Gameday Preview: Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
13-8-2-2, 30 pts
#6 Western Conference
v.San Antonio Rampage
10-15-0-3, 23 pts
#15 Western Conference
December 18th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

The San Antonio Rampage visit the Stars as Texas comes home for a brief home engagement tonight. Texas will head out for two in OKC this weekend after returning from two in Abbotsford last weekend.

The Rampage are still mired in 15th place in the West. The last time these two clubs met Texas was right with them in 14th. That was just November 25th. Including that game, since that point Texas is on a 7-2-1-1 run. San Antonio has gone 6-6-0-0. That's a fine record if you start from a position of strength, but the Rampage struggled out of the gate and need to play catch up.

The Rampage surprised Abbotsford and Oklahoma City in early December, taking all eight possible points in four games against those two teams. Then, they turned around and dropped four straight to Houston, OKC (twice) and Charlotte. San Antonio will come to the Cedar Park Center on a four-game losing streak.

San Antonio was expected to be one of the teams most negatively affected by the lockout. It was through no fault of their own, however, as the rest of the league improved around them but the Panthers didn't have any prospects at the right point in their career to spend time in the AHL (a la Hall, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Eakin, Granlund, Zucker).

Seeing that, the Rampage signed two NHL calibre talents: forward Jon Sim and defenseman Mike Mottau. Sim, a former Dallas Star and veteran of 469 NHL games, has scored four goals in six games for the Rampage. Mottau, a vet of 313 NHL games, has two assists and is minus-2 in six games.

Jacob Markstrom has taken the lionshare of work in net since the last time these teams played. He has taken the decision in nine games since compared to Grumet-Morris at two.

The Stars are 3-0 this season against the Rampage, 22-11-1-3 all-time, and 14-3-0-1 all-time in Cedar Park. Drew Shore and Jon Rheault are tied as the leading scorer against Texas this season with 3-1-4 and 1-3-4, respectively. Matt Fraser has 3-1-4 against San Antonio this season and Francis Wathier is tied with 0-4-4.

Tonight's game will be on FOX Sports Southwest, brought to you by Dan Weiss and the San Antonio side of things. The game may be on FSSW+ depending on your carrier and location.

Stars injury/call up report:
Glennie (hand)

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