After watching the 1st 2 games on the B2 Network, I wanted to take a few minutes this morning to drop some of my observations on everyone.
- The Steelheads don’t like physicality. It’s scary to think that the Cyclones, who are far from being considered a physical team have appeared to have gotten under Idaho’s skin with their physical play. I don’t even want to think about what Idaho’s reaction to a team like South Carolina or Charlotte would have been. Those two teams were far more physical than the Cyclones are. In Game 2, Idaho tried to counter by dressing Adam Huxley but to no avail. They didn’t have an answer for Cincinnati’s “bumps.”
- Speaking of hitting. There was quite the uproar from many Cyclones fans regarding the penalty to Ian Mckenzie in game 1 for boarding when just a few minutes earlier in the game Idaho’s Cody Lampl but a nearly identical hit on Ryan Del Monte (who was also cut on the play) with out a penalty being called. Well, if you heard last nights pregame you heard Chuck comment that he received an apology from the League regarding the non call on Lampl. It’s the lack of consistency on calls like that are very frustrating.
- I was glad to see Mckenzie remain in the line up. Ian is a big kid and when he’s playing like one he can be a force on the ice. When is physical his game really picks up. Sure he’ll get the occasional elbowing call when he checks a guy under 6 feet tall because he’s so damn tall, but you also get hits like the one he put on Marty Flichel. That hit will be my nomination for hit of the year.
- How about that Mathieu Aubin.
- The Cyclones have used a two-headed monster in net all Season and the Playoffs should be no different. Jeremy Smith is an MVP candidate for getting the Boys this far; that effort won’t be forgetten. However, all those games with little rest, have taken their toll. There are rumors floating around that Jeremy has dropped 10lbs since the start of the playoffs. It’s just a rumor but completely conceivable and the loss of that much weight will cause some serious fatigue in an elite level athlete. Mayer is fresh and I think he will continue to get starts, but Coach Weber will have a short leash much as he had in Game 6 against Reading. Jeremy, your efforts are why the Cyclones are still playing. Thank you, I know you will be ready if called upon.
-Welcome back Jimmy Kilpatrick.
- The National Conference is billed as playing “run and gun” hockey. Thus far from what I’ve seen, the Steelheads fit that bill. Thy remind me a lot of Reading and Kalamazoo, who liked to score mostly in transition or early in offensive zone possession before the defense could get set up. The Cyclones did quite well against those teams during the regular season so there is no reason to think that trend won’t continue. If the game turns to one involving end to end rushing the Boys could be in trouble, but if they play Their game, I’m quite confident.
- The Steelheads are one of the highest scoring teams in the League and the Cyclones have done well to neutralize them. It kept the Idaho crowd out of the game. In Game 1 they were louder in booing the Referee for making a legitimate call than they were when their team scored it’s 2 goals in the first. In Game 2 the loudest noise they made was the “GASP” with about 20 seconds to go.
That last note leads me to the CycWords Call to Action:
The Cyclones play up to 3 games this week and USBA needs to be loud and filled with energy for all 3. During the pregame interview on Friday night Coach Weber said the energy from the Crowd gave the Boys a lift and intimidated Reading a bit. Mathieu Aubin said he loves the crowds in Cincinnati and the energy from Game 7 gave him “goosebumps.” We have to it again.
When you call the Box Office on Monday don’t just buy tickets for Thursday and Friday. We MUST fill the building all 3 nights. Our Team is running on fumes at this point and OUR energy will become THEIR energy. We ARE the 7th man.