Posts Tagged ‘Mark Voakes’

The AHL officially released the Clear Day Rosters today. According to the AHL regulations only players listed on Clear Day Rosters can play for the remainder of the AHL season and Calder Cup Playoffs unless call-ups, injuries or suspensions create an emergency situation. The roster also include a Residency List which contains the players which can play if the 22 man roster loses 3 players to any combination of injury, call-up and suspension.

Milwaukee Admirals:

Forwards:

Triston Grant, Ben Guite, Hugh Jessiman, Chris Mueller, Marty Murray, Wacey Rabbit, Mark Santorelli, Mike Santorelli, Dave Scatchard, Nick SpalingAndreas, Thuresson, Colin Wilson

Defense:

Jon Blum, Robert Dietrich, Scott Ford, Cody Franson, Teemu Laakso, Mark Matheson, Alexander Sulzer, Nolan Yonkman

Goalies:

Mark Dekanich, Chet Pickard

In Residence:

Reid Cashman (D), Dylan Hunter (RW), Ryan Maki (RW)

Hamilton Bulldogs

Forwards:

David Desharnais, Mike Glumac, Ben Maxwell, Eric Neilson, Max Pacioretty, Aaron Palushaj, Tom Pyatt, Ryan Russell, Grant Stevenson, Brock Trotter, Ryan White and J.T. Wyman

Defense:

Shawn Belle, Andre Benoit, Mathieu Carle, Alex Henry, Frederic St. Denis, P.K. Subban, Mike Vernace and Yannick Weber

Goalies:

Cedrick Desjardins and Curtis Sanford

In Residence:

Chad Anderson, Andrew Conboy, Olivier Fortier, Maxime Lacroix and Dany Masse

So that’s how it works and there are the rosters. What does it all mean for the Cyclones? First, we have to look at the players not included on the rosters, which are Ian McKenzie, Mark Van Guilder, Reid Cashman and Maxime Lacroix; Cashman and Lacroix are on their respective teams residence lists however. Since they are not on rosters or listed in residence, Mckenzie and Van Guilder will remain on assignment with Cincinnati for the remainder of the Season, unless Chuck can work some of his relocation magic. Although relocating either McKenzie or Van Guilder is unlikely. Cashman and Lacroix will most likely be back at some point, it’s just a matter of when. Both organizations are dealing with some injuries and call-ups right now so I don’t think we’ll see either play back in the immediate future. Odds are we’ll see Lacroix before Cashman since Cashman isthe only D-man on Milwaukee’s Residency list whereas Hamilton has several forwards who rank above him on the depth chart in Residency. Regardless, I doubt we’ll see either of them unless their clubs have their full rosters available to them.

I also want to mention that Chris Mueller IS on Milwaukee’s roster and Brett Motherwell is NOT on Bridgeports roster (I can not find the Sound Tigers Residency List).

The Cyclones Roster sits at 20 (10 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goalies). Three of those players, Krantz, Roeder, and Zinger are on long term IR. Krantz should be back very soon, Roeder probably won’t be too much longer but Zinger is most likely done for the year. That would put the Squad at 19 active players. Teams can essentially carry 22 players, 20 active with 2 on short term IR. With no guarantee of when Lacroix or Cashman may return, I would have to guess that Chuck would like to add some bodies to the line up for the stretch. Whether he will do that via trades in the next 24 hours or if it will be Junior or College players remains to be seen. Stay tunes.

I’ve received some questions regarding the trade with Bakersfield and I’ve been milling it over in my head. First, there is the question of what the future considerations are, they could be cash or a player to be named later. If it’s cash the deal is most likely done. If it’s a player there are windows as to when a player can be acquired. I’m not positive on this but if the ‘Clones do not receive a player before the trade deadline then I believe a player transaction would have to wait until the end of the Season. I would like to believe that this is some gamesmanship on Chuck’s part but the player that seems to be getting a lot of mention from a fans perspective, Mathieu Aubin, has been playing for the Condors the past few nights. It’s looking like the deal may have simply been to create some roster space for returning players, but then again, based on the roster numbers the Team doesn’t need the space. I can think of reasons of why players like Voakes and Marchesi would be expendable, but I can come up with just as many reasons to keep them. At this point, all I can say is that move has me a little confused, but I’m not about to question Chuck. It seems like he always has something up his sleeve and puts the team in the best position to win.

