33-16-4-5, 75 pts
#1 Western Conference
|San Antonio Rampage
25-25-1-4, 55 pts
#13 Western Conference
March 8th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX
The Rampage and Stars have to fit in twelve games across the season and havent' played each other in a month. Tonight's game will be one of five against the Rampage left before the end of the season.
San Antonio has just returned from their rodeo road trip, the annual sojourn away from the AT&T Center as, you guessed it, the building hosts the rodeo. The club went 5-4-1 on the trip. Earning over half the available point is usually good on an extended road trip, but San Antonio is in need of some majorly 'above-average' play to seal up a playoff berth.
Currently in 13th in the West, the Florida Panthers are not helping matters. Top goalie prospect Jacob Markstrom has been recalled, likely for the duration of the season. Conversations last night on Twitter between George Richards, beat writer for the Panthers, and the Rampage's Dan Weiss were rather dire in terms of callups. With San Antonio already icing nine ECHL players on their roster, Florida might be looking to pluck their last contract player from the roster to fill in after suspension.
Texas, of course, is not unfamiliar with such plights. The Stars got Tyler Sloan and Alex Chiasson back in Tuesday's losing effort but saw Taylor Vause take a puck to the face in the game. It's unclear if he will play tonight. Dallas has had injury issues as well, which reverberate down to the AHL, but those look to be trending up as Ray Whitney could return for the NHL side next week, leaving a forward to return to Austin. Philip Larsen is also healthy for Dallas and could lead to the return of a defenseman.
The Stars have not failed to collect points in any of their seven games with San Antonio so far (6-0-1). They really need both tonight though as Charlotte moved to 73 points this week, and Texas is stuck at 75.
Stars injury/call up report:
R. Smith, Roussel, Benn, Oleksiak, Wathier (call up)
Glennie, Nemeth, Fortunus, Gazdic, Dowling (injured)
Blog (unofficial): Rampage with Tony U.
Blog (unofficial): Runnin' With The Herd
Twitter: @SARampage_Voice (play-by-play for SA)