Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Austin Smith & Jack Campbell Interviews on Austin Radio Station

As the newest members of the Dallas Stars Org. both Jack Campbell & Austin Smith were interviewed on Austin's KLBJ 93.7 which is one of Austin's best known Classic Rock Stations earlier this afternoon.

It was only a few minutes but it gives listeners a vision of what they were coming through as they were on their way to the Professional game as both players will be looking to make their Professional Debut on Friday against the Oklahoma City Barons.

He was interviewed on the B-DOE Show which comes on from 3-7 PM Weekdays on 93.7 KLBJ, Austin's Classic Rock.

Aeros Goalie Joe Fallon named AHL Player of the Week

After having to come in after Matt Hacket was called up to the Minnesota Wild, Joe Fallon has been called upon to keep the Aeros in the race for the 4th & Final Spot for home ice advantage in the AHL Western Conference Playoff Race with basically a dozen games to go in the AHL Regular Season.

Fallon has had a fresh start after basically having a cup of coffee with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers where he played just one game back in December when he was in net for the 3rd period of a game against the Springfield Falcons where he made 6 of 7 shots in relief in a Sound Tigers loss. Since arriving in Houston back on March 3rd by signing a Professional Tryout Out Deal (PTO) after having a very impressive showing with the Las Vegas Wranglers in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).

He has been very strong with a 5-1-0 record in 9 games played where he has a respectable 2.10 GAA & a .929 SV%. His strongest performances came against the Abbotsford Heat back on St. Patricks Day and has kept opponents to one goal on 4 other occassions' in his short time with the Aeros so far.

He's already beginning to put the pressure on current Aeros backup Darcy Kuemper who hasen't played in a single game since March 3rd and is looking to at least grab the back up spot from Kuemper if and when Hackett gets back (Possibly for an AHL Calder Cup Playoff Run) and look to show that he can make some crucial saves at big moments that could play a huge role when the AHL Playoffs begin next month.

With Minnesota in 13th Place & 14 Points back of the 8th & Final Playoff Spot, this is an option that you have got to think they are looking at as the Wild will once again will most likely be out of the playoffs. And the Aeros will once again will be looking to finish some unfinished business by looking to get back to the Calder Cup after reaching the Final last year, the Wild are will be looking to load up for the AHL Playoffs as the Aeros will look to have another crack at bringing the AHL Calder Cup for the first time since the 2002-2003 season.

Here's a look at the remaining Houston Aeros Schedule

3/23: @ Rockford Ice Hogs  7:05 PM

3/24: @ Rockford Ice Hogs  7:05 PM

3/25: @ Chicago Wolves  3:00 PM

3/28: @ Milwaukee Admirals  7:00 PM

3/29: VS. Lake Erie Monsters  7:05 PM

3/31: VS. Hamilton Bulldogs  7:35 PM

4/6: VS. Chicago Wolves  7:35 PM

4/7: VS. Peoria Rivermen  7:35 PM

4/8: VS. Milwaukee Admirals  5:05 PM

4/13: @ Oklahoma City Barons  7:00 PM

4/14: VS. San Antonio Rampage  7:35 PM

4/15: VS. Texas Stars  5:05 PM

The American Hockey League announced today the Houston Aeros goaltender Joe Fallon has been selected as the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending on March 18, 2012.

Fallon made four starts during a critical week for Houston and led the team to it's first four game winning streak of the season, allowing just five goals on 125 shots (4-0-0, 1.20 GAA, .960 SV%) and helping to keep the Aeros above the fray in the wild Western Conference Playoff Race.

Fallon began the week with a 26 save effort to lead Houston to a 4-1 win over Abbotsford on Tuesday Night. He made 26 more stops in a 4-3 victory over Rockford on Friday before putting fourth a perfect performance in a rematch with the Heat on Saturday, stopping all 32 shots through regulation and overtime and denying all six shootout attempts to give Houston a 1-0 victory. Making his third start in as many days on Sunday, Fallon closed out the week with a 36 saves and making a 5-for-7 shootout effort as the Aeros downed conference leading Oklahoma City 2-1.

Fallon has a record of 5-1-0 with a 2.05 GAA and a .931 SV% in eight apperances since joining Houston on March 3. The fourth year pro from Bemidji, Minnesota, was orginally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2005 and has a career record of 27-24-1 with three shutouts in 63 AHL Apperances over four professional seasons.

In recognition of his achievement, Fallon will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Aeros Game.

RG Flath's Hat Trick edges out the Brahmas

In addiditon to a hat trick that helped the Thunder edge out the Texas Brahmas in a very exciting game at the NYTEX Sports Center last night for not only to hand the Brahmas their 4th straight loss but also the Thunder clinching the CHL Presidents Cup which will give them home ice advantage throughout the entire CHL Playoffs when they get underway next week.

In addition to Flath's Hat trick, several other Thunder Players which included 2 goals from Chris Chappell and 3 assists from Jarred Mohr assisting on goals by both Flath & Chappell in just 27 seconds to to reverse a 1-0 Brahmas Lead into a 2-1 lead midway through the 1st period.

This was despite a huge 2nd period for the Brahmas as 2 goals by Adam Hogg which puts him to 22 goals on the season as well Sy Nutkevitch which saw him scored his 2nd goal in his 4 games since he made his debut back on March 16 against the Allen Americans where he has averaged a point a game in his short time with the Brahmas so far where he has 4 points (2G 2A) so far.

The Brahmas will now have their final 3-in-3 stretch of the regular season which starts on Friday where they will play a desperate Tulsa Oilers at the BOK Center where that could be the Oilers' last chance of having any hope of keeping up with the Rio Grande Valley Bees to in the Turner Conference Playoff Race.

Saturday will be a Playoff Preview as the Brahmas & Americans play the final game of the regular season schedule before the CHL Turner Conference Semifinals Series gets going next week at the Allen Event Center. Then Sunday will finish the regular season with the Fan Appreacation Day against the Evansville Ice Men at 4:00 PM.

Here's the Central Hockey League Schedule for the Final Few Days of the Season.


Allen Americans VS. Arizona Sundogs  8:05 PM


Allen Americans VS. Wichita Thunder  7:05 PM

Texas Brahmas VS. Tulsa Oilers  7:35 PM


Tulsa Oilers VS. Missouri Mavericks  7:05 PM

Texas Brahmas VS. Allen Americans  7:05 PM

Laredo Bucks VS. RGV Killer Bees  7:30 PM


Evansville Ice Men VS. Texas Brahmas  4:00 PM

Missouri Mavericks VS. Tulsa Oilers  4:05 PM

Wichita Thunder VS. Allen Americans  5:05 PM

Laredo Bucks VS. RGV Killer Bees  6:00 PM

From North Richland Hills, Texas: The Brahmas lost their fourth Tuesday Night 6-5 at the hands of the Wichita Thunder.