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow at 5.

-Mike-

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– The Cyclones wrapped up their Southern road trip with a 2-2 record. The Boys took one game from Charlotte, played to a split with South Carolina and dropped the match up with Gwinnett. The .500 record isn’t bad but it’s not the 3-1 I was hoping for. The loss to Gwinnett is especially painful after dropping the 2nd game at South Carolina. The Cyclones now have just one game in hand on the Stingrays while trailing them by 3 points. The Cyclones are going to need some help if a Conference title is in Their future.  Luckily for the Cyclones a tie in points will play into the Cyclones hands since the ‘Clones hold the advantage in head to head match ups.

– Unfortunately for the ‘Clones, while They were battling to a .500 record down South, the Kalamazoo K-wings have been rolling. The Cyclones still lead the Division but the K-wings have closed to within 3 points with 3 games in hand. Reaching the playoffs shouldn’t be a problem for the Boys, but they can’t afford to take any nights off down the stretch if they plan on capturing the Division and Conference titles.

– Congratulations to Patrick Prokop for tallying his 1st goal as a professional Monday night at Gwinnett. If only it had been in a winning effort.

– When the Cyclones got back to Cincinnati, Mark Voakes and Scott Marchesi barely had enough time to do their laundry before packing for Bakersfield. The Cyclones received “future considerations” in the the deal. It comes to no surprise that a defensemen was dealt; Marchesi is a solid and serviceable D-man, but the Cyclones have an overstock of D-men and with Krantz and Roeder due back soon there will be quite the competition for D spots on the playoff roster. Voakes is quite the offensive weapon and his defensive play has improved. I’m sad to see him go, but he’s been injured much of the season and the Team had been playing well in his absence but regardless of Voakes’ potential he’ll have a “what if” hanging over his head. Moreover, you have to give up someone good to get someone good as Chuck always says.

That leads me to those “future considerations” we all love so much. It seems to me that Voakes is a bit much to give up if Chuck is just creating some roster space and getting cash back. It is possible, but I have to think there will be a player coming from Bakersfield at some point. That thought had me taking a look at Bakersfield’s roster. The name that jumps out at me is, of course, Mathieu Aubin. Aubin, a part of the 2008 Kelly Cup Squad made the move out wast to start the season and I think he would make a great addition to this years team. Mathieu may not be the most fleet of foot player out there but he is good along the wall and more importantly in front of the net, not to mention he has pretty good hands. I love the energy that Morehouse brings and he is certainly has no issue playing in the dirty areas of the ice but he lacks the finishing touch that someone like Aubin would bring. Will he be involved in the deal? Time will tell. I would certainly like to to see him back in a Cyclones sweater…

– The ECHL trade deadline is just days away at this point so the question remains if Chuck will make any other moves. My guess is we’ll know more tomorrow once the AHL announces the Clear Day Rosters.  Early word out of Milwaukee is that Ian Mckenzie, Mark Van Guilder and Reid Cashman will not make the Admirals list (also left off the list was Ryan Maki, who played for the Kelly Cup Championship Squad. I’m not sure the status of his contract or whether of not he can be assigned here.) Chris Mueller is speculated to make the Admirals Clear Day Roster which is great for him and not so great for us. None of this is final until the AHL officailly releases the rosters tomorrow but it is possible that moving Voakes and Marchesi was just to make room for McKenzie, Van Guilder and Cashman but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed about that Mathieu Aubin. I’ll update tomorrow with the official Clear Day Rosters for Milwaukee and Hamilton.

