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Rampage’s Resiliency Shines Through Against Barons In Game 1

Saturday, 05.5.2012 / 9:55 AM ET / News
By Jim Charshafian  - SARampage.com
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Rampage\u2019s Resiliency Shines Through Against Barons In Game 1

It was nearly four minutes into the second period of Thursday’s contest against the Oklahoma City Barons and the San Antonio Rampage were staring down a 4-2 deficit to the AHL’s second-ranked defensive team during the regular season. It would have been easy for the Rampage to chalk up Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinals series as “one of those nights” and attempt to gain a split in the first two contests of their best-of-seven set on Saturday.

Instead, the team’s confidence never wavered and four Rampage goals later, San Antonio skated off the Cox Center ice with a 6-4 victory and a 1-0 series lead.

Things have not always gone as planned for the Rampage this season, but one quality that the team has been able to count on throughout the year is their ability to succeed in arduous circumstances.

After hovering near the bottom of the standings in the early goings of the AHL season, San Antonio became one of the league’s most consistent clubs and clinched their third playoff berth in franchise history on the last day of the regular season. Then, after seeing a 2-0 first round lead over the Chicago Wolves disappear, the Rampage won the decisive Game 5 of their Quarterfinal set in double overtime for their first ever playoff series victory last Friday.

So as the team found themselves in a two-goal hole against Oklahoma City, there was no sense of panic.

“We’ve been joking around calling ourselves ‘team adversity,’” said defenseman Michael Caruso, who scored the game-winning goal in Game 1. “Things haven’t been easy for us since day one. We’ve been in a lot of tough situations and I think that because of what we’ve been through, it’s given us a big advantage here in the playoffs.”

The Rampage have taken their queue all season from their head coach, Chuck Weber, who preaches “winning by volume.”

“It’s not one guy who’s going to get the job done,” said Weber. “It’s everyone. It’s everyone defending, it’s everyone scoring, it’s everyone contributing.”

Weber’s mantra was on full display in Thursday’s win, as six different San Antonio players scored in the triumph.

“It’s a credit to this group, who’s stuck with it all year,” said Weber. “There are lessons that a hockey team learns over the course of a year. We’ve made mistakes but we’ve learned our lessons and we were able to battle back last night.”

Center Bracken Kearns, who posted two assists in the Rampage win, said that he and the rest of his squad all take an active role in the team’s success.

“It comes down to confidence,” said Kearns. “Our scoring is pretty spread out and you need that, especially in the playoffs. We have the depth to play in a game like [Thursday’s].”

Although the Rampage did not expect to be in a 10-goal affair in Game 1, they feel they are well-equipped to play in any type of game as their series with the Barons continues.

“We’re a ‘defense-first’ team but we feel we can play that kind of high-scoring style, as well” said Kearns. “We’ve been resilient all year and it’s showed here in the playoffs.”

Whatever tough situations the Rampage face the rest of the way, “team adversity” feels they’ll be able to handle them.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 NYR 72 46 19 7 219 167 99
3 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
4 NYI 74 44 25 5 226 205 93
5 PIT 73 40 22 11 202 181 91
6 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
7 WSH 73 39 24 10 212 180 88
8 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
9 BOS 73 36 25 12 193 190 84
10 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 73 31 31 11 164 186 73
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 72 26 36 10 165 199 62
15 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
16 BUF 73 20 46 7 138 245 47

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 70 12 32 5 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 72 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 68 13 24 -6 37
B. Boyes 71 12 23 9 35
A. Ekblad 72 11 24 8 35
J. Hayes 63 18 13 -4 31
A. Barkov 62 12 15 -4 27
B. Campbell 73 3 20 -1 23
B. Pirri 40 18 2 4 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 17 11 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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