As Day two of this four game swing in the Sunshine State aproaches, the Cincinnati Cyclones (26-22-5) will head down to Fort Myers for their first and final match-up with one of the East Division’s top teams, the Florida Everblades (33-13-6).
Last night, the Cyclones did exactly what they needed to do, pick up two more oh so huge points in the standings. I’m not even sure if “Cutting it close” is a good enough phrase to describe last night’s contest against the Orlando Solar Bears. Joe Basaraba got things going for Cincinnati four minutes in where Josh Shalla picked up an assist and his 100th career point in a Cyclones uniform. From there on out, it was a battle of the goaltenders. Both Rob Madore and Maxime Clermont made mind boggling save after mind boggling save. I said it last night, I’ll say it again: Madore won that game for Cincinnati. I lost count of how many times Madore absolutely robbed a goal right from under the Solar Bears. Madore is even beginning to show replications of how he played during last year’s Kelly Cup Final run. At this stage of the season, having a hot goaltender like that is absolutely huge for the Cyclones. Frederick Gaudreau and Geoff Irwin would finish the night off with a pair of empty net goals to seal the deal, 3-0.
At the beginning of the season, the Everblades were seemingly untouchable. As of late, they have really cooled off. They lost back-to-back games last weekend against South Carolina and have lost six of their last ten. They ran the show in the East Division from the beginning of the season well into the month of January. After the All Star Break is where their cool off period began, and they now sit in 2nd of the East Division six points behind the Reading Royals. They also have South Carolina who came from out of nowhere, winning thirteen straight games, just three points behind them in third.
There was another incident in the state of Florida last night as well. Over in Sunrise, the home of one of the Cyclones NHL affiliates, the Florida Panthers, both of the Panthers goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya suffered injuries. This morning, the Panthers recalled Cincinnati goaltender, Sam Brittain in this emergency situation. This is Brittain’s second NHL callup of the season. Although, he likely will not get any playing time, it is nice to see a guy like Sam get called up to the show.
Players to watch Wednesday night:
Cincinnati: F Joe Basaraba (9 G, 9 A) for 18 points and has a +/- of 0. He has points in 4 of his last six games.
Florida: None other than former Cyclone, F Adam Brace (22 G, 25 A) for 47 points and is a +11. He leads the Everblades in points and has points in four straight games.
Your useless stat of the day: The Cyclones have been in the ECHL since 2006-2007. The Everblades since 1998-1999. They have NEVER met once in a Kelly Cup Playoffs series
We get under way inside Germain Arena Wednesday Night at 7:30p.m. Eastern Time as the Cyclones look to grab their 3rd consecutive victory and two more points.