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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 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 48 16 21 12 37
J. Huberdeau 51 10 27 11 37
A. Barkov 41 15 19 13 34
J. Jokinen 51 9 24 12 33
V. Trocheck 51 17 15 4 32
R. Smith 51 16 15 12 31
B. Pirri 47 10 13 -4 23
A. Ekblad 47 10 12 23 22
B. Campbell 51 4 15 17 19
N. Bjugstad 36 9 8 -3 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 13 4 .930 2.11
A. Montoya 8 2 1 .931 1.93

 
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