Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gameday Preview: Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
4-6-0-1, 9 pts
#14 Western Conference
v.San Antonio Rampage
4-6-0-1, 9 pts
#13 Western Conference
November 15th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

In the only AHL game on the slate this evening, Texas welcomes San Antonio to the Cedar Park Center for what is somehow only the second meeting between the teams this season. The only previous matchup was the season opener for both teams, a 2-1 win for the Stars at San Antonio.

The Stars and Rampage share the same 4-6-0-1 record but have come about it in different ways. Texas started hot before dropped six of seven. Then the club picked up their game over the past weekend and earned three points in their final two games of a 3-in-3. San Antonio has spread out their winning having not lost or won more than two games in a row. They come into Cedar Park tonight on a two game losing skid, having been outscored 12-8 in just two games.

Dov Grumet-Morris, savior of the Rampage's 2011-12 season, was uncharacteristically charitable in a 7-5 loss to Houston on Tuesday. Prior to the seven goal game, DGM had allowed just six goals in only five games of work. While the defense has been stout, the offense has not been similarly gifted. Prior to the 7-5 game, the Rampage were averaging 2.2 goals/game. The Houston game bumped that average to 2.45. Neither is good enough to overcome a greater than three goals against average as a team.

Rookie Drew Shore leads the club on offense with 2-7-9 in 11 GP. Jon Rheault has the most goals at 5-3-8 in 11 GP as well. Former Chicago pugilist Andre Deveaux comes in next at 3-3-6 in 9 GP; he was suspended for the other two. Former Star Greg Rallo has yet to turn on the offensive switch this season. The 31-year-old center has only two goals and an assist despite playing in all eleven games this season. He is also an uncharacteristic minus-5.

For the Stars, things are on the upswing after last weekend. The turning point of the season may very well have been the last three minutes of the Lake Erie game. To guarantee that point, Texas will need to come out strong against the Rampage tonight.

Complicating the picture for Stars fans is the callup of rookie goalie Josh Robinson from the ECHL. Robinson is doing fantastically well in Idaho, posting a 5-0-1 record in six games. However, neither of the Stars goaltenders appeared to be injured in this weekend's games. How the Stars use Robinson tonight will say a lot about the situation. Regardless, it will be a question in postgame.

Also a question mark will be the Stars usage of Austin Smith. After his callup on Saturday, he hasn't factored into any games. With Coach Desjardins professing earlier in the season his tendency to stick with the same guys once they've won a few, it could be that Smith doesn't see game time for a while.

Stars injury/call up report:
Benn (concussion)

Website: sarampage.com
Blog (unofficial): Rampage with Tony U.
Blog (unofficial): Runnin' With The Herd
Twitter: @SARampage
Twitter: @SARampage_Voice (play-by-play for SA)

1 comment:

  1. I'm abit surprised at your impression over the past weekend. At home they got one point and in Houston, Houston played there backup goaltender against them even though Hackett was on a full day (in Houston) rest and they were missing one of there better scorers. I'm thinking they need to show more than 500 hockey under those circumstances to be considered on the right track. Maybe it wasn't disaster but it could of been better.

    ReplyDelete

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