Home Rampage Central Lost Weekend, Lost Season for Rampage

Lost Weekend, Lost Season for Rampage

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Don’t look now, but the Rampage season has literally gone to the dogs. On the annual Pucks and Paws event at the AT&T Center, where fans buy tickets for their furry friends to attend, the Rampage found a way to now go eight straight games without a win (0-7-1), losing this time to Grand Rapids, 3-1 Sunday afternoon.

Some loyal fans in attendance were ready to take their team to the pound, especially after seeing their club manage only three third period shots and mounting little offensive energy. But little did they know, perhaps there was a good reason the Rampage were limited in their opportunities…lack of firepower.

Not only did the Rampage lose the game, but they also managed to lose their two most effective offensive weapons as both Jordan Kyrou and Austin Poganski went down with first period injuries.


Kyrou is the team leading scorer with 43 points in only 47 games, while Poganski has 10 points in his last 14 games. To add to the misery, forward Klim Kostin picked up twelve minutes of box time with 14 minutes, putting the team three players down in the third period, practically sealing the win for the Griffins.

“I thought our guys worked hard, but it’s hard to sustain a lot of pressure when you’re running with nine or eight forwards,” said Rampage coach Drew Bannister. “It was tough for us to muster any offense.”

The Rampage actually opened the scoring with Nolan Stevens getting the only San Antonio goal off the weekend on a rebound jam of shot by Joey LaLeggia from the left point on a first-period power play at 13:18. The shot clipped Jordan Nolan, who was screening the Griffins goaltender when it careened to Stevens to put it home for his eighth of the season.

The Griffins respond on the power play when former Rampage forward Wade Megan slapped in a one-timer with 24 seconds left in the first period to tie the score 1-1. Incredibly, it was only the second Griffins goal in just over three regulation games at the AT&T Center this season.

The Griffin’s Colin Campbell gave Grand Rapids the lead for good on the third rebound at 12:22 of the second period from a goalmouth scramble as the Rampage failed to clear the puck after repeated attacks.

The Rampage tried to push the offensive advantage to open the third period, but that move backfired when Filip Zadina zipped the puck between Evan Fitzpatrick’s pads on a breakaway just 63 seconds into the period.

The Rampage saw their record slump to 27-33-7, last in the Central Division and their winning percentage of .455 is just a few points better than the Ontario Reign for the Western Conference’s most inept team on the season. Thank goodness for the Binghampton Devils, currently on an 0-9-1 streak, whose .405 percentage is the league’s worst mark.

The Wolves are back Tuesday night, with the red hot Manitoba Moose checking into the AT&T Center Friday and Saturday nights, so the schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Rampage. San Antonio was once a safe haven for this Rampage club, setting a franchise record 15-game unbeaten streak, but in March, the team is 0-3-1 since beating the Wolves 2-1 in a shootout Mar. 5 in a Tuesday matinee, the last time the Rampage have registered a W.

CONTINUING WITH THE BEST RAMPAGE PLAYERS EVER!

MIKKEL BOEDKER, #89    2009-2011, PHOENIX COYOTES, COLORADO AVALANCHE, SAN JOSE SHARKS, OTTAWA SENATORS.

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Boedker was drafted the next year by the Coyotes, the beneficiaries of being lousy in back-to-back seasons — the NHL’s version of the Sacramento Kings. And like the basketball Kings, the hockey Yotes never seemed to get any better despite drafting high. Boedker had/has speed to burn, and is still one of the fastest skaters in the NHL, but that speed hasn’t translated into a scoring dynamo.

Boedker has become a dependable, third or fourth line skater, with career stats of 115-206-321 in 685 games, the affable Dane has bounced around with three clubs in the last four years after spending his first seven seasons with the Coyotes. Like Turris, Boedker spent his rookie season in the desert, only to be assigned to San Antonio in his second season after an 11-17-28 line coming out of junior hockey.

With the Rampage, the 8th overall pick in 2008 managed 23-49-72 in 100 games in two seasons, but the Rampage missed the playoffs both years he was here.

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STEPHEN WEISS, #9,  2003-2005, FLORIDA PANTHERS, DETROIT RED WINGS.

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Weiss was penciled in for stardom from the get-go for the Florida Panthers and he didn’t disappoint, and probably wouldn’t have been here long, except there was a labor dispute in the NHL and he was too young to do anything about it. So the Panthers sent him to the minors and he played most of the 2004-05 season here, instead of sitting at home on his Lazy-Boy watching Oprah with the locked-out NHL players.

In 62 games that season, Weiss totaled 15-23-38 before he was “moved” to playoff-bound Chicago Wolves for post-season experience, which left the still-with-an-outside-shot-at-the-playoffs Rampage pretty much grounded.

Weiss went on to a hardy 11-year stint with the Cats before moving on to Hockeytown, compiling a scoring line of 156-267-423 in 732 NHL contests. Because he played for such lousy teams, however, he really didn’t need that “playoff experience” that killed the Rampage playoff hopes — in 13 NHL seasons, Weiss played in only nine playoff games, with three goals.

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JAY BOUWMEESTER #4   2003-2005, FLORIDA PANTHERS, CALGARY FLAMES, ST. LOUIS BLUES

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It’s very ironic that Bouwmeester will be a player with a San Antonio connection at the beginning and end of a great NHL career. After the Panthers selected the lengthy defenseman third overall in the 2002 draft, he played the first two seasons in South Florida, with a two-game sabbatical in San Antonio in 2003. Now with the Blues, Bouwmeester may be near the end of a brilliant blueline career with the organization currently sponsoring Rampage players.

As with the case with Weiss, and much to Bouwmeester’s chagrin, the lockout hit and he was here, playing hockey in 2004-05. To call his quality of play less than stellar would be generous, but his -22 plus-minus rating would be an indication of his work ethic.

Ok, he was young. So what’s he doing on this list? The same as our next outstanding Rampage player — the body of NHL work…Bouwmeester has been a beast at the next level, even though here, his motivation was waning at times. His stat line for a defenseman was meager, 4-13-17 in 60 games, but he did help the Wolves when he went north with Weiss with six goals in 18 games. He and Weiss also helped the Wolves get to the Cup finals, where they lost to the Philadelphia Phantoms 4-0.

In his NHL career, in his 16th year and at 35, Bouwmeester has played 1177 NHL games, with 87-326-413. Not bad for a defender.  Note: His streak of 737 consecutive games played is the ninth longest in league history!

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KEITH YANDLE, #3, 2006-2008, PHOENIX COYOTES, NEW YORK RANGERS, FLORIDA PANTHERS.

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Another ironman, Yandle is another defenseman who may begin and end his career with San Antonio organizational connections, since he started here with the Coyotes and is now with the Panthers. But he still has some gas in the tank, as shown by is on-going streak of 785 straight NHL games, the 5th longest in league history. Yandle hasn’t missed a game in exactly 10 years, since March 26th, 2009!

Up until this season, Yandle was the leading scoring rookie defenseman in Rampage franchise history. But Mitch Reinke took care of that mark with his record-breaking season which continues to grow with each goal or assist. Yandle’s issues here wasn’t scoring. It was helping his goaltender keep the puck out of the Rampage net.

Overall, however, in his two seasons here, the Boston native scored 7-41-48 in 99 games, but once he left San Antonio, he has never returned to the minor leagues. Overall, his NHL career has included even 900 games, with 94-430-524 and that’s an impressive scoring line from the blueline.

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NEXT TIME — THE GOALIES!!!

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.

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