Gameday Preview @ Texas Stars

GAME PREVIEW: The Rampage conclude their five-game road trip with a stop at Cedar Park Center tonight as they look for their third consecutive win. The Rampage have tallied 55 points on the year, two shy of the division-leading Rivermen, with a 27-18-1-0 record.

The Rampage posted a 4-1 victory over the Rockford IceHogs in their last contest. Center Andrew Ebbett had an assist to extend his point streak to four games while linemates Jamie Bates and Ned Lukacevic recorded one goal and one assist apiece.

AGAINST THE STARS: The Rampage hold an all-time record of 6-9-3-0 against the Stars with a 2-4-3-0 record on the road.

San Antonio enters the seventh meeting with their in-state rival as the series record stands at 2-3-1-0. The Rampage won the last contest by a score of 5-1 collecting their first home victory of the season against the Stars. Nolan Yonkman and Brett MacLean each provided two assists while Mikkel Boedker and Garrett Stafford scored one goal and had one assist apiece.

The Stars, the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars, trail San Antonio by two points in the West Division standings with a 24-15-3-2 record good for 53 points. Texas pulled out a 2-1 win in a shootout over the Milwaukee Admirals in their last contest. The leading attacker for the Stars is Travis Morin who has collected 32 points with 13 goals and 19 assists. Goaltender Richard Bachman has put together the ninth-best goals against average in the league at 2.20 and has also registered a .926 save percentage.

Netminder Brent Krahn appeared in 14 games with the Rampage during the 2003-04 season posting a 3-7-1 record.

Goaltender Matt Climie, defenseman Garrett Stafford and right winger Matt Beaudoin were all members of the Calder Cup Finals Texas Stars team last season. Climie posted a 21-17-3-0 record with a GAA of 2.46 and a save percentage of .919. Stafford played in 60 regular season contests registering seven goals and 25 assists for 32 points and appeared in 21 post season contests putting up 10 points on four goals and six assists. Beaudoin skated in 72 regular season contests for the Stars recording 44 points on 19 goals and 25 assists. In addition, he competed in 22 post season contests scoring four goals and adding three assists.

LONE STAR FACEOFF STANDINGS: The Rampage look to gain some ground over the Stars for sole possesion of second place as the two clubs are currently deadlocked at 13 points. The Aeros have taken control of the lead with 20 points. The Rampage are 4-4-0-0 when facing Houston and 2-3-1-0 against the Stars during the 2010-11 campaign.

HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL STAR: Garrett Stafford and Brett MacLean have been selected to the Western Conference Team to represent the Rampage at the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic in Hershey, PA. on Jan. 31. This is the second All-Star appearance for both players. Stafford was voted on by fans as a starter marking the first time in franchise history that the Rampage have had a starter in the All-Star Game. It is also the first time in franchise history that the Rampage have had two players from their roster selected to participate in the annual mid-season classic.

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN: Left wing Alex Picard and right wing Matt Beaudoin each returned to the line-up on Jan. 21 at Milwaukee after missing a combined 25 games. Each player recorded a four-point night with one goal and three assists apiece. The following evening Beaudoin scored a goal against Rockford.

HELLO MY NAME IS: Several new faces have joined the San Antonio club as of late, including Jamie Bates, Ned Lukacevic and Ryan Huddy from ECHL’s Las Vegas and J. D. Watt from the Abbotsford Heat (AHL). Watt is a former member of the Las Vegas Wranglers and played alongside current teammates Jeff May, Tyler Mosienko and Matt Beaudoin during the 2008-09 season.

FOR THE RECORD: On January 21 at Milwaukee, goaltender Al Montoya competed in his 200th professional contest while center Andrew Ebbett recorded his 200th AHL point.

FANTASTIC FOUR: The Rampage have exemplified strong penalty killing as of late only allowing 12 goals on their last 65 penalty kill situations to produce an 81.5% success rate over the last 16 games.

OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN: Garrett Stafford has 30 points on nine goals and 21 assists which places him in third for highest point total among AHL defensemen. Stafford is also tied for the second-most power-play assists at 14 and third for power-play points at 17.

POWERFUL PLAY: The Rampage have claimed the best road and second-highest overall power-play percentage in the league at 27.9% and 22.7%, respectively. They have scored 46 power-play goals on 203 overall chances while scoring 24 goals on 86 man-advantage opportunities on the road.

HALF WAY THERE: The Rampage played their 40th game on Jan. 9 marking the halfway point of the regular season and proving to be the best record through 40 games (25-14-1-0) in franchise history.

GOING THE EXTRA MILE: The Rampage have registered a 4-0 record in shootout games so far this season passing their 2009-10 mark of two shootout victories. San Antonio has recorded the second best success rate in the league of ten goals scored on 16 attempts for a 62.5% success rate during the shootout. Goaltender Matt Climie sits in second place for shootout percentage at 93.3%, stopping 14-of-15 attempts.

DRAFT TALENT: San Antonio’s roster currently features five players selected in the first three rounds of the NHL Entry Draft:
1st round NHL draft picks:
Al Montoya was selected by New York Rangers (6th overall) in 2004
Alexandre Picard was selected by Columbus (8th overall) in 2004
Viktor Tikhonov was selected by Phoenix (28th overall) in 2008
Nick Ross was selected by Phoenix (30th overall) in 2007

3rd round NHL draft picks:
Jonas Ahnelov was selected by Phoenix (88th overall) in 2006

AROUND THE WORLD: The Rampage currently have 27 players on this season’s roster hailing from all over the world. The roster mostly consists of players from Canada with 18 while only five players are American, including two from California. There are four players from Europe with hometowns in Sweden, Russia, Yugoslavia and Latvia.

SEASONED VETERANS AND YOUNG GUNS: The Rampage roster contains seven players classified as veterans and three players classified as rookies.

COYOTE WATCH: The Phoenix Coyotes, San Antonio’s NHL parent club, rallied from a three goal deficit but fell short losing 4-3 to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. Former Rampage player Keith Yandle extended his point streak to four games providing two assists in the last contest. The Coyotes return to the ice when they host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday evening.

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