Predicting the futures of the Panthers rich roster of prospects can be as difficult as predicting what will happen next on True Detective. In both cases it is best not to worry about outcome and instead just strap in, enjoy the ride and hope nobody ends up in Carcosa.
Anyway, while most hockey fans have been busy shot gunning redline energy drinks to get pumped for 3:00 am Olympic start times, here is what has been happening down on the farm.
The Rampage are in the midst of their annual Rodeo Road Trip, which is exactly what it sounds like. Every year San Antonio hosts a month long rodeo at the AT&T Center. The result for the Rampage is a ten game road trip spanning the entire month of February.
Don’t shed any tears for the Rampage though because right now they are straight killing it on their trip. San Antonio has won five of six games and with a 4-1 win last night over the Hamilton Bulldogs, they stretched their current winning streak to five games. The win also brought their point streak to 11 games, the longest streak of any AHL team this season. Just stellar stuff.
San Antonio’s winning ways has the team right back in the thick of the playoff race. With a record of 22-21-3-5, they sit just four points out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
A huge part of San Antonio’s recent success has been the outstanding play of Drew Shore, who has goals in four straight and five in his last six. The 23-year-old Young Gun has been outstanding for San Antonio this year and he has also impressed in his 17 games with the Panthers, highlighted by a two-goal performance (including a short-handed marker) that propelled the Panthers to a win earlier this season in Pittsburgh.
While Shore has been fueling the Rampage offense, Jacob Markstrom (@j_markstrom) has been leading the charge in the crease. San Antonio has only allowed four goals throughout their five game winning streak and during that time the Rampage have not allowed more than one goal in a game.
Markstrom deserves a lot of the credit for the recent stingy play. In his three starts, the 24-year-old has stopped 79 of 81 shots faced including all 28 he faced in Saturday’s 3-0 shutout victory and 30 of the 31 he faced during last night’s win.
Further Down The Farm:
The Panthers ECHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones swept a two-game weekend road trip with wins over the Ft. Wayne Komets and the Toledo Walleye. The Cyclones’ momentum was tempered a bit last night when they fell 4-3 to the Kalamazoo Wings. Despite the loss, the Cyclones are still firmly in the playoff picture as they occupy second place in their division with 58 points.
Christopher Clapperton (@Clapperton57) has been steady for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada putting up five points (2-3-5) in his last four games. Clapperton has been a consistent offensive performer this season totaling 47 points (18-29-47) in 41 games.
Alexander Delnov (4th round, 2012) currently ranks second in scoring on the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL with 53 points (24-29-53) through 59 games. He has been off to a good start this February scoring four goals through the month’s first eight games.
Panthers defensive prospects Mike Matheson (1st round, 2012) (@MMatheson7) and Ian McCoshen (2nd round, 2013) (@IJMcCoshen3) led the #1 ranked BC Eagles to the Hockey East conference title with a two-game weekend sweep over the University of Vermont (4-3 on Friday, 5-3 on Saturday). McCoshen and Matheson each recorded an assist in the Eagles’ win on Friday. The wins extended the Eagles’ winning streaks to 10 games and their unbeaten streak to 17 straight.
Rocco Grimaldi (2nd round, 2011) (@RGrimaldi23) and the 16th ranked University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux (rhymes with “Giroux”) completed a dominating two-game weekend sweep over the University of Miami-Ohio. Grimaldi erupted for a goal and three assists in UND’s 9-2 thrashing of Miami on Saturday. Grimaldi now has a team leading 26 points (11-15-26).
Kyle Rau (3rd round, 2011) (@KyleRau) tallied three assists in #2 ranked Minnesota’s two-game weekend sweep of Michigan. With the trio of helpers, Rau jumped out as the team’s assist leader with 21. (Personally, I want Rau to make the Panthers one day so I can put him in an edition of our award-winning Valentine’s Day Flubnotes, I mean….A-Rau-sed?…too easy).
That’s all from the farm for now. Feel free to get back to your T.J. Oshie shrines and Sidney Crosby voodoo dolls.