The Brahmas capitalized on the first power play of the night and grabbed the early lead at the 1:47 mark of the first period when Brendon Hodge cleaned up a rebound in front of the Thunder for his 13th goal of the season. The rest of the first period however, belonged to Wichita. Chris Chappell scored two of the three goals in the opening frame for the Thunder, who forced Brahmas netminder Ken Carroll out of the game after just 17:31 in net. RG Flath added the other score.

As did the first period, the second period featured a lot of scoring. Brahmas captain Adam Hogg netted two goals and Sy Nutkevitch scored his second goal in only gour games with the team. Hogg's second goal of the period - coming at the 12:16 mark - evened the score at four goals apiece. But RG Flath also scored twice in the period, lifting the Thunder to a 5-4 lead heading into the third period.

At the 13:44, Alex Bourrett extended the Thunder Lead to 6-4 on his 19th goal of the season and his fifth in six games against the Brahmas. With 35 seconds remaining in regulation and the goaltender pulled, Dan Nichols added a goal to bring the score to 6-5, but that would be the final score.

Both teams converted on two power plays, the Brahmas on eight opportunities and the Thunder on three.

Mark Guggenberger made 17 saves on 20 shots in relief of Ken Carroll. Adam Russo picks up the victory for Wichita, making 21 saves on 26 shots in the process.

The Brahmas play twice on the road (Friday, March 23 in Tulsa and Saturday, March 24 in Allen) before returning to NYTEX Sports Center for the regular season home game of the season.

For ticket information, call 817-336-4423 or visit the Texas Brahmas Website. The NYTEX Sports Center offers speedy and reliable Wi-FI provided by Great Auk Wireless. Also, visit ZuRoma at the NYTEX Sports Center and Keller Locations. All Brahmas away games are ZuRoma through CHL TV. 

San Antonio Squanders 3rd period lead

After having a solid 4-1 lead going into the 3rd period last night against the Grand Rapids Griffins, Rampage Head Coach Chuck Weber said it best when he said, "The 3rd period was a perfect ten for being disappointed", said Coach Weber. This was after the Rampage squandered a 4-1 lead to allow the Griffins tied the game at 4-4 in just a 2:07 time span in the 3rd period where Griffins Forward Tomas Tatar scored his 16th & 17th goals of the year where Chris Minard also scored his 2nd of the game during the early portion of the 3rd period as well.

After the Griffins made it 4-4, Coach Weber felt that the Rampage made a strong chance to comeback to regain the lead but were unable to find a game leading goal, "From the opening drop of the 3rd period till it was 4-4, it was ugly hockey by us. ", Weber in his frustration's of the team's play in the 3rd period that lead to the Shootout Loss.

After the Rampage & Griffins played in a frantic OT where neither side was able to score on their 4 SOG. It was Chris Minard who scored a Shootout Goal in addition to his 2 in the game while Louis-Marc Aubry that put the game away when he put it past Rampage Goalie Jacob Markstrom to earn a, 5-4, win that put the Rampage in a 3 way tie for the 8th & Final Playoff Spot in the Western Conference with the Rochester Americans (13 GR) who thanks to having a game in hand over San Antonio (12 GR) & two games in hand against Lake Erie (11GR). Rochester currently holds down the 8th & Final Playoff spot with the Rampage having just 12 games left in the regular season.

Instead of being in a tie for 7th with Charlotte where they would be firmly in the playoffs at this point as it's beginning to look like teams like the Abbotsford Heat (Currently 6th), Peoria Rivermen (Currently 5th) & Houston Aeros (Currently 4th) are looking to officially pull away from this pack and firmly secure their playoff spots with a dozen games left in the season.

If that comes scenario happens, you could have a situation where San Antonio will be battling Rochester (currently 8th), Charlotte (currently 7th) & Lake Erie (currently 10th) as the 4 teams are fighting for the final 2 playoff spots with the possibility of Grand Rapids (currently 11th) who are looking to get into this battle as the Griffins have been playing red hot hockey by winning 4 of their last 5 games including an impressive 5-2 win over Houston back on March 11.

San Antonio & Grand Rapids will play again in San Antonio tomorrow night. After tomorrow night, the Griffins will continue their Southwest Road Trip when they head North to Oklahoma City for a pair of games against the Barons Saturday, March 24 & Sunday, March 25.

Click on the Game Highlights & Post Game Comments for Info on last night's Game.

Here's the San Antonio Rampage Remaining Regular Season Schedule

3/22: VS. Grand Rapids Griffins  7:00 PM

3/24: @ Abbotsford Heat  9:00 PM

3/25: @ Abbotsford Heat  3:00 PM

3/28: VS. Hamilton Bulldogs  7:00 PM

3/31: @ Rockford Ice Hogs  7:05 PM

4/1: @ Peoria Rivermen  5:00 PM

4/4: VS. Chicago Wolves  7:00 PM

4/7: VS. Milwaukee Admirals  7:00 PM

4/10: VS. Milwaukee Admirals  7:00 PM

4/13: VS. Texas Stars  7:00 PM

4/14: @ Houston Aeros  7:35 PM

4/15: VS. Oklahoma City Barons  3:30 PM

From San Antonio, Texas: The San Antonio Rampage were defeated by the Grand Rapids Griffins 5-4 in a shootout at the AT&T Center on Tuesday Night. The Rampage received multi point effort from forwards Bill Thomas (2G 1A), and Mark Cullen (two assists) in the loss.

San Antonio forward Bracken Kearns scored a power play goal 6:32 into the opening frame to put the Rampage ahead 1-0. He corralled the rebound of his own shot and deposed the puck behind Grand Rapids backstop Tom McCollum for his 16th marker of the year of the year. Thomas Cullen picked up assist on the play.

The Rampage extended their lead to 2-0 with a goal from Thomas at 12:57 of the first. He registered his 21st goal of the year on a shot from the left circle that soared past McCollum's left arm. Defensemen Colby Robak notched the lone helper on the Thomas marker.

Right wing Michael Repoik potted his 13th goal of the year on a one-timer to give San Antonio a 3-0 edge at the 2:31 mark of the second period. He took a pass from center Joe Matsumoto and fired a shot past McCollum's glove for the score. Left wing Ondrej Roman recorded the secondary assist on the third San Antonio goal.

Grand Rapids answered with a tally of their own nearly two minutes later when Griffins cashed in a two-on-one rush. Left Wing Chris Minard received a pass from inside the crease from center Jamie Johnson and the tucked the puck behind Rampage netminder Jacob Markstom for his 14th goal of the campaign. The secondary assist on the play went to right wing Chris Conner.

