Archive for October, 2010

Now three exciting weeks into the 2010-11 season, we’d like to start what hopes to  be a weekly catch-up with some Cyclones alumni now playing elsewhere. Have a request? Let us know!

– 2010 Kelly Cup co-MVP Robert Mayer was thrown into the fire as the starter in Hamilton, and has become the Bulldogs’ starting goaltender in the absence of starter Curtis Sanford, out with a larynx fracture. Mayer is 3-2-0-1 with a 2.94 GAA and 0.878 SPCT. He should return soon to the backup position as Sanford returns.

– 2008 phenom David Desharnais has not lost a step and has picked up where he left off last year; in 7 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs, he has 3-7-10, good for 12th in the AHL.

– 2008 Cup MVP Cedrick Desjardins is 2-2 with Norfolk with a 2.02 GAA and 0.922 SPCT. After an offseason trade he has settled into the Tampa system as their #3 goaltender. And look how much he’s grown up!

– The little big guy, Jean-Michel Daoust, is now with the Houston Aeros after signing a two-way with the Minnesota Wild in the offseason. He has five points through seven games.

Dustin Sproat has 5-12-17 through 15 games with Nottingham (England) — and 35 penalty minutes?

– 2002-03 forward and Miami product Evan Cheverie – brother of current goaltender Marc Cheverie – has 16 points in 14 games with Lillehammer (Norway).

-Dannielle

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After 4 games the Cyclones have earned 4 points which places them in 3rd place in the North Division and 5th in the Eastern Conference. It’s still very early so there’s not much point in putting too much concern into the placings and with the Team improving from game to game there is no reason the Boys won’t have more wins than loses in the near future.

If there wasn’t already enough pressure on Coach Skalde to continue the success the Cyclones enjoyed under Chuck Weber, the ante was just raised as prohockeynews.com picked the Cyclones to win the North Division and repeat as Kelly Cup Champions. Time will tell if Coach Skalde can make this prediction come to fruition, but I for one prefer to be the underdog and over achieve than to be the favorite and..well, I don’t even want to think about that. It’s hard to say how things will shake out after just playing a few games but it’s no doubt the Cyclones are on the short list of favorites simply based on the battle tested core of returning players and solid goal tending.

The Cyclones will see the rest of the North Division this weekend as they head to Toledo on Friday before Their home opener at USBA on Saturday. While I’ll be looking forward to seeing the 2010 Banner get raised to the rafters I’ll be just as interested in seeing the Wheeling Nailers in person. After the 1st few games Wheeling appears to be rolling,  Toledo seems to be faltering and the Cyclones and Kalamazoo played in 2 very tight contests, seeing the final 2 North Division opponents could give us a good idea of where the Boys stand; at least for the early Season.

News and Notes…

– The Cyclones released JC Sawyer this week. Sawyer was the 2010 ECHL Defenseman of the Year. There is no doubt the guy has the ability to put up points but the scouting reports on him indicate that he is a defensive question mark. I can’t help but wonder if Sawyer was brought in as an experiment; was his defensive ability questioned because of the systems he’s played in or was he really a liability? I can only guess as to why he was released but my observations from training camp didn’t put my worries about his defensive ability to rest.

– While JC Sawyer was heading out, Carl Hudson was heading in. Hudson was signed to an entry level contract over the summer by the Florida Panthers. He put up decent numbers at the collegiate level and is an open book at the pro level at this point. His potential may have impressed the Panthers enough to earn an entry level deal, but getting assigned to Cincinnati indicates that at this point it’s still just potential. He has a gritty side to him as well apparently as letsgoamerks.com wrote over the summer after the signing. After reading letsgoamerks.com and the associated comments, I’m interested in seeing this kid, to see if he can actually play and manage to keep his cool.

Jeremy Smith is on his way back to Milwaukee this week but there is no need for Justin Axelson (or any other EBUG) to be ready to hop on the bus with the boys as they head to Toledo since Predators 2008 1st round draft pick Chet Pickard will be on his way here. This move appears very similar to the move that saw Smith spend time in Milwaukee while Mark Dekanich was sent down. Pickard has been struggling in the early season so some time in Cincinnati shuld give him time to work on some things and possibly give him some added motivation to perform at a high level. Pickard was a guy I was hoping to see last season but he out played Smith during training camp. If Chet comes down with the right attitude, it could be a short stay and be lights out for the opposition. The downside to the move is that Kelly Cup Playoff Co-MVP Jeremy Smith will most likely not be in the pipes on Saturday Night for the Banner raising. Although I’m sure if Jeremy gets some AHL playing time he’ll be just fine with the decision.

