Friday, March 23, 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

            Texas Stars                       San Antonio Rampage
    33-22-7-3, 76 pts, .585      v.      31-25-10-0, 72 pts, .545
  #4 Pacific Division                    #6 Pacific Division

March 23rd at 7:30 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

Colin Markison scores on a sprawling Ville Husso
(Credit: Texas Stars)
The 11th matchup against the San Antonio Rampage comes at a critical juncture for the Texas Stars. The Stars are primed to put a little more distance in the standings between themselves and the Rampage with a home and home set during the weekend but only possess a 3-4-2-1 record in the previous 10 contests against their I-35 rivals.

The previous game against the Rampage resulted in a 2-1 overtime win in which defenseman Brent Regner scored the game winner. This won't be the same Stars team, however. A slew of call-ups has taken place over the past couple of weeks as the parent club Dallas Stars has sustained a rash of injuries. Already without Dillon Heatherington, the Texas Stars will for the next couple of weeks have to figure out life without their captain Curtis McKenzie, and goaltender Mike McKenna, whose play has been strong down the stretch.

When two teams have to play against each other 14 times in a season, things are always personal. The Rampage don't see themselves as out of the playoff chase, only mere decimal points behind the Stars in terms of points percentage. The usual suspects for the Rampage in Andrew Agozzino (37 pts) and Samuel Blais (35pts) pace their team in scoring and almost always play well against Texas. 

The Rampage will be without their rookie goaltender Ville Husso, who has turned in a Bastien Memorial caliber season, due to a call-up. His backup, Spencer Martin (.895 SP) ought to be a better matchup for a Stars team that will take any points they can eke out.

The puck drops at 7:30 PM CST.

Stars injury/call up report:
Dickinson, Heatherington, McKenzie, McKenna (call-up)

Rampage Web Resources
Website: sarampage.com
Blog (unofficial): Runnin' With the Herd
Twitter: @SARampage
Twitter: @DanWeissPBP (play-by-play for SA)

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