The Rampage restored their three goal lead 11:03 of the second period with Thomas' second goal of the contest. His backhander from the slot found its way past McCollum and put San Antonio ahead 4-1. Cullen and Caruso were credited with the assists on Thomas' 22nd goal of 2011-2012.

Griffins left wing Tomas Tatar at the 4:44 mark of the third to make it a 4-2 count in favor of San Antonio. Tatar recorded his 16th goal of the year with a wrister from the top of the crease that snuck through Markstorm's legs. Center Joakim Andersson and right wing Francis Pare picked up the helpers with the Tatar score.

Minard's second goal of the evening came at the 5:59 mark of the final frame brought the Griffins to within one goal, at 4-3. He took a pass from Johnson and ripped a shot over Markstorm's left shoulder for his 15th marker of the season. Defenseman Gleason Fournier tallied the secondary assist on the play.

The Griffins scored the third goal of the in a 2:07 span to knot the score at 4-4. Andersson found a cutting Tatar in the slot and Tatar buried a one timer into the net to record his 17th goal of 2011-2012. Pare notched his second assist of the game with the alternate helper on the Tatar score.

After a scoreless OT Period, Griffins center Louis-Marc Aubry recorded the game winning goal in the seventh round of the shootout to hand the Griffins the victory.

McCollum made 41 saves on 45 Rampage shots for his seventh win of the season. He also stopped six of the seven shots he faced in the shootout. Markstom denied the Griffins 30 of 34 attempts and made five stops on seven shots in the shootout.

San Antonio (33-26-5, 71 PTS) and Grand Rapids face off again at the AT&T Center on Thursday at 7:00 PM (CST) to conclude their two game set.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Texas losses 5th Straight VS. Abbotsford, 5-2

It was another lack luster night at the Cedar Park Center as the Texas Stars lost their 5th straight and ended a 7 game home stand with a lack luster 2-5-0 record that on a team that is last in the Western Conference and has been out of the playoff race for a while now. Many players are looking to count down the number of days to end the regular season and get on with the off-season.

After one of the few big highlights of the night that included Colton Sceviour which scored both goals (Including a Penalty Shot late in the first) but other then that it was Abbotsford's Night with huge games from the likes of Ryan Howse who scored twice and almost had a hat trick at one point, as well as Andy Brandt & Leland Irving who didn't have a great night but made the critical saves that kept the Stars out of the game at huge portions of it.

Other then Sceviour they were very few other players that had strong nights, even players like Matt Fraser who had a 4 game goal scoring streak that was snapped back on back on March 13rd against the Oklahoma City Barons and Scott Glennie who despite getting an assist on Sceviour's 2nd goal, still finished the night with a -1 rating.

After a couple of days of practice coming up this week, Friday Night will most likely see the introduction of  both Jack Campbell & Austin Smith will both be looking to make their Pro Hockey Debut after seeing their NCAA & OHL Season's wrap up last weekend. Campbell is looking to put a rough Junior Season behind him that saw the Greyhounds finish 9th in the OHL West and missed the playoffs. While Smith is looking to continue what's been a very strong season included being the nation's leading goal scorer and looking to win the Hobey Baker Award when the Top 3 is announced next Thursday with the Winner being announced on April 6.

Abbotsford's Victory saw the Heat move up to 5th Place in the very tight AHL Western Conference Playoff Race by overtaking the Peoria Rivermen. If the AHL Playoffs started today, the Heat would come down to Texas to play the Houston Aeros in the AHL Western Conference Quarterfinals in the #4 VS. #5 Series.

From Austin, Texas: The Texas Stars (27-33-4, 58 Points, 15th Place) were defeated by the Abbotsford Heat (34-25-7, 75 Points, 5th Place) 5-2 at the Cedar Park Center on Monday Night. Left Wing Ryan Howse registered two goals for Abbotsford, including the game winner at 5:04 of the second period. Right wing Andy Brandt notched a goal and an assist while Center Brian Walter and defensemen Joe Piskula each added two assists. Forwards Adam Estoclet and Dustin Sylvester also scored as the Heat finished 6-2-0 against the Stars.

Abbotsford goalie Leland Irving stopped 22 shots, taking the team's road record to 22-11-3. Stars right wing Colton Sceviour put up both goals for the home team. Texas Goalie Tyler Beskorowany (10-18-0) stopped 26 saves in the loss. Texas travels to Oklahoma City on Friday, March 23rd at 7:30 PM.

The Stars got on the board late in the first period with a penalty shot from right wing Colton Sceviour. Sceviour's 18th tally of the season went in with 2:10 remaining in the first period and gave Texas a 1-0 lead.

The Heat tied the game 1-1 in the second period with a goal from center Dustin Sylvester. Sylvester found the back of the net with help from right wing Akim Aliu and defensemen Brian Connelly just 40 seconds into the second frame. Abbotsford jumped out to a 2-1 lead at 5:04. Left wing Ryan Howse beat Texas Goalie Tyler Beskorowany with assists from defensemen Clay Wilson and center Ben Walter. The Heat continued the scoring, generating a 3-1 lead with 6:44 left in the second period. Center Adam Estoclet snapped a wrist shot in for his fifth goal of the year. Walter and defensemen Joe Piskula added an assist on the club's third goal of the night.

The Stars cut into the Heat's Lead with 3:03 remaining. Right wing Colton Sceviour netted his second goal of the night as he poked the puck past Abbotsford Goalie Leland Irving. Left wing Francis Wathier and Center Scott Glennie each provided an assist on the tally that made it 3-2.

Abbotsford strengthen it's lead at 2:09 of the third period. Left wing Ryan Howse notched his second goal, giving the Heat a 4-2 lead. Defensemen Jon Piskula and and right wing Andy Brandt each supplied an assist. The Heat struck again with 6:03 to go in the final frame. Brandt tapped in his first goal of the season for a 5-2 lead. Forwards Carter Bancks and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond set up the play.

Texas stars a three game road trip on Friday, March 23 at Oklahoma City at 7:00 PM. The Stars then travel to Toronto for a 2 PM Faceoff against the Marlies on Sunday, March 25th. The Trip concludes on Tuesday March 27th at 6:00 PM against the Lake Erie Monsters. Texas returns home to face the Hamilton Bulldogs on Thursday, March 29th at 7:30 PM. Thursday's Game is a 3-2-1 night, featuring $3 Domestic Drafts, $2 Sodas & $1 Hot Dogs.

Individual tickets for all games are on sale now. Tickets are available at the Texas Stars Website or by calling 512-GO-STARS (467-8277). 2012-13 Season seat packages are on sale now. For more information on Texas Stars Season Tickets packages are on sale now. For more information on Texas Stars Season Tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit Anyone interested in purchasing season tickets, suites, group tickets or mini plans may call the Texas Stars Front Office.

