regional at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Storm registered seven points (two goals, five assists) in 29 outings this season.
Anton Lindholm (Skelleftea AIK, SHL): The defenseman played in 30 regular-season contests for Skelleftea AIK and recorded four assists. The team made it to the SHL Final but fell in five games to Frolunda HC. Lindholm skated in 16 playoff contests, including all five games of the Final, and picked up one assist. Over the weekend, Team Sweden added Lindholm to the roster for the 2016 IIHF World Championship. It is the first time that the blueliner will participate in the tournament. Sweden takes on Latvia in Moscow on Friday.
Wilhelm Westlund (Djurgarden, SHL): Westlund skated in 42 contests with HC Vita Hasten in the Allsvenskan league and played in 11 SHL games with Djurgarden. He had 14 regular-season points (three goals, 11 assists), all of which came with Vita Hasten. Djurgarden lost to Frolunda HC in the quarterfinals to end its season. Westlund played in three of the team’s postseason matches but did not find the scoresheet.
Sami Aittokallio (Karpat Oulu): The goaltender was between the pipes in 33 games with Karpat Oulu and finished the regular season with a 18-4-9 record, a 1.97 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage. He appeared in three playoff contests and posted a 1.61 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage before Karpat fell to Tappara in seven games in the semifinals. Aittokallio also appeared in 13 Champions Hockey League games, where he finished with five shutouts, a 1.09 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage.
Maximilian Pajpach (Tappara U20): Netminder Pajpach was in the crease for 22 games this season and finished with a .874 save percentage and 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 his fourth campaign with Dynamo Moscow, defenseman Mironov registered 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 40 games and finished the year with 21 penalty minutes. Dynamo swept HC Sochi in the Western Conference Quarterfinals but fell in the semifinals to SKA Saint Petersburg in six games. Mironov tallied two points (one goal, one assist) in nine postseason contests.
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 in the quarterfinals but lost in Game 7 of the semifinals to Salavat Yulaev. Parshin recorded four points (two goals, two assists) in eight playoff contests. The forward also registered 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 57 regular-season outings.
Luke Walker (Klagenfurt AC): The right wing skated in 36 regular-season games and finished the campaign with 11 points (three goals, eight assists). he also found the back of the net once in three playoff contests. Klagenfurt AC ended the 2015-16 campaign in eighth place with 68 points. The club faced EC Red Bull Salzburg in the quarterfinals, pushing the series to Game 7 before falling 5-2 to end its postseason run.