– Things seem to be going pretty well in Bridgeport for Brett Motherwell. The ECHL posted a nice article on him. Here’s a link to the full article from ctpost.com.

-Mike-

After the recent 5-1 win over the Johnstown Chiefs I started wondering, “what is it about February?” With the exception of 06-07, the Cyclones have been stellar in the Month.  In 07-08, the Boys went 13-0 before finally dropping a game to Stockton (they won their lost 4 games in January that year to post a League best 17 game win streak).  Last Season the Fresno Three began to find their rhythm which helped the Squad post an 8-5  record which helped to jump-start Their run at the North Division Title. The season the Team finds them on a  game win streak to start the month and can finish the month no worse than 7-6.  I’m not sure what it is, but it seems that Chuck’s teams really start to roll in the second half of the season.

Some other notes and observations…

– The Cyclones (34-17-0-1 69pts) sit on top of the North Division, are in 2nd place in the Conference, and are positioning Themselves for a possible run at the Brabham Cup. According to Hammer’s weekly notes, the Cyclones have a “magic number” of 28 to qualify for the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

– The NHL is in the midst of the Olympic break and the trickle down has begun. The Hamilton Bulldogs have sent down Maxime Lacroix and the Milwaukee Admirals have sent down both Jason Jozsa and Ian McKenzie. The Team is playing well right now so Chuck will have some tough decisions to make. In order to meet roster requirements someone will have to be put on short-term IR and according to the ECHL transactions for 2/16/10 Brett Robinson has drawn the short straw. Regardless of whether or not he has a substantial injury, after 52 games every player has some bumps and bruises to deal with, so hopefully a little rest will re-energize Robo for the stretch run. Defensively I think the choices are even harder. The Boys have been playing well together right now; limiting chances and getting involved in the scoring. If there is a weak spot it would be either Marchesi or Prokop but would inserting Josza for one of them be an upgrade to the line up? I’m not so sure it would be right now.

– Early in the season the big question was how would the Cyclones’ two young goalies develop. After a shaky start it appears they are settling in. Both Smith and Mayer rank in the top 5 for GAA. The tandem has accounted for 4 shutouts on the season (2 a piece). The Team has been lucky this season in that neither goalie has had to carry the load for an extended period as Cedrick Desjardins did down the stretch in 06-07. If that remains to be the case it will be nice to go into the playoffs with 2 relatively fresh goalies. It should be noted that the Canadiens would probably like to move either Cary Price or Jaroslov Halak this season and that could throw a wrench into Chuck’s goalie rotation if the deal that Montreal makes does not include another goalie.

– It’s great having Mark Voakes back in the line up. He’s got a lot of skill and when you look at his numbers it’s hard not to ask where he’d be had he not been hurt most of the year. In the 15 games he’s played he’s put up 7 goals and 5 assists for 12 points. His scoring presence has really opened the ice up for the rest of the team.

– A quick look just about any Cyclones’ score sheet or a trip to the ECHL stat page and the thing that jumps out, at least to me, is how balanced the scoring on this years Squad is. The Team might lack the pure individual skill of the 07-08 team, but it makes up for it in team play. There does seem to be some go to guys, but overall it seems that the names on the score line are always changing. It’s been the case for most of the year so there is no reason to think it won’t continue. It makes the Team very hard to match up against defensively.

– When the Cyclones announced the return of Scott Reynolds, I figured him to hit 50pts. He currently sits at 46pts, I’m thinking he’ll exceed my expectations. It’s great to see too. Scott gets recognized as such a great defensive forward that his offensive ability gets overlooked. This year he’s shown his ability to play a complete game. I wish he’d get the chance to play at the next level.

Congratulations to Dustin Sproat, who recorded his first professional Hat Trick in a 6-2 smack down of the Johnstown Chiefs. Dustin came into training camp with some extra jump in his game and he’s kept it going as the season has progressed. As a side note, the Cyclones will be hosting Their second annual talent show with the proceeds going to Dustin’s foundation Hockey Players for Kids.

