The San Antonio Rampage opened the 2019-20 season with a 2-1 win over the Manitoba Moose at the AT&T Center on Friday night.
Friday’s season opener featured goals from newcomers, a packed crowd, and several changes for the team on both sides of the puck. To get a closer look, here are three thoughts from San Antonio’s win.
Aggressive style pays off early
From the opening puck drop, the Rampage were aggressive early. The very first shot rang off the post just 15 seconds into the game. San Antonio owned Manitoba in the shots department, outshooting them 8-1 with three minutes to go in the opening period.
The team attacked the net, making Moose netminder Mikhail Berdin work early. They got to every loose puck and pelted Berdin with chances on the rebound. San Antonio outshot Manitoba 11-6 in the first period and 35-23 for the game. While it is just one game, if the Rampage can keep up this level of aggressive play, they will win a lot of games this season.
It’s all about discipline
Last season, the Rampage played undisciplined hockey and allowed their opponents several chances on the man advantage. If Friday’s opener is any sign of what is to come, that may all change during the 2019-20 season.
Friday saw San Antonio commit just two minor penalties all game, with both coming in the latter stages of the first and second periods respectively. While on the penalty kill, the Rampage allowed just two shots on goal for the Moose, building a wall around goaltender Ville Husso. This is a stark contrast from what fans saw a year ago.
There’s no denying Ville Husso’s 2018-19 season was one to forget. He has something to prove this year and Friday night was a solid start to doing just that for the young netminder.
Husso stopped 22 of 23 shots he faced in 59 minutes of action, earning the Third Star of the Game. The 24-year-old played big in the net and did not give Manitoba any chance to get rebounds off missed shots. He covered the puck well and saw through the screens. How Husso plays this season will be a major key to San Antonio’s success.