Austin Smith should make Pro Debut on Friday VS. Oklahoma City

After Austin Smith's Colgate Career came to an end this past weekend with losses to Union College & Cornell in the ECAC Hockey Conference Championships, Austin according to several sources including Brandon Worley of Defending Big D saying that Smith signed a 2 Year Entry Level Contract last night and will be looking to make his Pro Debut on Friday Night when the Stars head North to play the Western Conference Leading Oklahoma City Barons when the Stars begin a 3 game road trip that will also include games against the Toronto Marlies on Sunday & against the Lake Erie Monsters in Cleveland on Tuesday Night.

Photo of Austin Smith: Courtesy of the Colgate Raiders & Alliance Bulldogs Website.

This will make him the first Texan to ever make his Pro Debut and only the 2nd Player overall to make his Debut after Edmond's Matt Donovan made his AHL Debut last spring around this time and is in the middle of his first full AHL Season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NY Islanders Affiliate).

Smith is ending a very long 5 year journey that was filled with doubts and him looking to presence of looking to show that he is a worthy prospect in the Dallas Stars Sizes. Doubts contained everything from his size where he was a very small but very fast 5'5" frame when he was playing for Gunnery Prep School in Connecticut during his Junior & Senior Years of High School before he was taken in the 2007 NHL Draft by the Stars. The doubts continued over the course of his career while at Colgate which isn't known as a great hockey team for the most part & including Smith never getting the Raiders to the NCAA Hockey Tournament during his Career.

After playing his final games of his NCAA Career at the ECAC Hockey Conference Championship and his frustrations when the game began to slip for the Colgate Raiders in their Conference Semifinal against the Eventual Champion Union College describing what his emotions were at that time. "I've never given up in a game before, ever. I always compete to the end," said Smith. "When it hit 5-1, I was trying to hold the tears back. The rest of the game I was circling and I had a million things going in my head. I wasn't very effective."

He told the College Hockey News' Rob Moore after the game ended. Smith went on to say, "I thought we dominated the first period and were with them for most of the second period. When we got that goal to make it 2-1, I believed more then anyone that we could win," said Smith. "By the middle of the third period though, he was beginning to think different thoughts. "That [fifth goal] was the goal for me where I realized it was the end of my career."

If Smith is looking to show the Stars that he is a strong prospect going forward, he needs to have a strong end to the American Hockey League Season where the Texas Stars are out of the playoff race and have been at or near the Bottom of the Western Conference for most of the last 2 months by providing a fresh energy and challenging some of the team's top prospects like Brendan Dillion & Matt Fraser as well as others like Colton Sceivour who's been getting the bill as one of the more underrated players in the AHL this season.

He will have 12 games to show the Stars that he can thrive in the Pro Game and be a force to be reckon with at the AHL Level and looking to show that he can be worthy of a Call Up next season. With the Stars having nothing to play for the rest of the season, Smith needs to show that he can make the Stars a hard team to play against as the Stars lost their 5th in a row with a 5-2 loss against Abbotsford last night and went just, 2-5, on the 7 game home stand that wrapped up last night.

Even though it took 5 years to get him from the Draft to signing with the Stars, he's still got a mountain of a journey in front of him as he looks to shine in Austin and show the Stars that he is worthy of playing for Dallas in the near future. With upcoming prospects like Rielly Smith, Scott Glennie, Jack Campbell, Matt Frasier & Brendan Dillion possibly on the horizon.

He will really have to work hard to stand out among the Stars improving Prospect Pool to earn a spot in Dallas in the future. With Austin's Speed, determination & scoring ability, he has spent his entire career to this point defining the odds and proving people wrong and he is looking forward to doing it again to play for his hometown Stars.

Here's the Remaining Texas Stars Schedule

3/23: @ Oklahoma City Barons  7:00 PM

3/25: @ Toronto Marlies  2:00 PM

3/27: @ Lake Erie Monsters  6:00 PM

3/29: VS. Hamilton Bulldogs  7:30 PM

3/31: VS. Lake Erie Monsters  7:00 PM

4/1: VS. Lake Erie Monsters  5:00 PM

4/4: @ Grand Rapids Griffins  6:00 PM

4/5: @ Peoria Rivermen  7:00 PM

4/10: VS. Chicago Wolves  7:30 PM

4/13: @ San Antonio Rampage  7:00 PM

4/14: VS. Oklahoma City Barons 7:00 PM

4/15: @ Houston Aeros  5:05 PM

Hockey's Future has him ranked #13

Yesterday, Hockeys Future came out with their Dallas Stars Top 20 Prospects for the Spring as the NCAA & Canadian Hockey League Season is coming to an end. Smith has taken a strong jump from #18 to #13 after his strong season and being a Top 10 Candidate for the Hobey Baker Award which will be cut from 10 to 3 on March 29.

Here's Hockey's Future comments from Mike Farkas. You can see the Full Top 20 & comments on each player by clicking on the Hockey's Future Link. Here's the Austin Smith Comments.

"What a year it has been for senior Austin Smith at Colgate University. After posting a career worst 10 goals last season, Smith exploded this season for a nation high 36 goals and a career best 57 points (four off the country's top spot). After offseason surgery, Smith has comeback healthy and confident and flying. He continues to be an all situation player with good speed and tremendous work rate, he has skated circles around the ECAC This season.

While he's not projected to be an elite scorer at the NHL level by any stretches of the imagination, he has a future as a quality utility man. He's not particular big or strong but he makes up for it with world class determination and a swagger that's hard to match. Smith will also certainly be signed after his collegiate career ends and will likely finish the year in Texas if the Stars management so chooses."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Southwest Prospects Weekend Wrap Up, Canadian Hockey League Edition

After a very busy weekend where the NCAA Hockey Conference Championships & Canadian Hockey League Regular Season has wrapped up this weekend. Here's a look at how Southwest Based Standouts did over the Weekend and where they will be playing as the NCAA Hockey Tournament & the Canadian Hockey League Playoffs begin later this week.

Here's the NCAA Hockey Tournament Brackets, as well as the 1st Round Schedules for the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Western Hockey League (WHL). The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League 1st Round Schedule hasn't been released yet.

Plymouth only played in one game as the Whalers had an uphill climb to take over the #1 Seed in the Western Conference as the London Knights were finishing their final 3 game in 3 day stretch where the Knights held most of the major tiebreakers between the #1 &; #2 Seeds. Noesen ended the regular season on a red hot stretch by scoring a goal a game (11 Goals in 11 Games) which included a hat trick against the Oshawa Generals on February 24th and a 2 goal game against Owen Sound on March 11. In addition to his 11 goals, he also added 5 assists during the final stretch of the season to show that he can help set up teammates like Richard Rankell.