– Jason Jozsa has played 10 games with the Admirals so he will be playoff eligible for the Cyclones.

– It won’t be too much longer and we might get to see a few new faces as College hockey winds down. It seems that every year we see a few guys that come out to play on spring break of after their season ends, or as I like to call it “The Billy Irish-Baker Plan.” I mention this simply because Mercyhurst has 7 Seniors this season.

-Mike-

I’m not going to spend too much time on the trip to Kalamazoo which resulted in a 6-3 loss, although I will go as far as to say that even though the result was the same, the Boys played better than they did on their previous trip to Kalamazoo. A week ago the Guys looked lethargic, on this trip the Team looked to have the will and desire to win but just didn’t have the legs after 6 games in 9 days.

Here are a few observations, new and notes that hit me over the weekend:

– The stretch of 6 games in 9 days isn’t much different than what a team might see in the playoffs, so in that regard it’s a good test to show the rookies what a playoff series might feel like. However, in the playoffs both teams are subject to the same schedule.

– The ECHL hasn’t done the Cyclones favors with the schedule. The January schedule had the home/road or road/home turnarounds of at least 5 hours. The most recent was the last trip to Kalamazoo at the end of that 6 in 9 stretch. While the Boys were playing all week the K-wings had several days off. This week the Guys will complete a 3 in 3 with a trip to Kalamazoo where the K-wings will have yet again been resting up for several days.

– The Cyclones went with a short bench on Saturday night. On Friday Chuck went with 11 forwards and 5 defensemen; Mark Voakes returned to the line up and Dwayne Zinger was absent. On Saturday night the Cyclones skated with 10 forwards and 5 defensemen due to the call up of Ian Mckenzie. The short bench definitely didn’t help the Cyclones that night and it raises the a question as to the health of Dwayne Zinger, who did play on Thursday night.

– If Zinger is injured and is going to be out for any length of time, it leaves an already depleted D-core in a tough spot. Both Kevin Roeder and Doug Krantz remain on long term IR and Jason Jozsa is on assignment in Milwaukee which leaves the Team with 6 defensemen, including Zinger. Luckily, the return of Voakes allows either Scott Reynolds or Barret Ehgoetz to drop to the blueline if needed. Depending on the status of Roeder, Krantz and Zinger, I would imagine Chuck will be looking to acquire a D-man from somewhere.

There was a very nice article on Cincinnati.com about Jeremy Smith and Robert Mayer. Be sure to check it out and let Tom Ramstetter know we appreciate the coverage.

– I’ll be heading to the Coach’s Show tonight. Hopefully I’ll get some insight to the defensive situation and the status of Adam Henrich.

-Mike-

Last night the Cyclones put together one of Their best performances of the year and took it to the South Carolina Stingrays defeating them a 3-2 in overtime. If you missed it, you can check out the video highlights here.

In my last post I stated how large a test this was for the Team. South Carolina came in to the game with the League’s best record and an abundance of goal scorers. There is always a question when you see a team from another Division play to a good record, but this wasn’t the case with South Carolina. They have dominated in the South and have more than held their own when opposing teams from the East and North Divisions. South Carolina is a legitimate contender for another Kelly Cup Championship. They have good size, they skate very well, and play a disciplined, team oriented game.

In order to win, or even to simply play with the Stingrays, the Cyclones had to match that style of play. We know the Cyclones can be disciplined so that wasn’t going to an issue. My biggest concern was whether or not the Boys would show up from the opening drop and play for a full 60 minutes or longer. The Guys answered my concern and matched the Stingrays stride for stride.

I don’t want to make the game sound like it was all sunshine and strawberry fields. The Stingray offense generated many good scoring chances and actually out shot the ‘Clones 37-27. The Cyclones could have easily be playing from behind if it weren’t for the team defense of the Cyclones. The Boys kept up with Their stingy defensive play, harmlessly clearing the few rebounds that Robert Mayer left on the weak side. Some say you have to make your own luck in the game of hockey and the Guys worked hard in that department. It seemed like every puck that trickled around or past Mayer was either cleared from the goal mouth, Brett Robinson had a particularly good one late in the 3rd, or they went wide. On the flip side it seemed that the Boys were in the right place at the right in the offensive zone as well.

