Archive for the ‘Training Camp’ Category

You smell that? Fall is in the air and that means hockey. The players have reported and Cyclone’s training camp has begun.  We’ll be getting our first look at the Squad on Sunday, but in the meantime here’s a look at those the ‘Clones have in attendance:

Forwards (13): Mathieu Aubin, Byron Elliott, Alex Penner, Mike Embach, Alex Bourret, Dan Eves, Jordan Ethier, Cory McGillis, Jared Gomes, Blake Gallagher, Matt Sisca, Mike Pelech, Koba Jass

Defense (10): Andrew Hotham, David MacDonald, Mike Liambas, Maury Edwards, Chris Reed, Justin Sawyer, Kenny Bradford, Mike MacIntyre, Mike Noyes, Daniel Spivak

Goalies (2): Brett Bennett, Stephan Cesar

Kenny Bradford, Mike MacIntyre, Mike Noyes, Daniel Spivak, Jordan Ethier, Cory McGillis, Brett Bennett, and Stephan Cesar are all on try-out agreements. The rest of them are under contract with the ‘Clones. Odds are the opening night roster won’t be the same as the list you see above but it’s always nice to know where the Team is starting. We’ll be checking out camp starting Sunday and weigh in mid week with our thoughts on how things are shaping up.

Training camp rosters for the rest of the ECHL can be found here.

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The AHL opens camp this weekend as well. The San Antonio Rampage have 20 forwards, 11 defensemen and 4 goalies in camp. There are some familiar names in camp with Coach Weber and it would surprise us to see 1 or 2 of them make their way back to the Queen City along with a few new faces. Odds are we’ll see a goalie from the Rampage as well, but don’t get your hopes up, it’s not going to Jacob Markstrom.

Things are a little lighter up in Milwaukee where the Admirals have 27 in camp (15 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goalies). We aren’t expecting too much help at forward from the Admirals based on this list, but we think a defenseman or 2 will float our way with the names Foss or Aronson topping the list. The Ads are likely to send us a goalie as well and we’re looking forward to seeing wither of their Euro prospects, but let’s be honest we really want to see Zoltan Hetenyi, because let’s face it, his name is ZOLTAN.

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Here’s one last little bit of League news for you. The ECHL Board of Governors approved two proposals recently. Firstly, the Kelly Cup playoffs will take on a new format. Things will remain the same for the Eastern Conference but out West 8 of the 9 teams get in with the Division winners taking the 1st and 2nd seeding. While we think it’s still a bit lopsided to only have to beat out 1 other team to get in we like this better than the old system in which the best regular season team got a 1st round bye. Additionally, all playoff rounds will be best of 7, so no more arguing whether 2-3 format where the higher seed starts on the road is fair or not.

Also, the 3-day and 7-day injured reserve has been replaced by a reserve list. The reserve can have up to 2 players on it at any one time. There is no minimum duration for the list. We think this will give coaches greater roster flexibility than ever before. The rules governing the 21-day injured reserve remain unchanged.

As I write this up the Cyclones will be finishing up their morning skate and getting ready to hop on the bus for Johnstown, Pa for the 1st of 3 preseason games with the Wheeling Nailers. I had a chance to take in most of the on-ice training camp sessions and as of Wednesday morning the roster stood at 23.

Forwards (14):

Mathieu Aubin, Matt McIlvane, Garrett Wilson, Daniel Koger, Neil Trimm, Dan Eves, Josh Boyd, Vinny Scarsella, Mike Liambus, Bendan Hull, Shea Carey, Joe Devin, Erik Boisvert, Justin Vaive.

Defense (7):

Ryan Annesley, Ryan Blair, Maury Edwards, David Leaderer, Brian O’Hanley, Chris Reed, Garrett Suter

Goalies (2):

Mike Battaglia, Bryan Hince

The League allows an active roster of 20, however, with use of the IR teams can carry 22 or 23. In the ECHL, rosters are ever changing so the more the merrier and former head coach Chuck Weber was a master of rotating people on an off of IR. Using the 3 and 7 day IR 22 is a manageable roster number. Should someone become more seriously injured in the preseason the team could carry 23 using the long term IR.

