This Week’s Panthers report comes to you on a day many Panthers Insiders have called the “biggest Monday in years”. Before we take a look at what’s to come, here’s a brief look at the week that was and what is to come in the Panthers organization.
The Panthers went 2-1 last week. They won a sloppy game in Carolina 2-1 Tuesday, and flew through the night to the west coast. They then took their talents to Manhattan Beach, where they met Jonathan Quick, who put on a Vezina worthy performance, allowing just one goal in a 2-1 Panthers loss to the Los Angeles Kings Thursday. Redemption came in numbers as the Cats handled the San Jose Sharks 5-3 to salvage the road trip.
The Panthers return home for one night only, as they take on the Washington Capitals tonight. Jose Theodore missed practice with an apparent illness, and his status is questionable for tonight. The Capitals will sit starting goalie Tomas Vokoun. The Panthers sit alone in first place in the Southeast Division, but Washington is just ____ points behind them. This should be a big game for both clubs.
The Cats then pack their bags once again. On Thursday, they travel to Boston to take on red-hot Bruins. The next night it’s off to Buffalo and another top team, the Sabres. It doesn’t get any easier for the Cats as they travel to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers Sunday night.
SAN ANTONIO RAMPAGE (AHL):
The Rampage had a light week last week, splitting a Friday-Saturday Home-and-Home series with the league’s best Oklahoma City Barons. Game one went to the Barons in Oklahoma City, who won 1-0 on a 3rd period goal. Jacob Markstrom was stellar, stopping 28 of 29 shots he faced. The teams then bussed to San Antonio, where the Rampage were victorious, taking a 2-1 decision over the Barons. Dov Grumet-Morris was spectacular in net yet again, stopping 26 of 27 shots he saw. Evan Barlow, on a PTO, had the game winning goal, and Panthers prospect Michal Repik had the opening goal, a beautiful breakaway chance.
The light schedule doesn’t last long, but the Rampage are home for most of the stretch, as they play four games this week. On Tuesday, they face the Houston Aeros from the AT&T Center. Friday will see them and the same Aeros, but this time from the Toyota Center in Houston. The Peoira Rivermen comes to town Saturday, and on Sunday, the leagues farthest southeast team (although they’re in the western conference…long story), the Charlotte Checkers visit San Antonio for the first time this season.
RIO GRANDE VALLEY KILLER BEES (CHL):
Revenge was sweet for the Killer Bees, who enjoyed a 5-3 victory over the Arizona Sundogs Friday. Tomas Klempa scored two goals, Aaron Lee added one shorthanded, and Dan Gendur had a powerplay goal. Brandon Campos also scored in the victory. The game was filled with action, with Arizona’s Tyler Matheson and the Bees’ Aaron Boogaard battling in the second, and two roughing double minors along with a spearing double minor handed out after the final whistle.
Saturday’s game was a bit calmer, with Arizona edging the Bees 3-2 in a shootout. Gendour and Reid Edmondson scored the Rio Grande Valley goals, while the Bees’ AJ Mikkelsen and Corey Toy battling in the only fight of the night.
It’s a busy week for the Bees, as they play four games against three different opponents. On Tuesday, they welcome the Allen Americans to the State Farm Arena. Wednesday will see the Texas Brahmas invade the Valley. after an off night Thursday, it’s off to Laredo for a two game set against the Bucks.
CINCINNATI CYCLONES (ECHL):
The Cyclones played two games, separated by four days, against the Greenville Road Warriors. The split the elongated series, losing game on 4-3 in a shootut Tuesday and winning game two 6-5 Saturday. Jonathan Hazen scored the lone Panthers prospect goal Tuesday, while Mathieu Aubin, and Anthony Luciani scored for the Cyclones in Saturday’s game. Luciani had two goals in the game, including the game winning goal 18:36 into the third period. Brian Foster stopped 32 of the 37 shots he faced.
The only team with an easy week in the Panthers system is the Cyclones, who play a home-and-home with the Toledo Walleye. Friday’s game will be at Toledo while the teams return to the US Bank Arena on Saturday.
On Monday, the Panthers sent Repik and Markstrom to San Antonio, while calling up Mark Cullen. Bracken Kearns was called up on Wednesday from San Antonio, with Jonathan Hazen being sent from Cincinnati to San Antonio.