Friday, October 20, 2017

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
3-1-0-0, 6 pts, 0.750
#1 Pacific Division
v.San Antonio Rampage
2-1-0-0, 4 pts, 0.667
#3 Pacific Division
October 20th at 7:30 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

I can't believe I'm going to jinx it by saying this, but... is this the year Texas and San Antonio are good at the same time? Not just make the playoffs good, but really good?

In eight years, the Texas Stars have made the playoffs six times. In that same time frame, San Antonio has only made it twice, with one of those years being the year Texas missed in 11-12. The Rampage also made it in 14-15, but Texas and San Antonio were both lower seeds and bounced in the first round.

The dream, of course, is that Texas and San Antonio both knock out their first round opponents and get to play a seven-game series in the second round to win the division.

That, however, is months away. But we can dream.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
As far as tonight's matchup, the game starts a 3-in-3 set for the two teams. The Stars didn't play a single one of these last year, but have the good fortune to get this one out of the way early and on their home turf for 2/3.

For San Antonio, the partnership with Colorado and St. Louis has yielded early fruit. In addition to expected players like Andrew Agozzino (2-4=6, 3 GP) and Rocco Grimaldi (1-1=2, 3 GP), Blues skaters like D Jordan Schmaltz (1-3-=4, 3 GP) have been added. Samuel Blais, another player who can make a difference in the AHL, was recalled to St. Louis after opening this season with three goals in two games. Another name to watch out for is Brendan Ranford. The former Star was signed to an AHL deal by San Antonio in the offseason.

This weekend, Texas will surely see all four goaltenders between the two teams. Spencer Martin (2-0, 1.50, .919) is the undoubted #1 for San Antonio just as Mike Mckenna is for Texas. Ville Husso, Martin's backup, has seen game action, allowing five goals in San Antonio's lone loss on the season. Landon Bow, Texas's backup, has not seen action yet. This weekend will surely bring his debut.

Stars injury/call up report:
Elie (call up)

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

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