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Panthers Prospect Report: 2.07.12

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers


Position: RW          Shoots: Right
Height:   6-1            Weight: 182
Born: 3/28/91 in St. Louis Park, MN
How Acquired: Panthers third round pick (67th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
The Skinny
Winger Josh Birkholz takes home this week's honor of “Prospect On Fire”.

Drafted in the third round (67th overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft, Birkholz has put up good numbers this year with the Everett Silvertips (WHL).

Playing in his second straight season with the Everett, Birkholz has already blown by last season's goal, assist and point totals (18-11-29) as he leads the Silvetips in all offensive categories in posting 45 points (24-21-45) in 51 games to date.

The 20-year old's play has picked up since the beginning of the New Year as he posted 14 points (nine goals) in 15 games in January and another two points in two games in February. Birkholz, in fact, has posted points in nine of the last 12 games (7-6-13).

The St. Louis Park, MN native has registered five multi-point games this season, including a hat trick against Seattle on January 4th, the second of his Silvertips career.

Everett 51 21 24 45 43 5

(25-20-2, 7th in AHL Western Conference)


Friday, February 10 at Toronto (7:00pm ET)
Saturday, February 11 at Rochester (7:35pm ET)
Sunday, February 12 at Grand Rapids (5:00pm CT)

WEEKLY NOTES: After having a seven game win streak snapped with back-to-back losses on Friday to the Oklahoma City Barons (3-0) and Saturday to the Lake Erie Monsters (3-1), the Rampage started off a season long 11-game road trip with an early morning win Tuesday against the Hamilton Bulldogs in the first of two meetings between the two this season, as the Rampage continue to hold on to the number seven spot in the Western Conference. Bracken Kearns and Bill Thomas led the way for San Antonio with two points each in the victory as  Dov Grummet Morris stood tall in goal as he made 38 saves on 40 shots in the contest.  

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: San Antonio will play three games in three days on the road, as the rampage travel North to take on the top three teams in the North Division as they look to move up in the Western Conference Standings. The trip, which is part of the season long 11-game Rodeo road trip takes the team to Toronto on Friday to take on the Marlies. They then head to Rochester on Saturday and then on to Grand Rapids to face the Griffins.

BUMP IN THE ROAD: After a seven game win streak, The Rampage hit a bump in the road dropping two of their last three, in which they were outscored  6-1.It didn’t take the Rampage long to find their winning ways, beating  the Hamilton Bulldogs Tuesday morning, their first ever road win against them.

PINK IN THE RINK SELL-OUT: The Rampage recorded their first-ever sellout last Friday when they played the Lake Erie Monsters on Pink in the Rink Night. A total of 16,151 fans came out to the AT&T Center as San Antonio skated on pink ice and afterward auctioned off their pink themed jerseys to support the San Antonio Affiliate of Komen for the Cure. The jersey auction raised a franchise record $48,000.

JOYOUS JANUARY: The Rampage have enjoyed a 9-3-0-0 January to move within one point of a playoff spot. Their .750 winning percentage in the first month of the year tied for the best mark in franchise history. San Antonio also went 9-3-0-0 during December of 2008.

CAT TRACKING: Defenseman Tyson Strachan and goaltender Brian Foster, both of whom have played the majority of the season with the Rampage, are currently making contributions with San Antonio’s NHL parent club, the Florida Panthers. Strachan has tallied two assists to go along with a plus-minus rating of plus-one in four games with Florida over the course of the last two weeks while Foster made his NHL debut on Saturday night. He came on in a brief relief stint in the Panthers’ contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning stopping the lone shot he faced.

BY THE NUMBERS: Newly acquired Jon Matsumoto continues to lead the Rampage in goals, assists and points (17-26-43), including seven points in his first five Rampage games. Colby Robak and Bill Thomas lead the way in the plus/minus category for San Antonio with plus-12 ratings. Dov Grumet-Morris continues to lead San Antonio in all statistical categories, with 14 wins, a 2.09 goals against average, and a .929 save percentage.

(11-14-6, 9th in ECHL Eastern Conference)
Wednesday, February 8 vs Toledo (7:30pm ET)
Friday, February 10 vs Trenton (7:30pm ET)
Saturday, February 11 at Toledo (7:00pm ET)
Sunday, February 12 at Toledo (4:00pm ET)

WEEKLY NOTES: On Wednesday, Mike Sisca's second goal of the night (overtime) capped off a huge comeback as Cincinnati, down 6-0, came back to earn the 7-6 victory over the Toledo Walleye. It marked the first time in franchise history that the club came back from a three-goal (or more) deficit to win a regular season game. The Cyclones continued their winning way as they got a third period goal from Dan Eves to secure a 4-3 victory over South Carolina. Jonathan Hazen had a multi-point game for the hosts. On Saturday, the Cyclones finished off the week perfect with a 3-2 victory over South Carolina. 

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Fresh off of a perfect 3-0 week, the Cyclones will play four games in five nights beginning Wednesday at U.S. Bank Arena. Three of those four contests will be against the Toledo Walleye with one final meeting against Trenton mixed in. On Wednesday, the Walleye will make their first return to U.S. Bank Arena since last week’s historical Cyclones comeback victory. Then, after an off-day Thursday, Cincy will face the Titans for the final time in 2011-12 followed by a two-game weekend road trip to Huntington Center in Downtown Toledo.

ANOTHER CYCLONES REACHES "THE SHOW": Cyclones goaltender Brian Foster became the ninth Cyclone (third this year) to make his NHL debut. On Saturday night, Foster made one save on one shot in 4:53 of ice time for the Florida Panthers in a 5-3 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning. His debut also fell on his 25th birthday (February 4). Prior to the call-up, the Panthers fifth-round draft pick has earned a 8-1-0-1 record with a 2.47 goals-against average. 

MAKING HIS MARK: Rookie center Matt Sisca is coming off one of his best weeks as a professional. He has registered at least a point in each of his last four games, and now leads the Cyclones with 41 points in 47 games. Since coming to the Queen City, he has etched his name on the scoresheet in all but three games. He ranks 11th in the ECHL in overall scoring and third among all first-year players.


Information from the and used to create this report.
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