It was apparent that both teams showed up to play last night. It will be interesting to see what the rematch next Thursday night will bring. Before the Cyclones can think about that they must first deal with the rough turnaround that is a trip to Kalamazoo tonight.

The K-wings are coming off a 5 day rest and the Cyclones will be playing Their 6th game in 9 days, not to mention  They’ll be dealing with the emotional and mental fatigue that comes with an overtime win against the League’s leaders. The Cyclones have dominated the season series with Kalamazoo to this point, but tonight could be a potential let down. However, the Cyclones have a 3 day break from games coming up, so if they can harness the same energy and play as they did last night for one more game, there really isn’t a reason to think a let down will be the case.

In other, possibly related observations,

– The Cyclones went with an odd line up last night, dressing 11 forwards and just 5 defensemen. Absent from the D-core was Dwayne Zinger. Zinger was active in the previous game against Charlotte after being scratched for a few.

– Speaking of Dwayne Zinger, it’s common knowledge that I’m not a huge fan of Dwayne. I do like his leadership and grit and was concerned about skating down one defenseman from the start. After watching the game for just a few minutes it was clear that, at least in my opinion, that Dwayne would not have been able to keep up with the pace of the Stingrays. I have no idea if Dwayne is nursing yet another injury or if it was a strategic move to keep both Morehouse and Benson in  for grit and allowing for Mark Voakes to return to the line up to add some skill, all the while taking the lumbering Zinger out of the equation.

– It was great seeing Mark Voakes back on the ice. He played very well for a guy that hasn’t been in the line up regularly for more than a month, especially on the power play. One can’t help but wonder if he could have been the Teams 3rd All Star had been been healthy for the first half.

– I said in my last post it was going to be crucial for the Cyclones to take advantage of Power Play chances against the Stingrays. The Cyclones went 2 for 4 against the 6th best PK in the lead. The spark that started with Kilpatrick grew to a flame with the addition of Voakes. Hopefully it’s a trend that will continue.

– Robert Mayer was on his game. The big question mark at the beginning of the season was how the two young net minders would develop. Both have proven there metal. Sure there have been a few hiccups along the way and i’m sure there will be a few more, but as long as the great games keep out numbering the bad ones I like our chances.

– What more is there to say about Chris Morehouse. I love the way this kid plays. It’s great that he’s here too because it doesn’t seem that anyone wants to fight Hans Benson. It’s OK though, I haven’t seen Chris turn down a fight yet and the guys that come after him are surprised to find out how tough the kid is.

– I really don’t think anyone in the ECHL wants to fight Hans Benson. I’ve seen Hans have “conversations” with several players and they all back down from Hans and then choose to go with Morehouse a few minutes later.

– Yesterday I made the speculation that we could be seeing Chris Higgins be assigned here at some point as a result of the McLean deal. Higgins was recalled by Syracuse, Gwinnetts AHL affiliate, but no other movement has been announced. Syracuse played last night but and Higgins was not in the line up. So at this point it’s hard to say what the “future considerations” were, are or will be.

– According to the AHL transaction page the Cyclones will be without the services of forward Ian McKenzie tonight in Kalamazoo. He has been recalled to Mikwaulkee by Nashville.

-Mike-

The Cyclones bounced back from a lackluster performance against the Wheeling Nailers to defeat the the Kalamaoo K-wings 3-1. The win puts the Boys on top of the Division by one point and into second place in the conference; the K-wings do have 2 games in hand.