Assuming there aren’t any additional additions (which might not be a reasonable assumption) I would expect 1 or 2 of the listed players to be cut.

There are some questions about who will be patrolling the crease for the ‘Clones this season. All indications are that either Chet Pickard or Atte Engren will be assigned by Nashville. On the  Florida/San Antonio side things are a little dicey. The Panthers have lost Scott Clemmensen for a few months so it’s not a question of who, but if the Cyclones will receive someone to start the season. Hince and Battaglia have performed well for training camp goalies, but I’d be surprised if both are still here once the season starts.

My other impressions from training camp, which the rest of you can see 1st hand on Saturday, is the size. There is no question Skalde brought in a group of big, physical guys. On Tuesday and Wednesday Skalde put together a line of Aubin (6’3″ 204lbs) – Matt McIlvane (6’ 207) – Garrett Wilson (6’3″ 206), that’s big, heavy top line. He followed that line up with Koger (6’2″ 195) – Neil Trimm (6’2″ 200) – Dan Eves (6’1″ 210). Also in the mix if former Miami forward Justin Vaive, who tips the scales at 6’6″ 225 and defenseman Ryan Blair at 6’4″ 210. There is no question this is the biggest Cyclones squad in we’ve seen in years. The Koger/Trimm/Eves line really stood out.

In addition to being big, it’s a strong skating squad. The quickness and tempo of practice was impressive.

There are still some a few issues I have with some of Skalde’s systems, long diagonal passes from the defense to a forward through the neutral zone for example, but there were some things that which looked promising. There is only so much one can tell from watching things play out without defensive pressure.

The only downside I can see with this potential line up is that some of these guys might not be around long. Several guys on the roster are on multi-way deals from the affiliates and several others spent time in AHL camps. If they start the season strong they might not stick around in Cincinnati very long as injuries mount up the food chain. Brian O’Hanley and Daniel Koger are already on Chuck Weber’s radar after having strong showing in San Antonio’s training camp.

Unfortunately there won’t be any audio or video for the 2 preseason games on the road against Wheeling so our first real look at the 2011-2012 Cyclones will come on Saturday. If anything jumps out from the scoresheet, I’ll be sure to pass it along.

 

-Mike-

Breaking Camp

Posted: 2009/10/13 by Mike in Training Camp
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This years Training Camp, which Coach Weber called the most competitive in his time here in Cincinnati, wraps up this week. The camp saw potential ‘Clones spend most of their time practicing behind closed doors down at USBA; they did have two public sessions at Northlands Ice Center, which will serve as their new practice facility. I was able to check both sessions out and was impressed with what I saw.

The Team also played two preseason games against the Toledo Walleye. The first game, played at USBA, saw the ‘Clones control the play but ultimately lose 3-2. The second game played at Toledo’s Tam-o-Shanter saw the Cyclones’ offense come to life and take a 7-4 decision.  John “the Hammer” Hamel’s official recaps for both games can be found here.

As the team gets ready to pack up and head on the road to Elmira, where they will open the season, Coach Weber still has some tough decisions to make before Wednesday, when the final rosters are do. The latest round of cuts inlcude Sam Bloom (F), Travis Winter (F), Jason Woll (D) and Felix Petit (F).

I was a bit disappointed to see Woll and Petit go. I’ve always liked the tenacity of Woll back on the blueline; he played a physical and chippy, yet mostly clean game. He played a solid game but compared to the others in the defensive core, I just don’t think that he had the same skill and someone had to be the odd man out. The Waiving of Petit caught me completely by surprise. The numbers Felix generated in the Junior ranks would suggest that he has plenty of offensive potential. Coach Weber spoke briefly about Felix Monday night at the Coach’s Show stating that Felix was very good on the PP, but didn’t mention much else about it. It’s only speculation but my guess is Felix wasn’t quite solid enough in the defensive zone.