Noesen finished the Regular Season on top of the Plymouth Whalers Scoring for the 2nd straight year with an impressive 82 points where he surpassed his total for goals from last year (38 this year, 33 last year) and will be looked upon again to have a huge playoff run where the Whalers pulled off a huge upset of the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL Western Conference Quarterfinals last season before losing to the eventual Champions Owen Sound Attack. During last year's playoff run, the Plano Native was able to score 11 points in 11 games which included a team leading 6 goals during the run that saw them reach the Western Conference Semifinals last season.

This year the Playoffs for the Whalers will be getting underway on Friday March 23rd when Plymouth will play the #7 Seeded Guelph Storm in a best of 7 series. Guelph finished the regular season with a .500 record with a 31-31-6 record and the Whalers good for 68 points during the regular season and the Whalers were able to win 3 of the 4 regular season head-to-head matches where all 4 games turned out to be high scoring games which included an 8-4 win in November & a 7-5 win in December. So expect to see some fireworks to erupt in this playoff series which starts Friday Night in Plymouth, Michigan.

Here's the #2 Plymouth Whalers VS. #7 Guelph Storm Series Schedule

3/23, GM 1: @ Plymouth  6:05 PM

3/25, GM 2: @ Guelph  5:35 PM

3/27, GM 3: @ Plymouth  6:05 PM

3/29, GM 4: @ Guelph  6:05 PM

3/31, GM 5*: @ Plymouth  6:05 PM

4/1, GM 6*: @ Guelph  5:35 PM

4/3, GM 7*: @ Plymouth  6:05 PM

After the Kelowna Rockets have had their #6 Seed in the WHL Western Conference locked up for a couple of weeks now, this was about making sure the Rockets were solid and ready to go when the WHL Playoffs begin this week as the Rockets will face a very tough Portland Winterhawks that just missed out on the U.S. Division Title & the #1 Seed by 2 points against the Tri-City Americans.

He hasn't been the kind of person that puts up big stats as Martin finished the regular season with 15 points (1G 14A), he scored his only goal of the season in an OT Winner against the Regina Pats back in December. His game is more of a 2 way defensemen as he looks to improve his speed to help out on counterattacks to be the defensemen that could force turnovers and look to perform breakouts, he's been working on improving his faceoffs over the course of the regular season.

This past weekend saw the Rockets end the regular season in strong form as they were able to get 3 out of 4 points in a home-and-home weekend against the Vancouver Giants. On Friday, the Rockets put the Giants on notice where despite losing the game, 5-4 in OT, Kelowna was up 3-1 in the 2nd and 4-3 in the 3rd that the Giants were able to tie it at up on both occasion's. Vancouver's Jordan Martinook finished up a hat trick that was able get him his 40th goal of the year just over a minute in the OT to win the game, 5-4.

The Next night saw the Rockets win a SO where the roles were reversed where the Giants scored the opening goal, then Moar, Rigby & Lees each scored to make it 3-1. Then after the Giants came back to tie the game at 3-3 in the final 5 and a half minutes in the 3rd period to force the SO where Rockets Left Winger Zach Franko scored the only goal in the SO to give the Rockets a 4-3 victory to finish the regular season.

Kelowna will be the #6 Seed in the WHL Western Conference Playoffs and will head to Oregon to open up the series on Friday & Saturday with Kelowna hosting Game 3 & 4 next Tuesday & Thursday as the Rockets will look for some magic that the 2008-09 team had when they won the WHL Championship and came just one win short of the Memorial Cup that saw them lose to the Windsor Spitfires that year.

Here's the #3 Portland Winterhawks VS. #6 Kelowna Rockets Schedule

3/23, GM 1: @ Portland  9:00 PM

3/24, GM 2: @ Portland  9:00 PM

3/27, GM 3: @ Kelowna  9:05 PM

3/29, GM 4: @ Kelowna  9:05 PM

3/31, GM 5*: @ Portland  9:00 PM

4/2, GM 6*: @ Kelowna  9:05 PM

4/4, GM 7*: @ Portland  9:00 PM

Unlike Noesen & Martin who already had playoff spots clinched, Colin Jacob's Seattle Thunderbirds was in a playoff battle for the last several weeks that came up short for the 2nd straight year for the Thunderbirds as they failed to make the playoffs as Seattle got drilled, 8-2, in their season finale and lost a critical game to the Everett Silvertips, 6-4, that would have knocked out of the Everett Silvertips from the Playoff Race and would have seen Seattle clinch the League's Final Playoff Spot. Instead, it will be the Everett Silvertips advancing to the Playoffs instead of the Thunderbirds who will be on the outside looking in for the 3rd straight year.

Jacobs finished the regular season by playing in 44 games after he was out for most of the 1st half of the season with shoulder problems who didn't make his season debut till December 12th. He finished the regular season with 19 points (9G 10A) with a -18 and 46 penalty minutes. He was focused on improving his defensive and physical game as his shoulders were getting better over the course of the 2nd half of the season. 

Those numbers don't sound great but this was a Thunderbirds Team that scored the 2nd fewest goals in the season (173), only Prince George had scored fewer with 166. Seattle also had the worst GD in the league with a -119 over the course of the season, so it made it very difficult for the Thunderbirds to have a competitive shot at the playoffs. For them to keep it this close all the way to end of the season should be considered a strong feat in itself.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Allen losses again against Quad City, 3-2

The Americans blew another chance to take advantage of their games in hand as they continue to get away from the Texas Brahmas in the race for 2nd Place and Home Ice Advantage in a possible 1st Round Series, 3-2, against the Quad City Mallards lat night in the 1st night of a 2 game set against the Mallards who are battling with the Rapid City Rush & Missouri Mavericks for the final 2 playoff spots in Turner Conference with basically 10 games left in the season.

This was one of Allen's 3 games in hand over the final 3 weeks and it could have given them a chance to continue to separate themselves from the Texas Brahmas as they look to protect 2nd Place as the Wichita Thunder are close to clinching the top Seed in the Berry Conference and will be looking to hold off the Ft. Wayne Komets & Evansville IceMen for Home Ice Throughout the entire playoffs as well.

One of the big things that is hurting the Americans is the absence of the team's leading scorer Bruce Graham who was injured in the February 4th Game against the Tulsa Oilers. His injury has made him that much more valuable as he was named a Finalist for the CHL MVP this season. Since then, the team has struggled to score most nights as they have been held to 2 goals or less in 8 of the last 12 games as the Brahmas have gotten hot as well behind the great goaltending of Mark Guggenberger. Both the Brahmas & Americans still have 4 head-to-head games coming up (Including a 3-in-3 night stretch that could very well decide who will finish in 2nd Place).

Both Allen & Quad City will meet again tomorrow night at the Allen Event Center as the game will start at 7:05 PM. Next up for the Brahmas on the other hand will be on Friday Night, March 9 when the Brahmas face the Missouri Mavericks. A Brahmas win and an Americans loss on Thursday will put the Brahmas back in 2nd Place in the Berry Conference.