 

-Mike-

After earning 2 points from Elmira in come from behind fashion the Cyclones spent the week preparing for a trip to meet the Kalamazoo K-wings in a pair of games this weekend. While 2 points on opening weekend is nothing to scoff at, the games left a lot to be desired with regards to the play of the Cyclones. Here are a few things to keep an eye on when the Cyclones take on Kalamazoo this weekend…

-Defensive zone play has to get better. The Squad has 2 very capable net minders in Jeremy Smith and Marc Cheverie but if they are continually seeing odd man rushes night after night it’s going to make for a long season.Look for the Cyclones to tighten up the neutral zone play and pinch a little less in the offensive zone.

-The Boys showed Their resiliency over weekend, winning the 3rd period after a very rough 2nd period on Friday and coming from behind to ultimately take the overtime victory on Saturday.While this kind of resiliency is great to have on the Team, the Cyclones gave up the 1st goal in each of Their 1st two contests. Scoring 1st and scoring early is important  in any game, but it is especially so against the K-wings and potential net minder Ryan Nie.

-No word on if the Cyclones will have the services of forwards Barret Ehgoetz and Ryan Del Monte this weekend, both players are currently with the Rochester Americans of the AHL. Del Monte has seen action in 2 games since getting the call and Ehgoetz one.

-The Cyclons will see Scott Reynolds take the ice for the 1st time this Season. Reynolds, who was called up to Rochester before the Cylones even played a preseason game was released from his PTO (Professional Try-Out contract) on October 20th. Reynolds played in 6 games posting a goal and an assist for the Americans.

The Team will have the services of Kelly Cup Playoff Co-MVP net minder Jeremy Smith as they head to Kalamazoo. Jeremy had a shaky start in his preseason start against Wheeling but we all know the type of game he is capable of playing. It will be interesting to see how Coach Skalde manages the 2 young prospects should they both spend extended periods of time here in Cincinnati.

The Cyclones have added another defenseman to the mix with the signing of tough guy Benn Olson. There isn’t much out there on Olson as a player, but he has quit an impressive fight card for a 3rd year pro. It’s an interesting signing by Skalde. The Squad has an agitator in Chris Morehouse and a tough guy in James DeLory. My best guess is that Skalde wants another tough guy on the Team in the event DeLory gets recalled by Rochester because I just don’t see how this acquisition makes the Team better.

During a month in which the NHL is bringing attention to cancer awareness and raising money to help find a cure, the Cyclones have lost a member of the family. Original Cyclone Craig Charron lost his battle with stomach cancer earlier this week. For more on Charron, please read this article from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Charron’s family during these trying times. Please go to www.CragCharron.com if you’d like to help.

 

-Mike-

With training camp and a couple of preseason games against Wheeling behind them, Coach Skalde and Assistant Coach Fankhouser started the week by making a few cuts and preparing for this weekend’s games against the Elmira Jackals. The players cut were Brodie Sheahan, Ruben Begunts and Brad Schroeder. I can’t say that I was surprised by any of the cuts, although parting ways with Schroeder left the team with just 7 natural defensemen, which is a little light in my opinion. However, that has been remedied with the addition of defensemen James DeLory today from Rochester. So for those keeping score, here is a look at where the 2010-2011 Cyclones roster stands now:

Forwards (11)

Mathieu Aubin, Chris Minella, Barret Ehgoetz, Sam D’Agostino, Ryan Del Monte, Adam Bartholomay, Brett Robinson, Matt Butcher, Matt Pierce, Chris Morehouse, Dylan Hunter

Defense (8)

David Sloane, Brock Sheahan, Brian O’Hanely, T.J Fast, JC Sawyer, Doug Krantz, Kevin Roeder, James DeLory

Goal (2)

Jeremy Smith, Marc Cheverie

(It should be noted that Nashville’s Pekka Rinne was injured this weekend and is listed as day to day. This development has caused the recall of Mark Dekanich to Nashville and Jeremy Smith to Milwaukee. Taking Jeremy’s place on the roster this week will be Pat Street.)

On the cuts…

Ruben Begunts – He showed some flashes of skill when I watched him at training camp last week but his overall effort seemed lacking when compared to others in camp on try-out contracts. He showed a bit more jump during the preseason game at Northlands Ice Center but still seemed out of place at times.

Brodie Sheahan – Brodie has the one thing that can’t be coached and that’s speed, but his game seemed a bit raw for the ECHL level. If he wants to continue as a Minor League hockey player, it wouldn’t surprise me if he doesn’t get picked up by a single A level team somewhere. Brodie Sheahan is a name that we could here again at some point.

Brad Schroeder – Schroeder was definitely the weakest of the blueliners at training camp. The versatility of Adam Bartholomay combined with, as we know now, the addition of James DeLory, made Brad expendable.

