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Rampage’s Resiliency Shines Through Against Barons In Game 1

Saturday, 05.05.2012 / 9:55 AM / 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.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 44 15 12 1 27
J. Huberdeau 41 8 17 1 25
A. Ekblad 44 6 19 7 25
J. Jokinen 43 4 20 0 24
J. Hayes 36 13 7 1 20
B. Boyes 42 9 11 1 20
S. Bergenheim 33 7 9 4 16
T. Fleischmann 38 5 8 9 13
V. Trocheck 28 4 9 6 13
D. Kulikov 39 1 12 -2 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 17 10 8 .923 2.32
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .887 3.09
 
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