-Jimmy Kilpatrick, Chris Morehouse and Ian Mckenzie all notched their first goals as Cyclones in the victory. I’m glad to see Killer put one up after what has thus far been a season hampered by injury. I always like seeing players like Morehouse score. Labeled as an agitator, or pugilist, he’s not going to score a lot, but he works hard and goes to the “dirty” areas of the ice so when he’s able to light the lamp it adds a bit of a swagger to his game, which already get’s under opponents skin. It appeared to me that after the goal the K-wings were thrown from the game a bit more by Chris and spent more time chasing him than trying to score at times. Ian’s goal was the type of goal I expect to see from him. He made a strong move from the corner and just drove the net. Ian is a big kid and when he plays big he’s down right dangerous at this level.

-Welcome back Robert Mayer. The only goal the K-wings could muster was a Power Play goal on a shot from the point. The rest of the game he did just what Coach Weber asks; stop all of the shots he’s supposed to and a few of the ones he’s not.

-Chris Morehouse was an assist shy of a Gordie Howe hat trick after being involved in one of the most energetic and entertaining fights I’ve seen in some time, and then going on to score the game winner.

-After several posts questioning Dwayne Zinger’s ability to play (his leadership, knowledge and mentoring capabilities were never under question), he has since gotten out of my dog house. While I still don’t think he’s a shut down type defenseman his play is justifies his spot in the the lineup. He has shown the ability to jump into the offensive play, although it still worries me that he’ll get caught behind the play should a turnover occur. His fight with Kalamazoo’s Jurynec was a good one. Jurynec stunned him early but Zinger rallied for the decision.

-The Cyclones have placed Kevin Roeder on 21 day IR where he joins Doug Krantz. I’m not sure what is wrong with Roeder but his presence is missed. At this point it looks like Krantz may be on the shelf for the season. It was said that he is waiting on some things to be sorted out before he can undergo surgery. It’s unfortunate, Doug was one of those kids I was looking forward to watching this season; he has a cannon of a shot which would come in handy on the Power Play right about now.

-The cupboards are starting to get bare. In the event of more injuries or or call-ups to anywhere the Cyclones will be left with a short bench. Dustin Sproat and Mike Mclean are currently on assignment with the Milwaukee Admirals, Ryan Del Monte has been on IR the past few weeks, and Mark Voakes returned to action for a game or two before returning to the IR list. Luckily Milwaukee has sent us Ian Mckenzie, but that leaves the Team with just 9 healthy forwards. Cyclone’s trainer Bob Case is a busy man these days, it’s no wonder he was selected as trainer for the 2010 ECHL All Star Game (sorry for leaving you off the last post Bob!)

-There doesn’t appear to be any help on the horizon from the Milwaukee side. It’s been reported that Mark Van Guilder has sustained a lower body injury and is questionable for this weekends games. Luckily the Admirals added Oren Eizenman so at least a call up shouldn’t be eminent. However, all the injuries mean the return of Sproat and/or Mclean is unlikely with out the call-up of Mckenzie, or having a few players regain some health. It looks like the All Star break is coming at a good time.

-The empty pantry has caused the Coach Weber to find some bodies which he did with the addition of Ryan Ford and Patrik Prokop. Ford, a 5’9″ 195lb forward, was signed out of Evansville of the AAHL. He played his Jr hockey in the OPJHL. Ryan has put up decent numbers, but take it for what’s it’s worth given the leagues he’s been playing in. Chuck has found diamonds in the rough before, perhaps he’s found another. Patrik Prokop was acquired in a trade with Utah with the Cyclones giving up the sometimes controversial “future considerations.” Prokop started the season with Bakersfield and has yet to log a point in 15 ECHL games. Patrik, a 6′ 187lb forward,  is a 1st year pro and played his Jr hockey in the QMJHL where he averaged less than a half point per game. Based on his numbers, I hope this was a cash deal. I can’t imagine giving up any of the unaffiliated players currently on the roster for this kid to complete the deal on the back end.

-It’s unfortunate the the AA Hockey market is so crowded, with three different leagues. Even with the addition of the 2 FNGs, the Cyclones still have just 11 healthy forwards an6 healthy defensemen. It’s too bad the ‘Clones aren’t able to re-acquire the likes of Jason Woll or Mark O’Leary who are both playing in the CHL and thus can’t be acquired unless released by their current squads.