As I type, the Cyclones announced they have released Kyle Hagel from his Tryout Agreement. I can’t say that this really surprises me, I figured that only Hans Benson or Hagel would make the squad. During the preseason game I was impressed with Benson’s skating where a Hagel didn’t really show up for moe other than his fight, which was a solid performance I should add.

The release of Hagel puts the roster at 23.  The ECHL roster maximum for active players is 20 (not including suspended players or injured reserve). The League allows for 3 players to be on active reserve; one on 3-day, one on 7-day and one on 21-day. With creative use of the IR, Chuck will not be required to waive another player. However, that would require someone to be put on the 21-day IR to start the season.

Barring another player release, the next stop is Elmira and the regular season, which makes me wonder; what’s worse than the bus trip to Elmira for a road game? How about the bus trip to Elmira for a HOME game.

-Mike-

About last night…

Posted: 2009/10/10 by Dannie in Training Camp
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Sure, it was preseason. And sure, a few solid players (namely Jimmy Kilpatrick) were missing from the lineup, but one thing stuck out in my mind: boys, the net is 6′ x 4′. Not any larger. I haven’t looked for a box score, but for the amount of shots the scoreboard showed (in the 30-40 range if I remember correctly), I have a hard time believing many were on net. Every time a great opportunity arised, there was a whiff, a squeaker, or they just downright missed the net completely. Still came away with two goals, and had Mayer not bobbled a rebound early on, may have come out with a win. Toledo had a lot of energy, though, but that seemed to sizzle as the night went on.

Scott Reynolds did not disappoint in his return to the Cyclones. He and Ehgoetz seemed to pick up where they left off in 2008. There’s incredible chemistry between those two, especially on the PK. Reynolds looked like he’d never left — good to know a year in Europe didn’t soften him at all!

And while I’m updating with  my $0.02, check out the where are they now: https://cycwords.wordpress.com/where-are-they-now/. Now that all of the US pro leagues are in season or holding camps, we’ve been able to track down a lot more of them.

— Dannielle

Yet Another New Face

Posted: 2009/10/09 by Mike in Training Camp
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On the day the Cyclones open their two game preseason schedule, they announce the addition of goalie Jeremy Smith (from Milwaukee) and Jon Landry (free agent).

I guess life just got a little tougher if you’re a defenseman trying to make the squad.

As we roll into the 1st preseason game I wanted to catch up on a few things. First, here’s a list of all the guys that have rolled through camp thus far:

Forwards

Sam Bloom

Jonathan Duchesneau

Kenton Dulle

Barret Ehgoetz

Kyle Hagel

Adam Krug

Bryan Leitch

Felix Petit

Matt Pierce

Scott Reynolds

Brett Robinson

Dustin Sproat

Mark Voakes

Travis Winter

Hans Benson

Mike McLean

Jimmy Kilpatrick

Defensemen

Michael Busto

Reid Cashman

Jamie Coghlan

Shawn Fensel

Jason Josza

Kirk Medernach

Brian O’Hanely

Brock Sheahan

Jason Woll

Dwayne Zinger

Doug Krantz

Kevin Roeder

Goalies

Robert Mayer

It appears that Milwaukee has finally gotten around to sending us Jeremy Smith, but nothing official from the team yet.

Secondly, if you’re planning on heading down to USBA for tonight’s preseason tilt against the Toledo Walleye, here are the guys you definitely won’t see in action: Jonathan Duchesneau, Kenton Dulle, Adam Krug, Kirk Medernach, and Shawn Fensel. Duchesneau, Dulle Krug and Medernach were released and Fensel was suspended.

I had a chance to check out the public training camp sessions and was impressed with the size and speed of the squad. Chuck has some tough decisions to make regarding who will stay and who will go; just about any of the guys who may not make the team can play at this level and are guys we would have welcomed with open arms last January.

I’ll be updating later with my impressions of tonight’s game later tonight.

-Mike-