The Cyclones,who have played well against the Southern Division all season, kept things rolling on the 1st leg of Their swing down South. The Boys won all 3 games against the South Carolina Stingrays. Cail MacLean’s squad was a bit depleted but that didn’t stop them from putting a fight in game 3 of the series. If not for some late game heroics from Brock Sheahan to tie the score with the goalie pulled and force OT, the Boys could have found Themselves losing ground to the field in the playoff race. When overtime didn’t decide anything, it was on to a shootout where Mathieu Aubin netted the game winner in round 5. Cyclones net minder Brian Foster didn’t play his best game of the season but he came up big when the game was on the line stopping all 5 South Carolina attempts.
The sweep against South Carolina allowed the ‘Clones to keep pace with the playoff pack and sets up a huge game against Gwinnett. Currently the Gladiators and Cyclones are tied with 65 points. Despite what the article on the ECHL’s website reports, according to rule changes for the approved over the summer, the Gladiators hold the first tie break with ‘Clones with a greater number of regulation/OT wins. While Tuesday’s match up with Gwinnett won’t put the Cyclones in the playoffs, moving ahead of the Gladiator’s on points will make the battle a bit easier. A loss on the other hand won’t put the ‘Clones out, but it will make capturing a playoff position much more difficult. In our eyes, Tuesday’s game is a MUST win for the Cyclones.
If you’re keeping track at home, here are the magic numbers:
Reading Royals – 5
Greenville Road Warriors – 6
Kalamazoo Wings – 11
South Carolina Stingrays – 15
Florida Everblades – 18
Elmira Jackals – 19
Wheeling Nailers – 19
Gwinnett Gladiators – 21
Cincinnati Cyclones – 21
Looking at the way things are shaping up, if South Carolina doesn’t get some help from above with their roster, there is a good chance Florida could overtake them.
Wheeling has received some help in the form or Patrick Killeen. If Killeen and Delmas can play the way they’re capable, then the Nailers might just hang on. We wouldn’t expect them to do much in the post season if they do however.