Two for Two

Posted: 2009/10/26 by Mike in 2009-2010 Regular Season

The past weekend saw the Cyclones play a home and home series against the Wheeling Nailers. Friday night the Boys made the trek to Wheeling and the ‘Clones rolled to a 5-2 victory. The Cyclones returned home on Saturday where they took a 3-1 decision in their home opener.

In spite of hearing that the boys were battling some illness earlier in the week, I made the journey to Wheeling to see the guys play in person for the first time since training camp. All I can say is if the performance I saw Friday night was by a team that was less than 100%, then the ‘Clones will be a force to be reckoned with when fully healthy. Led by Mark Voakes the Cyclones offense sprang to life, with Mark netting not only his first professional goal, but his first professional hat trick as well.  Chris Mueller and Scott Reynolds added to the scoring.

Saturday night saw the Cyclones play their first game at USBA. The 5086 in attendance saw the Team raise the North Division Championship Banner before the opening puck drop. After the pregame festivities, it was time for the Guys to continue their successful start. After being embarrassed on their home ice, Wheeling definitely had a little more jump to their game in hopes of playing spoiler. That jump allowed Wheeling to take advantage of one of the few breakdowns the Cyclones had and jump to a 1-0 lead, but the Cyclones battled back and by the end of the second were up 2-1 off of goals by Matt Pierce and Chris Mueller. Mueller added a late empty net goal and the Cyclones took a 3-1 victory.

The team seems to be coming together quite well. The offense was firing on all cylinders and it was good to see the Power Play finally tally some goals going 2 for 5 on Friday night. The most impressive thing I noticed on Friday night was the puck possession. It’s only speculation but I would venture that the Cyclones controlled the puck for roughly 75% of the game and anytime a team can control the puck like that, odds are they will come away with the win. Saturday night, while being a little more balanced, Wheeling still spent much of the game chasing the puck around their own end.

The Penalty Kill is still clicking along as well and you have to like how this team looks defensively tight now. They got off to a rocky start the opening weekend but since then have only giving up 3 goals on 62 shots over the course of 3 games.

At the individual level, Mark Voakes was a player that caught my eye during training camp. He’s got a good set of hands, a goal scorers touch and he sees the ice well. Chris Mueller is stronger on the puck than any player I’ve seen in a Cyclones sweater thus far. He may not always look pretty with fancy puck handling, but holds the puck with brute force. Jeremy Smith continues to “make all the saves he’s supposed to, and a few of the ones he’s not,” as Coach Weber likes to say.

As we head into this weekends games against Elmira and Wheeling, we could see some changes to the lineup, with the possibility of Dwayne Zinger coming off of IR. Coach Weber mentioned he has been skating on his own and may join the team for full practice this week.

I had the chance to talk to Coach Weber briefly about the goal tending duo that he has this season. He said the team left Robert Mayer hanging a few times in his start against Elmira but given Jeremy Smith’s shutout performance in Johnstown he had earned the right to start this past weekend against Wheeling and with a solid performance Friday chose to go with him again on Saturday. Chuck said Mayer will probably get a shot in one of the games this weekend but did not say which and there is going to be a healthy competition between the two young goalies.


  1. Jessica says:

    Friday night the boys maDe the trek…you should hire me as your editor…I need a job ;-)

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