From Allen, Texas: The Quad City Mallards scored two first period goals, on their way to a 3-2 victory Tuesday Night at the Allen Event Center. The Mallards opened the scoring in the first period when Mallards Forward Micky Lang fired one from just inside the blue line that hit the arm of Americans netminder Rejean Beauchemin and trickled behind him.

Beauchemin tried to knock the puck away with his stick but pushed it across the line and Mallards were on top by a score of 1-0. Fifteen seconds later it was Lang again, this time on a feed from CHL All Star Brendon Marino from the right face-off circle. Lang fired a quick shot that beat Beauchemin to the glove side and the Mallards were on top by a score of 2-0. Allen out shot Quad City 7-5 in the opening period.

The Mallards added to their lead in the second despite being out shot 17-13 through two periods and 10-8 in that second period, as Quad City forward Jason Kostadine followed up a rebound in front of the Allen net putting one top-shelf shot on the back-hand to give Quad city a 3-0 cushion. The Americans had several chances in that second period but former Americans netminder David McKee turned away shot after shot keeping the Americans off the scoreboard from 40 minutes.

In the third, the Americans finally solved McKee, as Colton Yellow Horn found Jim McKenzie in front of the Allen net to make it a 3-1 game. McKenzie's 19th of the season and his third goal in his last three games. The Americans cut the lead to one goal at the 10:52 mark on the power play when Dylan King let one rip from the right side beating McKee and the Americans were back in it. However, a late charge by Allen would fall just a little short, as McKee would not allow the tying goal despite Allen Pressure, and the Mallards would win the game 3-2 in the first ever meeting between the two clubs. The Americans host Quad City on Thursday Night at 7:05 PM at the Allen Event Center

Austin Smith Interview on The Pipeline Show

Austin Smith with the Colgate Raiders. From the Alliance Bulldogs Alumni Page & the Colgate Hockey Team Websites.

Before the Colgate Raiders will host the Quinnipiac Bobcats in the ECAC Quarterfinals beginning on Friday Night for a chance to win the Conference Championship next weekend in Atlantic City. On last night's show, Smith was interviewed on such topics on being surprised that the Stars were interested in him late in the Draft Process, how he felt about last season after having hip surgery and going into what he mentioned as "The Most Important Off Season of his life". Surprisingly, they was very little discussion about his chances about his Hobey Baker Chances as the Top 10 Vote will be announced on March 15.

The guys also talked briefly about his experience with the Gunnery Prep School in Connecticut during his Junior & Senior Years of High Schools to prepare him and help his chances of being drafted by the Stars which took him in the 5th Round (128th overall) back in 2007. Then going to Penticton  for the 2007-08 season where he was the Team's Leading Goal Scorer to help the Vees win the 2008 BCHL Championship; and his career up to this point at Colgate University which finished the ECAC in 4th Place with a 17-14-3 Overall & 11-10-1 Record with 23 points in the standings.

Through Colgate's Regular Season Finale, he finished the regular season with a NCAA Leading 34 goals with 52 points overall. For his entire career, Smith has stock piled 155 points in 148 career NCAA Games, averaging a strong 1.05 PPG over his College Career. He will look to get the Raiders back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005 when they lost to Colorado College 6-5 in the Mid-West Regional Semifinal.

To do so will be tough as many experts are thinking that the ECAC will be a 1 team conference for this year's tournament, so it's most likely be win the Conference or Bust for every body in the ECAC Hockey Playoffs. I'm sure he would love to do one of the few things that has eluded his career and that is pull off a strong run or even something like a big first Round Upset at the NCAA Tournament to end his NCAA Career on a high before he goes off to the Pro Ranks as he looks to eventually join the Dallas Stars and end his journey where it began in his home town.

About The Pipeline Show: Based in Edmonton, Alberta, The Pipeline Show is one of the biggest Radio Shows in North America talking about NHL Prospects, as well as the latest news and features on NCAA & Canadian Hockey League Teams & Players. Hosts Dean Millard & Guy Flaming also talk to many different scouts, broadcasters, coaches and media personnel to discuss which young players are on the verge to burst onto the NHL Scene. It comes on twice a week on Tuesday Nights from 8-10 PM and Saturdays from 11 AM-1 PM. You can listen live online at The Team 1260, or you can listen to previous interviews and features on their huge Archive Section on the The Pipeline Show's Website.

In addition to extensive coverage of the NCAA & CHL, they also discuss the news revolving around the biggest Prospect Hockey Events during the season. The show's Grand Slam of events are the NCAA Frozen Four in April, the CHL Memorial Cup in May, NHL Draft in June & the World Junior Hockey Championships during the Holidays. In addition to the Grand Slam Events, some other big events include the RBC Cup which is the Canadian Jr. A National Championships, the AHL Calder Cup & the IIHF U18 World Championships.

Upcoming Dates for the NCAA Hockey Playoffs & Hobey Baker Award Countdown

3/9-11: Conference Quarterfinals

3/15: Hobey Baker Award Top Ten Announcement

3/15-17: Conference Champions hp Weekend

3/18: NCAA Hockey Tournament Selection Show

3/23-25: NCAA Tournament Regional Rounds

3/29: Hobey Baker Final Three Announcement

4/5: NCAA Frozen Four Semifinals

4/6: Hobey Baker Award Winner Announcement

4/7: NCAA Hockey National Championship Game

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mark Guggenberger named CHL 3rd Star of the Month

After an impressive month where the Brahmas Goalie Mark Guggenberger has began to take over the Team's net after having a bit of a up-and-down season prior to February where the Brahmas were in the battle with Tulsa & RGV for the 3rd, 4th & 5th Spots in the Berry Conference Playoff Race. Now Guggenberger has begun to takeover the net and has been the biggest reason why the Brahmas have run away with the #3 Seed and are now just 1 Point back of Allen for 2nd Place which would get them first round Home Ice in the CHL Playoffs at the end of March/first of April.

Of the 11 games left this season, the Brahmas have 4 games left against the Americans including a 3 game weekend from March 16-18 which is the 2nd to last weekend of the regular season and could make the difference in who could be the #2 Seed in the Berry Conference and a possible Berry Conference Semifinal Preview with both Wichita and the Rio Grande Valley/Tulsa Battle having big gaps in the Conference.

With the playoffs now just under a month away, he will have to raise his game even more as the Brahmas have continued to score the 2nd fewest goals this season with 142 goals scored in 55 games this season. Only the Dayton Gems have scored fewer goals with 139 this season with 11 games left in the regular season.

The main playoff battle for the 2nd Seed and a possible 1st Round Home Ice could come in the weekend of March 16th through 18th when the Brahmas & Americans have a 3 game series that weekend (3/16-17 in Allen, 3/18 in NRH). Their is also a game on March 24th (The night before the end of the regular season) in Allen to wrap up the regular season series.