-Not that anyone really cares, but where in the world is Carmen San Diego, I mean Michael Busto. The defenseman of questionable ability was acquired by Montreal in the off season as part of a trade. He was in training camp with the Cyclones and apparently did not impress the staff. He was then moved to the Dayton Gems of the IHL where he played in…no, more like skated around during 2 games.  He was then recalled (more like dismissed from the Gems) by Hamilton, where, if I have my information correct, he was put on IR and never saw the ice. I have know idea if he was actually injured. Now, Mr. Busto is calling Elmira his home as he has been assigned by Hamilton to the Jackals. Where will he end up next?

-Mike-

The Boys came out firing on all cylinders Saturday night and captured a 3-2 win highlighted by a 1 goal, 1 assist night for Dustin Sproat and the beat down Hans Benson gave to Rob LaLonde. In the Sunday afternoon rematch the Cyclones came out flat in the first giving up 2 early goals and they never really recovered on the way to a 4-2 loss, their first loss in 5 games. The weekend split with Reading shows how far the Team has come since the start of the year, but also shows there is still growing to do.

-The Cyclones put forward Mark O’Leary on waivers Saturday. This was probably to make room for Mark Van Guilder, but could also indicate that Mark Voakes is getting close to returning.

-Speaking of Mark Van Guilder…I thought he looked like he was pressing and trying to force his game a bit on Saturday night. He looked much more like the player of last season on Sunday. He didn’t register on the score sheet in either game, but if his play on Sunday is any indication, that will should change soon. In possibly related news, it’s been reported that Nashville forward Jordan Tootoo is out for 4 to 6 weeks. I haven’t seen any roster moves yet, but with Milwaukee playing tonight in Toronto and Tuesday in Hamilton, Nashville playing tonight and Thursday night, I’ll be surprised if something doesn’t happen at some point.

-Dwayne Zinger…OK OK, I’ll leave him alone, at least until Tuesday. Honestly, I think Dwayne played his 2 best games of the season and I hope he keeps it up.

-I liked what I saw out of Jeremy Smith. In past games I’ve noticed him struggle after giving up early goals. I thought he played very well, in spite of giving up the 4 goals. On the 1st goal there were maybe some things he could have done different, but it was an amazing pass from former ‘Clone Ben Gordon to Daniel Steiner, who had eluded his check to receive the pass as he skated to the weak side post unmolested, that made the goal. Then second goal deflected off of Doug Krantz. He probably wants the 3rd goal back, but it was a well placed rocket of a shot by Stefano Giliati that was created by a horrendous turnover off the stick of Ryan Del Monte. On the 4th, a power play goal, the puck managed to find it’s way through 4 players, who were all screening Jeremy, before finally finding the back of the net. Smith battled throughout, in a game that, from the start, just felt like it was going to be one of those games were nothing goes right.

-Reading won the special teams battle going 2 for 12 on the power play whereas the Cyclones were shutout on their 7 chances.

-Whoever picked the 3 stars for Sunday’s game put them in the wrong order. Personally would have gone with Zinger with the 3rd star, Gordon (Reading) with the 2nd and Reading goalie Dalton as the 1st. Sure Gordon had 2 assists, but Dalton stopped 36 of 38 shots and of those 38, 25 of them were high quality chances.

-I had a friend in the visitor’s tunnel waiting to play for the Cincinnait Fire Fighter Hockey Team and he relayed to me how visibly upset the Royals were with their play on Saturday Night. It’s impossible to know how the short turnaround effected the Cyclones, but Reading came out firing on Sunday and the score could have been much worse after the first period. I hope the Cyclones were as upset with their Sunday performance as Reading was with theirs the previous night.

-Next up is Toledo this Tuesday night (12/15).  Toledo will come to town on a 3 game win streak and trailing the Cyclones by just 1 point in the standings; the ‘Clones do have 2 games in hand on the Walleye.