Wednesday, February 22, 2012

American Hockey League Week Ahead 2/22-26

As the Rampage enter the final portion of their annual Rodeo Road Trip, this week could be the most important 3-in-3 weekend sets of the season as San Antonio will be playing the Peoria Rivermen. Who till after last night, were in 7th & 8th Place in the Conference till the Rivermen got an important shootout win against the Abbotsford Heat after being down 2-0 just 6 minutes into the game.

Then were down, 3-2, for a majority of the 3rd period, until Adam Cracknell's 14th goal of the season tied the game with just 47 seconds left where the Rivermen was able to win in the shootout for a 4-3 victory where the Rivermen were able to jump to 6th Place in the Western Conference.

Abbotsford on the other hand has been falling in the West as they currently sit in 7th Place, this was after the Heat were in a very tight race with Houston & Oklahoma City for most of the 1st half of the season for both the Conference & Division Lead.

After San Antonio finishes the 2 games in Illinois, they will head to Wisconsin to play the Milwaukee Admirals Sunday Afternoon. This could be a make-or-break weekend for the Rampage who sit in 8th Place and after the Rodeo Road Trip wraps up with a game in Chicago on 2/29, the stretch drive will have the Rampage play 12 of the team's final 18 games in March & April and will provide a prime opportunity to further established themselves in the playoff picture.

One thing to keep in mind about the Rampage is that San Antonio has only made the playoffs twice in their decade long history & has never won a Division Title or Playoff Series in their history. The last time the Rampage made the playoffs was in 2007 where they lost in 7 games to the Toronto Marlies.

Following tonight's Home Game against the Texas Stars, the Barons will start on a 6 game road trip starting with a battle of Division Leaders against the Mid-West Division Leading Charlotte Checkers where OKC will have a great chance to pull away even further from both Charlotte & Toronto as they currently sit 5 points up on the Toronto Marlies & 6 points up on the Charlotte Checkers.

Following the trip to North Carolina, OKC will head to the Mid-West for a pair of games against Peoria, sandwiched with games against Grand Rapids & Chicago during the Trip as well.

Time is beginning to run out for the Texas Stars to get into the playoff race as they sit in 13th Place and are 9 points back of in state rival San Antonio for the 8th & final playoff spot. Things won't get any easier with a road game to the Conference Leading Oklahoma City Barons, followed by a weekend series against their In State Rival Houston Aeros.

Houston will be looking to take advantage of one of their lightest stretches of the season coming up as they will have just 3 games over the next week-and-a-half. Not only is the number of games at a minimum, but travel shouldn't be an excuse coming up as they will be heading to Austin for a Friday/Saturday Series against a Texas Stars Team who are looking to get out of the Western Conference basement. The Aeros are looking to get this 11 game extended road trip back on track where Houston is 2-4 so far after losing 3 straight to Milwaukee & a pair against Abbotsford last week.

This will be a great chance for the Aeros to get back into 4th Place and into the final Home Ice Spot for the AHL Western Conference Playoffs when they get underway in Mid-April. The Aeros will look to get back on track during the extended road trip prior to their 1st home game back when they return to the Toyota Center on March 10 against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Like the Rampage, the Aeros will have a heavy home schedule over the final 18 games where 13 of their final 18 will be at home. Including a stretch starting on March 29 where the Aeros will wrap up the regular season with 7 of their final 8 at home with their only road game during the final stretch drive against Oklahoma City on April 13 which is part of the regular season's closing weekend.

This Weeks AHL Schedule


Texas Stars VS. Oklahoma City Barons  7:00 PM


Oklahoma City Barons VS. Charlotte Checkers  6:00 PM

San Antonio Rampage VS. Peoria Rivermen  7:00 PM

Houston Aeros VS. Texas Stars  7:30 PM


Oklahoma City Barons VS. Charlotte Checkers  6:00 PM

Houston Aeros VS. Texas Stars  7:00 PM

San Antonio Rampage VS. Peoria Rivermen  7:30 PM


San Antonio Rampage VS. Milwaukee Admirals  3:00 PM

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