The San Antonio Rampage had quite the week. The Kevin Dineen firing had serious reverberations at the AHL level as then-Rampage head coach Peter Horachek was given the Panthers interim head coaching job. Horachek was replaced by Tom Rowe, 57, who was previously the head coach of Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the KHL. In addition to the coaching changes, Panther forward Steve Pinizzotto joined the team and goaltender Jacob Markstrom and defenseman Ryan Whitney are on the way. The Rampage will also be without defenseman Mike Mottau for a bit as he was called up by Florida to replace Whitney. And oh yea, San Antonio won their two games this weekend both 3-2 shootout victories.
Tom Rowe Takes Over
When Peter Horachek was tabbed as the Panthers’ interim head coach, many thought the Rampage head coaching job would go to Chuck Weber who had already been an associate head coach with the team. The Rampage had other ideas as they reached outside the organization to hire Tom Rowe to handle the job. Weber remains in his role as associate head coach and director of hockey operations.
Rowe was most recently coaching in the KHL. He has AHL head coaching experience as he has previously led Albany (06-08) and Lowell (04-06). Rowe got off to a good start with San Antonio as the Rampage won his first two games behind the bench to bring their record to 6-6-0-1.
SA Sweeps Weekend
On Saturday San Antonio defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 3-2 in a shootout. Vincent Trocheck tied the game in the third period with his sixth goal of the season. The Rampage other goal came from Steve Pinizzotto who was playing in his first game with the team. Pinizzotto had been out with a hip injury he sustained back in training camp with the Panthers. Michael Houser got the start for San Antonio and stopped 21 of 23 shots faced as well as five out of the six shootout attempts he faced.
On Sunday the Rampage again emerged with a 3-2 shootout victory, this time over the Milwaukee Admirals. Pinizzotto got his second goal in as many games and Jed Ortmeyer scored the other Rampage goal. San Antonio fired 45 shots at Admirals goalie Magnus Hellberg. Here is to hoping Hellberg, a 22-year-old Predators prospect, breaks into the NHL soon as he has one of the best hockey names I have seen in a while.
Dov Grumet-Morris got the start in net for San Antonio and stopped 31 of 33. He was also perfect in the shootout stopping all five shots he faced. Jon Matsumoto got the only Rampage goal in the shootout.
The wins give San Antonio 13 points on the season. They currently sit in 10th place in the Western Conference.
Checking in on the Cincinnati Cyclones
The ECHL Cincinnati Cyclones split their two games this weekend. On Friday, the Cyclones beat the Kalamazoo Wings 6-5 in Kalamazoo. Wade Megan tallied twice for the Cyclones, his team leading 7th and 8th goals. Rob Madore stopped 25 of 30 shots en route to the win.
On Saturday the Cyclones fell at home 3-2 to the Ft. Wayne Komets. Panther prospect John McFarland scored his sixth goal of the season in the loss. Rob Madore again got the start and made 29 saves on 32 shots. The loss was the first of the season for the Cyclones bringing their record to 7-1-0-0.