CINCINNATI, OH – Training camp is just days away for the Cincinnati Cyclones as the summer comes to a close. Players report for team orientation on Sunday, and the first on-ice practice will take place on Monday at the club’s practice rink at Northland Ice Center in Evendale. The preseason roster increased to 20 on Wednesday afternoon with the announcement that forwards Shane Heffernan and Stephen Pietrobon, as well as defensemen Matt Geurts, Spencer Metcalfe, Nick Neville, and Cory Melkert were all signed to professional tryout agreements.
Heffernan returns to North America for the first time since the 2011-12 season when he saw eight games with the Federal Hockey League’s Danville Dashers. He’s a well traveled forward that has played mostly in Europe seeing time with teams in Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, and Norway. He split last season between HDD Jesenice in Slovenia and the Jutland Vikings in Denmark. In 20 combined appearances, he totaled 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists).
Pietrobon is coming fresh off of a four-year collegiate career at Niagra University in the NCAA. 2016-17 was his senior year, where he served as alternate captain, and made his professional debut with the now-defunct Elmira Jackals of the ECHL by appearing in two games. In 137 total NCAA games, he accounted for 47 points (20 goals, 27 assists).
Geurts may be a -bit- familiar to Cyclones fans as he was a member of the Alaska Aces last season. In 20 appearances with the Aces, he put up three assists. He attended four years at St. Olaf College, a NCAA Div. III school. He made his professional debut during the 2015-16 campaign, skating in 16 games with Malungs IF in Sweden and accumulating 12 points (three goals, nine assists).
Metcalfe spent all of the 2016-17 season in the Southern Professional Hockey League, logging 26 games between the Mississippi RiverKings and Knoxville Ice Bears. In his first season as a professional, he totaled four points (one goal, three assists). He spent his college days at the University of Prince Edward Island. In 81 collegiate contests, he scored five points (one goal, four assists).
Neville (pictured above) is already signed by the Peoria Rivermen to an SPHL contract for this season, so he’d return to Peoria should he not make the Cyclones opening night roster. After a three-year college career at the University of Denver, he started his full campaign as a professional last season with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays, posting two assists in 18 games. He finished the season in Peoria, racking up four points (one goal, three assists) in seven games.
Similar to Neville, Melkert is already signed to an SPHL contract for this season with the Evansville Thunderbolts. He split last season between Evansville and the Roanoake Rail Yard Dawgs. In 51 SPHL games, he accounted for 13 points (three goals, ten assists). He turned pro in 2015-16 with EHC Timmendorfer Strand 06 in Germany. He also spent four years at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he was team captain during his senior year.
With just nine days until the first preseason game in Wheeling, here’s how the roster stands.
Forwards (11): Mike Barrett (Rookie), Winston Day Chief, Rob De Fulviis, Dylan Denomme (Rookie), Brandon McNally (Rochester), Dylan Nowakowski, Andrew Radjenovic (Rookie), Shane Walsh, Dominic Zombo, Shane Heffernan (PTO), and Stephen Pietrobon (PTO)
Defensemen (7): Arvin Atwal (Rochester), Eric Knodel, Chris Leone, Matt Geurts (PTO), Spencer Metcalfe (PTO), Nick Neville (PTO), and Cory Melkert (PTO)
Goalies (2): Anthony Peters (Rochester) and Davis Jones