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Panthers Prospect Report: 12.12.12

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers


Position: G            Catches: Left
Height:   6-6           Weight: 195
Born: 1/31/90 in Gavle, Sweden
How Acquired: Florida's first selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (31st overall).
The Skinny
Goaltender Jacob Markstrom takes home this week's honor of “Prospect On Fire”.

Aside from being this week’s “Prospect on Fire”, he is also the CCM/AHL Player of the Week. After winning his last six starts and earning his first shutout victory this last week among his four victories, the AHL has given him top player status.

Florida’s prized goaltending prospect, Markstrom has been looked at as Florida’s “Goalie of the future”. During his draft in 2008, he was seen as the top European goaltending prospect, if not the best goaltender in that draft. He was named best goaltender in the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship tournament.

The San Antonio goaltender has endured a roller coaster of an experience since coming to North America. His first two seasons in the AHL has been derailed by knee injuries but his stint in the NHL for the Panthers during the 2011-12 season made an impression.

Markstrom had a rough start in the AHL this season, but is certainly on the up right now. After 16 games, Markstrom is ranked eighth in all AHL goaltenders in shots saved with 460. Markstrom has an 8-7-1 record, with one shutout and is playing the best hockey he has all season so far. His shutout was against the Western Conference’s top team, Abbottsford and stopped 68 of 70 shots over two games against them, leading the Rampage to back-to-back victories.

The Gavle, Sweden native has been one of the marquee players for San Antonio and continues to prove why he is considered one of the best goaltenders outside of the NHL right now. The Rampage have won more games recently than they have all season after a loss to Houston just snapped a four-game winning streak. Despite a loss, much of San Antonio’s recent success is due to Markstrom’s game improving.

After coming off two injury plagued seasons, Markstrom took a little time to get back into rhythm but seems to be showing everyone why he is Florida’s goalie of the future.

San Antonio 17 8 7 1 .911 2.81

(10-11-3, 12th in AHL Western Conference)


Friday, December 14 at Oklahoma City (8:00pm ET)
December 15 at Oklahoma City (8:00pm ET)
Sunday, December 16 vs Charlotte (5:30pm ET)

WEEKLY NOTES: The Rampage just saw their four-game winning streak come to an end Tuesday but are quickly rising up the rankings despite the loss. Last Wednesday, on December 5, the San Antonio and Abbotsford would have a rematch of a Tuesday night game which saw San Antonio start their streak with a 3-2 victory. Jacob Markstrom would lead the Rampage to victory by stopping all 36 shots faced and earning his first shutout of the season. Despite being outshot 36-14, the Rampage found the back of the net on multiple occasions in Abbottsford. Scott Timmins would net the game’s first goal, Quinton Howden would score two goals, making it his first professional multi-goal game and Justin Vaive would score his first professional goal. The Rampage would spend the weekend at home against Oklahoma City taking on the star-studded Barons (11-8-3). Saturday, Dec.8, the Rampage would prove to be victorious. After falling behind, the Rampage would come back with goals by Timmins, Greg Rallo and Jon Rheault. Timmins would score again late in the third and win the game for the Rampage 4-3. Markstrom would stop 26 of 29 shots. The following day, Dec. 9 the two teams would play again. Goals by DeSantis, Rallo and Wright would lead the Rampage to another victory with a 3-2 win. Markstrom would stand tall in net stopping 36 of 38 shots. The streak eventually came to an end on Tuesday as Houston would score three times late in the third to win going away 5-1 and snap Markstrom’s six-game winning streak.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: San Antonio and Oklahoma City meet up for two more games this upcoming weekend and the Barons will look to avenge their losses in San Antonio this past weekend. This time the games will be in Oklahoma and the Barons will get the last line change. Following those two games, the Rampage will be back home for a South Division matchup against the Charlotte Checkers.

BRING IN THE VETS: Friday, Dec. 7 the Rampage signed two AHL-All Star players with not only experience playing AHL hockey but NHL experience as well.

