CEDAR PARK – The San Antonio Rampage opened up a home-and-home series with the Texas Stars by dropping the first game by a final score of 4-3 in front of 4,734 fans at the H-E-B Center on Wednesday evening.
The loss stung for the Silver and Black for a few different reasons. First, it snapped a four game winning streak against their in-state rivals and goaltender Ville Husso was injured in the first period and did not return.
Here is what went good and bad for the Rampage as well as three standout players: Alex Belzile, A.J. Greer, and Jordan Schmaltz.
- San Antonio nearly got even in the shots department as Texas owned the 30-29 edge for the game. That is a massive improvement from the past month where the Silver and Black were outshot, but still managing to win games.
- Alex Belzile continues to play solid.
- Despite the injury to Husso and poor defense, San Antonio almost escaped with a minimum of one point.
- With no update to Husso’s injury, speculation is he may be out for some time. The Rampage might send a call to the Colorado Eagles in the morning.
- San Antonio’s defense struggled on three of Texas’ goals. The first was leaving Curtis McKenzie free to put home the rebound into a wide open net. The other came when the Rampage defense failed to get back in transition and Roope Hintz scored on a breakaway chance.
Three Standout Players:
Alex Belzile: The Rampage center scored his first goal of the season on the power play, extending his point streak to four games. However, it is not his ability to score the puck that had him stand out in this game. It is the chemistry he has with his teammates. Belzile has been in Silver and Black for awhile now, but with so many new faces in from the St. Louis side of things, it is no issue for him or the team. Blues prospect Jordan Schmaltz picked up the secondary assist on Belzile’s tally, a good sign of things to come between the pair.
A.J. Greer: San Antonio got a major boost with the return of A.J. Greer to the lineup and he quickly made it know he was back. Greer scored his first goal of the season off a feed from Andrew Agozzino in the second period.
With Greer, Rocco Grimaldi, and Schmaltz in the lineup for the Rampage. Coach Eric Veilleux has to feel good about his ‘big three’ scoring combo going forward. Last season, the triple threat of Grimaldi, Greer, and Schmaltz had a total of 49 goals and 69 assists.
Jordan Schmaltz: The St. Louis Blues prospect dished out his tenth assist of his season with his helper on Belzile’s goal in the second period. Add his three goals on the year to that stat and he has had a pretty nice outing in his debut season in Silver and Black.
The Rampage will need more of the same from Schmaltz as the season goes on if they want to surprise everyone and get into the playoffs.
Up next: The Rampage are now 9-5-1-0 (19 points) on the season and will return to the ice on Saturday evening when they welcome the Stars to the AT&T Center at 7 p.m. to complete their home-and-home set.