His best showing in February came the week of February where he had 3 straight shutouts against Allen (on 2/14), Dayton (on 2/15) and Rio Grande Valley (on 2/17) where that was part of a streak where he gave up 1 goal or less that lasted 6 straight games. He's won 9 of his last 10 starts and was also named the Goalie of the Week for the week ending on February 19th.

From the CHL Staff: Wichita Thunder Forward Matt Robinson, Evansville IceMen forward Todd Robinson and Texas Brahmas Goalie Mark Guggenberger have been named the 'Oakley Three Stars for the month of February 2012.
For winning the 'Oakley Three Star Player of the Month, Matt Robinson will receive a special gift from Oakley. Learn more about Oakley Products at
Players are awarded five points for first star recognition, three points for a second star nod and a single point for being named the third star of the game. Keep up with the season standings and quest to be the Oakley Three Stars Player of the Year at
Robinson finished the month with 12 goals with five of them serving as game winners and 18 points. He was named first star four times and the second star three times, good for 29 points. The Surrey, B.C. native has 29 goals and 21 assists on the season.
Robinson recorded a point in every game during the month of February which serves as the longest point of the CHL this season (15 Games), During the month, the Trail, B.C. Native was named the first star four times, the second star twice and third star once accounting for 27 points. On the Season, Robinson leads the league with 80 points (21G 59A)

3rd Star, Mark Guggenberger, G, Texas Brahmas
Guggenberger was the top goaltender during the month posting a 9-1-1 record with three shutouts and a 1.21 GAA. The Richfield, Minnesota native was the first star four times and third star twice, good for 22 points. Guggenberger leads the league with a 1.82 GAA and a .930 SV%.

Mike Heika's Weekly Stars Chat

Every Thursday during the hockey season, Mike Heika gets the chance to chat with Stars fans. With the season beginning to comedown the home stretch. What kind of records needed to get back to the playoffs was a big topic of discussion.

Also topics like Eric Nystrom's hit on Kris Letang during the Stars VS. Penguins Game that became very  after it was revealed that Nystrom will not be suspended for the play. Also the crowds as they beginning to slowly win back hockey fans with the recent run where they won 4 in a row including a big win Sunday Afternoon against Vancouver on Sunday Afternoon.

With just 18 games left and their looking to to start putting some pressure like San Jose & Chicago for the 6th & 7th Place Spots and are also just 4 points back of Pacific Division Leading Phoenix Coyotes which would get them an automatic top 3 spot. Their becoming a team that can really be at least a dangerous lower seed in the playoffs and with guys like Ryan Garbutt who came out of nowhere to make an impact, as well as players like Brendan Morrow who are out who are on the verge of coming back.

Also in Austin, it could be a chance for players like Scott Glennie, Matt Fraser, Colton Sceviour & Jordie Benn possibly looking to get some call ups as the Texas Stars Playoff Hopes are beginning to disappear as they sit on the bottom of the AHL Western Conference to bring in some energy and to challenge some of the top players as well.

It will be a Western Canada Road Trip coming up for the Stars with Edmonton tomorrow night, Calgary on Sunday Afternoon and wrapping up in Vancouver on Tuesday Night.

AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League Playoff Races

The AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League Regular Season will be wrapping up the regular season tonight with still plenty to play for throughout the League. The Silver Tier South Division Title between Midlothian & Keller ISD should be one of the most exciting races as Keller ISD holds their fate in their hands while Midlothian has a chance to take over thanks to a tie-breaker.

During the 2 head-to-head matchups this season, Midlothian took over both the games late as back in October, Midlothian was able to off a 3rd period Keller ISD Surge when Brent Jones scored in the final minute after Keller ISD made it 3-2 with just under 3 minutes left. Back in Februrary when the Division Leaders met again, it was Joseph Dancy & Brent Jones teaming up to score at the beginning and near the end of the periods along with Daniel Deweerd to turn a 1-1 game into a 4-1 victory.

For Midlothian to win the South Division Title, they need a win over FM Marcus while Denton County needs to beat Keller ISD in regulation for the scenario to happen. Anything else and Keller ISD would clinch the South Division Title tonight.

It will be interesting to see how Denton County comes out tonight after seeing both GCISD & Mansfield ISD losing in regularization to keep their slim Playoff Hopes alive only to lose to Flower Mound in OT after coming back from 3-0 down late in the 2nd period to force OT, only to lose 4-3 where they were under 30 seconds from at least forcing a shootout.

Expect it to be all or nothing for Denton County as they would like to end the season on a high with no playoff hopes and looking to pull off a major upset to end the season, or it could be that they so devastated from last week's loss that they have nothing left for this week.

For the 4th & Final Playoff Spot in the South Division, Mansfield ISD holds the advantage as they play Southlake Carroll where a win or OT Loss would get them into the playoffs. GCISD has been falling in recent weeks as Grapevine/Colleyville has lost 4 of their last 5 games where after being in the South Division Playoff Picture for nearly the entire season has them now looking for Southlake Carroll looking to knockoff Mansfield ISD tonight as GCISD holds the Tie-Breaker as they have beaten Mansfield ISD both times they have played this season.

Back in October, both teams played in what was the highest scoring game of the season where a combined 24 goals were scored in that game where Blake Gober, Ryan Macho (4G), Trey McMillian (3G 2A) & Blake Gober (3G 1A) each had hat tricks for GCISD. Despite the loss, Mansfield ISD responded well where Spencer Erickson had an 8 Point Night (5G 3A) & Bryce Claxton had a 6 point night (2G 4A). One of the most dramitic parts of that game saw Claxton & Erickson team up on two goals in 23 seconds to get the game within one before Gober scored an unassisted goal in the final seconds to secure the 13-11 win in a game where they needed every goal scored that night.

Unfortuantley in recent weeks for GCISD, losses in 4 of their last 5 games have seen them lose 4th Place to Mansfield and now need Southlake Carroll's Help to beat Mansfield in Regulation. If they can do that, then a GCISD Regulation Win over Flower Mound would clinch the league's final playoff spot where the winner will play the North Division Champion Plano East Panthers in the Silver Tier Quarterfinals next week.

Elsewhere in the league will have a battle for the 2nd of the Gold Tier QF Round Byes as Plano West will not only look to finally fight off Dallas Jesuit who sits in 3rd but are still in position to overtake Arlington ISD for the #1 Seed in the Gold Tier Playoffs. AISD can put any fears of being taken over to bed with a win over last place Coppell tonight, if Plano West can win and Arlington ISD losses, then the Wolves will take over the #1 Spot.

