SAN ANTONIO – The force was with the San Antonio Rampage as they earned a 5-2 win over the Bakersfield Condors in front of 6,845 fans at the AT&T Center for the team’s annual Star Wars Night.
The Rampage got the Revenge of the Sith as they defeated Bakersfield Luke Skywalker style after falling to them on Tuesday night. Rocco Grimaldi used his stick like a light saber as he tallied his first career hat trick.
Here is what went good and bad for the Rampage, as well as three standout players: Grimaldi, Spencer Martin, and Julien Nantel.
- The Rampage were much more disciplined on Saturday, committing just one penalty in the game. The team’s penalty kill did kill off Bakersfield only power play opportunity.
- San Antonio outshot Bakersfield like the Storm Troopers 49-23 for the game, including a 19-6 second period.
- Rocco Grimaldi felt the force like Luke Skywalker.
- Spencer Martin commanded the net like he was navigating space in the Millennium Falcon, stopping 21 of 23 shots he faced.
- One of the Bakersfield goals was scored off the rebound. It was a poor defensive error on the part of San Antonio.
Three Standout Players:
Rocco Grimaldi: Anytime you record a hat-trick, you’re going to be a standout player. Grimaldi recorded his first ever hat-trick with three goals on the night, passing the 50-goal mark with the club.
Grimaldi opened the scoring at the 3:08 mark of the first period, beating Condors goaltender Shane Starrett. He would scored two more times at the 7:57 mark of the opening frame and capped it off with an empty netter in the third period.
The past three games, including Saturday, Rampage fans have seen flashes of the ‘old’ Rocco from year’s past. This is a great sign as the season rolls on with the Silver and Black eyeing a playoff spot.
Spencer Martin: The Rampage goalkeeper returned to form, showing why he earned Player of the Week honors earlier in the season. Martin stopped 21 of 23 shots in the win, channeling his inner Jedi. The solid play from the net minder was like he went to see Yoda before the game, being in the zone for all 60 minutes.
Martin and Grimaldi starting to play at high levels can only mean solid things for the Silver and Black as they continue the road trip and turn the calendar to 2018 in a few weeks.
Julien Nantel: The Colorado Avalanche prospect earned Third Star of the Game honors and continues to impress Coach Eric Veilleux. Nantel had just one shot on goal in the game, but played well off the puck.
The confidence from Nantel will likely lead to a call up to the Avalanche in the near future.
The Rampage are now 13-10-1-0 on the season and will return to the ice on Sunday afternoon when they welcome the Ontario Reign to the AT&T Center at 3 p.m.