On James DeLory

There isn’t too much out there on this kid but here’s what I’ve gathered so far; James is going to be the tough guy on the team. He’s a big kid, 6’5″ 225lbs, and while he’s listed as a defensemen, he has been utilized as a forward for the past few seasons. After reading his profile on hockeyfuture.com, I welcome his toughness, but have some questions as to his hockey sense. I’ve never been a fan of players who fight but are liable in regards to the rest of their game. James will be a player I’ll have my eye on; I’m sure I’ll be weighing in on in the future.

On Elmira…

The Cyclones have had Elmira’s number the last few season, posting a 16-7-0-2 record. However, Steve Martinson was shown the door this off season and has been replaced by Malcolm Cameron. Will this years Jackals’ team be like the rough and tumble teams of the past or more like Cameron’s past teams in Texas and Florida which were quite talented?

Quick notes…

Congrats to former Coach Chuck Weber who won his first game as Head Coach of the Rochester and to Scott Reynolds who notched his 1st AHL point in the win.

Congrats to former Cyclone Mark Van Guilder who tallied his 1st AHL goal, and a game winner at that, in 6-2 win over the Abbotsford Heat. There is currently a video of the goal on the Admirals website.

As Wildman says “Let’s play hockey!”

-Mike-



As we roll into the weekend which will see the Cyclones play a pair of preseason games against the Wheeling Nailers, it brings an end to the Cyclones training camp which began October 1st. I was able swing by Northlands Ice Center this week to check out the on ice training sessions.

Coach Skalde kept the tempo high and had good dialogue with the players. On Monday the coaching staff, which included former NHLer Andrew Cassels, who was helping out for the day, participated in a conditioning drill with players to end the session. The over all mood was light but very business like; there was no question the coaches and players in camp are taking the task of defending the Kelly Cup very seriously. Fans will probably notice a different style of play under coach Skalde, but overall play will continue to be very up tempo judging from the training sessions.

I like to say, give me guys who can skate first and foremost, if they are big even better. The 1st thing I noticed about the group assembled by Coach Skalde was their size and I was pleased with their skating. This years Squad skates as solidly as last years Kelly Cup Championship Squad at the least. Forwards are strong on the puck, have great net presence and finishing ability. The defensemen  big and mobile. There is a lot to like about this group.

After some preliminary cuts, the return of a few players released from AHL camps and the late addition of 2 from Rochester the roster sits at 24.

Forwards:

Barret Eghoetz, Mathieu Aubin, Scott Reynolds, Chris Minella, Brodie Sheahan, Sam D’Agostino, Ruben Begunts, Brett Robinson, Ryan Del Monte, Chris Morehouse, Dylan Hunter, Matt Butcher, Matt Pierce

Defense:

Adam Bartholomay, Doug Krantz, Kevin Roeder, Brad Schroeder, David Sloane, Brian O’Hanely, JC Sawyer, T.J. Fast

Goalies:

Jeremy Smith, Marc Cheverie

As it stands, the Cyclones will have to make at least 1 cut before the rosters get capped for the start of the regular season and with the NHL regular season underway and the AHL season starting this weekend it’s still possible the Cyclones see another player trickle down the line.

A couple of players to keep an eye on if you’re coming out to the preseason game on Saturday:

Chris Minella – Chris is starting his pro career after playing 4 years at Notre Dame. He’s a big, solidly built kid. He didn’t light up the scoreboard in college but after observing his game he seems built for the more physical nature of the pro game.

Sam D’Agostino – Sam is another 1st year player who didn’t have the greatest numbers in college but his effort and energy is hard to miss. The kid has some pretty good wheels and keeps it going even when there’s a lot of contact. I didn’t see him get pushed off the puck very often.

Dylan Hunter – Hunter was acquired from Utah for Brett Motherwell and future considerations. He is billed to be one of the offensive leaders for the ‘Clones this season.  Dylan finally arrived at camp today and he looked pretty solid. Time will tell if he can live up to the billing.

Matt ButcherButcher, a 5th round pick by the Vancuver Canucks, joined the line up yesterday (10/5). Matt had previously been in Rochester’s camp. Butcher showed a lot of finishing touch in his 1st on ice session with the ‘Clones. He’s a guy who has a lot of upside.

David Sloane – Sloane is a solid blueliner with a lot of upside.

Adam Bartholomay – Adam is listed as a forward but spent the early days of camp playing the blueline. He finally got a chance to move up front on day 7 of camp. That kind of versatility can come in handy as injuries and call ups inevitably happen.

JC Sawyer – He’s big and he has a lot of offensive upside. He reads the offensive zone play as well as any defenseman I’ve seen, but can he up he defensive zone play to match?

We’ll be checking back in after the preseason games.

-Mike-