The Wolves also have a tie-breaker as well after beating Arlington ISD three-out-of-four games this season where the Wolves need a victory and have Arlington ISD lose to Coppell in Overtime tonight where both teams would finish the regular season with 29 points during the regular season.

For Highland Park, Prosper & McKinney ISD, it's a battle for seeding as three teams are separated by just a point to determine 2-4 in the North Division. Unfortunately, it will be a tough matchup as they will all get caught up in the Keller ISD, Midlothian & Southlake Carroll trio that has dominated the Silver Tier all year long and will be looked as favorites when the Silver Tier Playoffs begin on March 7th.

Highland Park has kind of been stuck in a rut over the last few weeks as they barely beat teams like Frisco ISD & Bishop Lynch who are both eliminated from playoff contention and even got beat by Garland ISD who has the area's worst record (Gold or Silver Tier) this season.

Only 2 games throughout the area tonight have nothing on the line for tonight. Those are Garland ISD VS. Frisco ISD over in McKinney and Bishop Lynch VS. Richardson/Rockwall in Farmers Branch with teams that are either out of the playoffs or hve teams witht heir playoff seed already locked in. The rest of the games have teams that are either looking to get in or at least looking to improve their seeding situation when the playoffs begin next week.

For the HS Gold Tier Champions, they will advance and repersent Texas at the USA Hockey HS National Championship in Salt Lake City from March 21-25. While the Top Silver Tier Teams will join the top HS Teams from Houston & Austin at the State HS Silver Tier Championship from March 23-25 in a location yet TBD.

Here's a look at tonight's Schedule for the AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League Regular Season Finale.

Gold Tier

Coppell VS. Arlington ISD  7:00 PM @ Euless Stars Center

Dallas Jesuit VS. Plano Senior  7:00 PM @ McKinney Stars Center

Allen VS. Plano West  8:45 PM @ McKinney Stars Center

Silver Tier

Keller ISD VS. Denton County  6:30 PM @ Farmers Branch Stars Center

McKinney ISD VS. Highland Park  7:15 PM @ McKinney Stars Center

Southlake Carroll VS. Mansfield ISD  7:30 PM @ Euless Stars Center

Prosper VS. Plano East  8:15 PM @ Farmers Branch Stars Center

GCISD VS. Flower Mound  8:45 PM @ Euless Stars Center

Garland ISD VS. Frisco ISD 9:00 PM @ McKinney Stars Center

Bishop Lynch VS. Richardson/Rockwall  9:00 PM @ Farmers Branch Stars Center

FM Marcus VS. Midlothian  9:15 PM @ Euless Stars Center

San Antonio grinds out Comeback Win in Chicago

In a game that was mostly uneventful up in Chicago as the Rampage were wrapping up their Rodeo Road Trip against the Chicago Wolves last night. The Rampage had a grind out a 2-1 victory in a critical game against a Wolves Team that is looking to stay in the race for the 4th & Final Home Ice Spot in the AHL Western Conference Playoff Race. Like in the NHL, the AHL Western Conference Playoff Race gap from 4th Place Chicago all the way down to 10th Place Rochester is just 4 points as most teams have around 20 games left in the regular season.

San Antonio has had a bit of a up and down Rodeo Road Trip but they have ramped it up in the 2nd half of the Road Trip by winning 4 of their last 5 in very low scoring fashion recently. All 4 of their wins have had them scoring 2 or fewer goals in all of the recent wins which included a 1-0 Shutout win over Oklahoma City on February 19th; and a pair of critical wins over the Peoria Rivermen which helped them breakout of the being along the playoff borderline as the Rampage have been able to jump up in a tie for 4th with the Chicago Wolves & Abbotsford Heat. They're currently 6th in the Western Conference Playoffs Race and if the post season started today, they would play the Mid-West Division Leading Charlotte Checkers in the Conference Quarterfinals.

After going 7-3-1 during the 11 Game Rodeo Road Trip that took up nearly the entire month of February. The team will finally return home on Saturday Night when they take on the Houston Aeros on Saturday Night who are playing only their 3rd game since February 24th as the Aeros are in the middle of one their lightest stretches of the Season Schedule after coming off a split last weekend in Austin against the Texas Stars.

With both teams in the Western Conference Mindfield, both teams are needing such a critical win that could get them as high as 4th Place if teams like the Abbotsford Heat & the Peoria Rivermen lose coming up on Friday Night. The Rampage will finish the regular season with 11 of their final 19 games at home. Of the 11 remaining home games, they will have a 5 game homestand that starts on March 11 against the Lake Erie Monsters, Abbotsford Heat, Rockford Icehogs and a pair against the Grand Rapids Griffins which will wrap up the homestand on March 22nd.

Military Night

The Rampage will be having their annual Military Appreciation Night coming up on Saturday, March 3rd when the Rampage play the Aeros where they will have a special pre-game ceremony. As well as a ticket special where any current solider or veteran with a Military ID for any available set for that game for just $10 that night.

In addition, the team will be wearing special Military Uniforms that will be auctioned off after the game that will raise money for the San Antonio Rampage Sled Team that is for disabled hockey players, some of whom are Military Veterans. Last year, the team raised nearly $44,000 and have raised over $180,000 over the 8 years the team has had this promotion.

For more info, you can call any Rampage Representative at 210-444-5554 on this special night as the team returns from it's annual Rodeo Road Trip against Houston and look continue their strong run of late at home for the first time in nearly a month.

The San Antonio Rampage received third period goals from Forward Greg Rallo and defensemen Nolan Yonkman to the top the Chicago Wolves, 2-1, on Wednesday Night at All-State Arena.

After a scoreless opening period, Chicago Scored the game's first goal at the 8:36 mark of the second frame. Defensemen Yaunn Sauve sent a seeing eye shot on goal that beat Rampage backstop Jacob Markstrom to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead. Center Jordan Schroeder and forward Anton Rodin notched the assists on Sauve's second goal of the season.

Rallo tied the game at for San Antonio at 3:45 into the third period with a power play goal. His shot from the slot eluded Chicago Goaltender Eddie Lack and knotted the game at 1-1. Forwards Bracken Kearns and Bill Thomas were credited with the assists' on Rallo's 16th marker of the year.

Yonkman gave San Antonio a 2-1 edge just over 4 minutes later. He registered his second goal of 2011-2012 on a shot from the blueline that beat Lack to his right. The lone helper on the play went to Center Scott Timmins.

Markstrom made 27 saves on 28 Wolves shots for his eighth win of the season. Lack turned aside 28 of 30 San Antonio attempts in the Chicago Loss.

The Rampage end the Rodeo Road Trip with a 7-3-0-1 record and franchise best winning percentage (.682%).

The Rampage (31-23-2-1) returns home for Military Appreciation on Saturday when they host the Houston Aeros at 7 PM (CT) at the AT&T Center.