If you didn’t have the chance to watch or listen, let us tell you it was quite the game. You can read all the details here. The Cyclones rode rookie Cory Conacher all the way to the win, but the play of the game was made by referee Curtis Marouelli.
Late in the game and down by a goal head Fisherman Nick Vitucci pulled his goal with over 2 minutes to play. It lead to a scrum in the low slot with the puck finding the back of the net. Marouelli instantly held both hands in the air indicating the play had been blown dead. The replay from AmericaOne clearly showed the puck loose in front and going into the net. Fortunately for the Cyclones, the replay also clearly showed Marouelli bringing his whistle up with the intent to blow the play dead before the puck crossed the goal line. The key phrase here is “the intent to blow the whistle.” While players are always taught to play to the whistle, the rule book says the play ends when the referee decides to blow the whistle, not when it actually blows. It was the one break the Cyclones would get from the referee who whistled the Boys for 6 minor penalties (several of which were questionable calls to say the least) throughout the game compared to Toledo’s two. It was a rough game for the ref who spent most of the afternoon out of position and chasing the play. Ironically, if Marouelli had been out of position on the play the goal probably would have been good. Luckily for the ‘Clones, Marouelli was in position behind, and slightly to the right of Foster’s net and when he lost sight of the puck he blew the whistle as he’s supposed to.
It’s tough call to lose on if you’re a Fish fan but ultimately it was by the book. And when the referee gives you 6 chances to capitalize on the man advantage and you don’t, it you little to complain about.
Looking forward here’s what the standings look like:
The Cyclones now find themselves legitimately in the 8th and final playoff position and more or less control their own destiny. If the Boys can earn 3 points in their final 2 games with Kalamazoo They’re in regardless of what Toledo does in their final 3 games. All the pressure is on the Fish at this point.
The magic numbers are:
Greenville – Clinched 3/19
Reading – Clinched 3/19
Kalamazoo – Clinched 3/20
Florida – Clinched 3/27 with Cyclones’ win over Toledo
Wheeling – Clinched 3/27 with Cyclones’ win over Toledo
South Carolina – Clinched 3/27 with Cyclones’ win over Toledo and OT loss to Greenville
Elmira – 3
Cincinnati – 3
Trenton – Eliminated 3/20, We like it better when you were the Titans anyhow.
Gwinnett – Eliminated by the Cyclones’ win and their loss to reading. It was a good fight but Caesar gave them a “thumbs down”
Toledo – 3
It a 3 horse race for the final 2 playoff spots and Toledo is the long shot right now. The crazy part is, outside of the top 3 places the rest of the Eastern Conference is separated by just 2 points. It’s still possible for the Cyclones to finish as high as 4th in the Conference believe it or not.
Until the next big game which is Wednesday morning….