The Cyclones closed out the month of October with a 4-2 record, a win better than what I thought could be considered a successful opening. At the end of the day I guess I’m not that surprised given the Cyclones success on the road in the Coach Weber era. The month of November has the Cyclones playing 13 games (6/7 home/road), 10 of which will be Divisional games. The Cyclones will get Their first looks at Divisional foes Toledo and Kalamazoo, as well as a look a Conference foe Trenton.
While I wasn’t able to watch Friday’s match in Elmira, a 4-2 loss, I was able to catch the Boys’ 6-3 triumph in Wheeling on Saturday. The trip to Wheeling brought another hat trick (Matt Pierce) to the squad, not to mention a 3 point performance from newcomer Bryan Marshall. Saturday night was also my first chance to watch Robert Mayer in net. It was hard to make a real good judgment while watching via the B2 but he made some big saves and seems more than capable. He’s a young kid with a lot of potential and I think this win will go a long way in building his confidence. He seems to react to plays pretty quick which is a good building block for any goalie. My only criticism is when he strays from the crease it can become a bit of an adventure, although I should point out that none of the 3 Wheeling Goals were scored this way.
In other news, the week saw 2 Cyclones get call-ups to the AHL (Chris Mueller to Milwaukee and Hans Benson to Portland). It’s hard to say if these are long term moves but it should be noted that Mueller did playSaturday night for the Admirals and Benson was in the line-up for Portland on Friday. Also of note, Jason Jozsa has logged 4 games with Milwaukee since being called up (he needs to play 10 games with the Admirals to be playoff eligible for the Cyclones).
With the injuries and call-ups the Cyclones made some roster moves heading into the Halloween weekend. First, they made this blogger eat his words when they moved Dwayne Zinger to the 7-day IR, only to have Dwayne play on Friday after I guessed that to change in IR status might indicate that he would miss the weekend. The call up of Mueller left the ‘Clones even shorter up front going into the weekend. In addition to Bryan Marshall, the Cyclones also added Justin White and Mark O’Leary.
Justin White is a four year product of Notre Dame where based on his numbers, he was more of a role player than anything. He played both games over the weekend. He had an empty score sheet on Friday but managed to register a shot on Saturday, although I don’t recall Hammer mentioning his name much.
Mark O’Leary came to the Cyclones after a 3 year Junior career in the OHL; followed by 2 years in the CHL, the second of which included a 16 game call-up to the AHL. 2008 saw him join the ECHL ranks where he was bounced around between 3 teams. The Cyclones are the second team Mark has played for in 09-10 season. Based on the numbers, Mark doesn’t put a lot of points but he hits the stat sheet hard and heavy in the PIM column. I can’t help but wonder if this pick-up was to add some toughness to the line-up in the absence of Hans Benson. Even so, history tells us that Coach Weber doesn’t bring in tough guys that aren’t capable of contributing some points as well.
I want to finish up to giving a thumbs up to Matt Pierce and Bryan Marshall. Pierce for stepping up and putting up points while the Teams biggest early season offensive threats are either on the shelf or in the AHL and Marshall for coming in and contributing right off the bat.
I’ll have more on these games and the new guys after hearing from the Coach on Monday night at the Coach’s Show.