AT&T Center – The San Antonio Rampage entered the 2016-17 season under new direction from Head Coach Eric Veilleux. With a new coach comes a new system – and that was still a work in progress in the team’s season opener.
A.J. Greer scored his first professional goal, but the Rampage suffered a 2-1 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals in front of 6,824 fans at the AT&T Center on Saturday night.
“I thought in the first period the guys were a little nervous,” Veilleux said. We were forcing plays, but we picked it up in the second [period]. Our execution in the third period wasn’t what we wished it would have been.”
Both teams started the game slow, combining for just three shots in the opening ten minutes. Milwaukee had a early and took advantage as Pontus Aberg lit the lamp, beating San Antonio net minder Jeremy Smith to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at 7:28. The tally would stand as the lone goal in the opening 20 minutes.
San Antonio responded in the middle frame with a power play tally of their own. Greer tipped home a shot from Mikko Rantanen past Milwaukee goaltender John Saros to make it a 1-1 game after 40 minutes.
The third period, penalties were handed to both clubs, but neither had solid chances to convert. Vladislav Kamenev broke the tie after a San Antonio turnover to beat Smith and give the visitors the one goal lead.
Smith was pulled with 1:12 to play in regulation, but the majority of the time was spent in center ice or the Rampage zone.
“We’re still working on our systems and how we want to play,” Smith said. “We didn’t get the result we wanted tonight, but there are still positives we can take from the game.”
San Antonio finished the game 1-for-9 on the power play, while Milwaukee was 1-for-8. The Silver and Black outshot the Admirals 23-20 as Smith made 20 saves in the season opener.
Up next: The Rampage are now 0-1-0-0 (0 points) on the season and will return to the ice tomorrow afternoon to close out the weekend series with the Admirals at 3 p.m. at the AT&T Center.