Just over 48 hours are left until all the preparation from the past six months will go into effect. On Thursday afternoon, the Cincinnati Cyclones unveiled the 21-man roster that they will start the season with. The 2015-2016 Cyclones will consist of 11 forwards, seven defensemen, and three goalies. By November 15th, that number will need to drop down from 21 to 20. I believe the expectation now is that Lake Erie will recall either Peter Quenneville or Brad Thiessen by then.

But before getting into the guys who DID make it, one player I’m surprised that DIDN’T make it: Forward Gabriel Levesque came in on a PTO and truly impressed me notching a goal and an assist in a pair of exhibition games, and was all over the ice both games. Mr. Levesque should have no issues finding other spots based on that performance with the odds going against him.

The Opening Day Roster will consist of:

Forwards: Zach Budish, Jack Downing, Branden Gracel, Nick Huard, Christiaan Minella, Garrick Perry, Peter Quenneville, Jaynen Rissling, Eric Robinson, Joe Wilson, and Andrew Yogan

Defense: Cody Carlson, Kevin Lind, Ryan Misiak, Mike Ratchuk, Ben Schmidt, Steve Weinstein, and Riley Weselowski

Goalies: Neil Conway, Brad Thiessen, and Brandon Whitney

Injured Reserve: (D) Brett Wysopal, and (F) Mike Hammond

One of the biggest preseason shockers was Christiaan Minella. He wasn’t a big point scorer last season and suddenly coming into this season, he tied Eric Robinson for the most points during those two exhibition games. If he can translate that into the regular season, nothing but good things going for Cincinnati. On the back-end, the two vets led the way as Ratchuk and Weselowski played fantastic together. If Coach Macdonald keeps them together, without a doubt the top defensive line this season.

I’m confident in all three goaltenders, so once again, Cincinnati has no problems between the pipes. Conway was placed on reserve yesterday, so on Saturday night against Toledo, the Cyclones will be rolling with Thiesen and Whitney, with Thiessen likely getting the start against the Walleye’s Jeff Lerg.

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