Mike Mottau, a Hobey Baker award winner while in college has been an AHL All-Star three times (2001, 2002, 2006). He has played in 463 AHL games and registered 279 points (47-232-279). Drafted by the New York Rangers in 1997, Mottau has also spent time playing New Jersey, N.Y. Islanders, Boston and Calgary, playing in 313 NHL games putting up 58 points (7-51-58). 

Jon Sim was an AHL All-Star in 2003 where he was the All-Star game MVP. Sim won a Calder Cup with Philadelphia in 2005 and has played in 172 AHL games scoring 171 points (94-77-171). Sim has played 469 NHL games putting up 139 points (75-64-139). He has spent time with N.Y. Islanders, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Nashville, Dallas and brief stay with San Antonio’s parent club, Florida. Sim was a part of the Stanley Cup winning Dallas Stars team in 1999.

AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Slow out of the gate, the Jacob Markstrom that we all know has arrived. Markstrom has been the best player for San Antonio as of late winning his last six starts and earning a shutout against the Western conference’s top team, Abbottsford. In the two game series against Abbottsford, the Rampage were outshot a combined 70-31 in two games. In those two nights, Markstrom would make an astounding 68 saves.  Markstrom was noticed for his exceptional play and was granted the title of CCM/AHL player of the week, after leading the Rampage to a perfect week.

BY THE NUMBERS: San Antonio is led in points by Jon Rheault with 19 (7-12-19), followed by Drew Shore who sits at number two in points but number one in rookie scoring with 17 points (5-12-17). Greg Rallo leads in goals with nine (9-5-14). Quinton Howden leads all rookies in goals with six (6-5-11), while Colby Robak leads all defensemen in points with 12 points (3-9-12). Eric Selleck leads the team with 88 PIMs.

(14-6-2, 3rd in ECHL Eastern Conference)
Wednesday, December 12 vs Florida (7:30pm ET)
Friday, December 14 vs Florida (7:30pm ET)
Saturday, December 19 at Fort Wayne (7:30pm ET)

WEEKLY NOTES: Cincinnati would face Evansville (10-14-2) on Wednesday, Dec. 5 in a 3-2 shootout victory with goals scored by Charles-Olivier Roussel and Francois Bouchard. The shootout goals were potted by Mathieu Aubin and Bouchard. Brian Foster would earn the win between the pipes stopping 26 of 28 shots. The next game against Kalamazoo (10-10-2) on Friday, Dec. 7 would see John McFarland have his second multi-goal game since coming to the ECHL. McFarland played solidly while Josh Birkholz would also light the lamp for the Cyclones. Despite a great offensive effort by Cincinnati, this game, like the previous one, would enter a shootout. Leading the scoring during the game was not enough for McFarland and Birkholz as they would also score in the shootout, leading the Cyclones to a 4-3 victory. Saturday, Dec. 8 would be game the Cyclones would rather forget, falling to Evansville 4-1. Brian Foster would stop 26 of 29 shots before the IceMen scored an empty netter. The Cyclones lone goal was scored by Mike Embach. Though coming off of a loss, the Cyclones can still keep their heads high as they are the first place team in the North Division.   

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Coming into the week and holding a two-game win streak, the Cyclones look to extend it against the Evansville Icemen (6-12-1). Cincinnati will take on Evansville twice before traveling to Toledo to take on the Walleye again in a big game, that could solidify a division lead for the Cyclones as they are currently sitting behind Toledo by one point (Toledo, 23 pts, Cincinnati, 22 pts).

BY THE NUMBERS: Garrett Wilson currently is third on Cyclones scoring with 14 points (8-6-14), followed by David Pacan with 13 points (3-10-13) returning from a stint in San Antonio. John McFarland has taken advantage of his time in Cincinnati with seven points (5-2-7) in six games. Brian Foster is ranked in the top five goalies in the ECHL at number four. He boasts an astounding record of 11-1-2, with a 2.22 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. 


Information from the and used to create this report.
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