Nick Brunker's Blog
2010-11 Regular Season Begins This Friday
October 11, 2010 | View Comments
Title Defense Begins Friday: The Cyclones open up their 2010-11 regular season against Elmira in search of title defense. Cincinnati won their second Kelly Cup title on May 21, 2010 with a 2-1 win over the Idaho Steelheads - taking the series four games to one. After winning the ECHL’s top prize in 2008, the ‘Clones followed with a 41-26-2-3 record in the 2008-09 season, earning an North Division Championship in the process. That year, they fell in the American Conference Finals to eventual-champion South Carolina.
About Friday Night at Wheeling: The Wheeling Nailers utilized a pair of power play goals by Kyle Bushee and Dan Henningson to defeat the Cyclones by a 4-1 score in front of 2,018 at WesBanco Arena on Friday night. Cincinnati struggled on the power play, finishing the night 1-for-8. The Nailers were 2-for-6. The lone Cyclones goal came from Ryan Del Monte, who tipped home a Brad Schroeder point shot late in the 3rd period.
About Saturday Night vs. Wheeling: The Cyclones kept the foot on the gas pedal for 60 minutes, thumping the Nailers 5-1 at Northland Ice Center. Five different Cyclones recorded goals for the home team. Defenseman Adam Bartholomay had a strong night as well, collecting three assists. Rookie goaltender Marc Cheverie turned aside 26 of 27 Wheeling shots in his first ECHL preseason start.
Under New Leadership: The Cyclones will begin a new era of hockey this week, as Head Coach Jarrod Skalde and Assistant Coach Scott Fankhouser will both stand behind the Cincinnati bench for the first time. Skalde takes over for Chuck Weber, who earned an AHL coaching job in Rochester this year. Both Skalde and Fankhouser have seen time in the NHL. Skalde played 115 games at hockey’s highest level, spending time with eight different teams during that stretch. Fankhouser, meanwhile, appeared between the pipes in 23 games for the Atlanta Thrashers.
Aye Aye, Captain: For the fifth-straight season, Barret Ehgoetz will once again don the Cyclones colors. The Captain was the only player to have been a part of all four years of the Chuck Weber Era in Cincinnati. He owns 21 team records including the career scoring lead (233 points), games played (271), assists (152), shorthanded goals (eight) and shots on goal (696). In the 2009-10 regular season, the Cyclones Captain logged 69 games – scoring 23 goals and 40 assists.
Scouting the Jackals: The Cyclones and Jackals spilt the 2009-10 season series, 2-2. However, Cincinnati leads the All-Time series with Elmira, posting a 16-7-0-2 record over three seasons.. Former Cyclones Head Coach Malcolm Cameron takes over the Jackals this year after spending the last two seasons behind the bench of the Florida Everblades. Coincidentally, Cameron’s 2009-10 team eliminated Elmira in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs - disponsing of them in five games.
Familiar Faces: This season’s roster features 12 Cyclones players who were on the Kelly Cup Championship squad last year. Barret Ehgoetz, Brett Robinson, Mathieu Aubin, Chris Morehouse, Ryan Del Monte, Scott Reynolds, Brock Sheahan, Matt Pierce, Brian O’Hanley, Kevin Roeder, Jeremy Smith and Doug Krantz will all be looking for a repeat.
Adding offense to the “D”: The Cyclones added some offensive potency to their blue-line this offseason when they added defending ECHL Defenseman of the Year, J.C. Sawyer to the 2010-11 Roster. He had a career year with Toledo in 2009-10 by pacing all ECHL defenseman in goals (21), points (59), and game-winnings goals (7). His 38 assists ranked him second among league blue-liners, while he finished tied for fourth with 18 power-play assists and fifth with 24 power-play points.
Solid in net again: For the second straight season, the Cyclones will have a strong duo between the pipes. 2010 ECHL All-Star and Kelly Cup Playoffs Co-MVP Jeremy Smith is back with Cincinnati for his second year of work. Last season he posted a 2.63 GAA, good for 2nd in the ECHL. Florida Panthers prospect, Marc Cheverie will also see time in net this season. The rookie comes to Cincinnati after three seasons at the University of Denver. He was a Hobey Baker Top-10 Finalist last season and the INCH Goaltender of the year.
At Home on the Road: The 2010-11 edition of the Cyclones will look to repeat great success while away from U.S. Bank Arena. Last season, they earned the second-most road victories in all of the ECHL..posting a 21-14-0-1 record. Only Idaho had a better road mark, going 23-8-2-3 in 2009-10.
Looking to stay stingy: Last year’s title team had tremendous team defense all season long. The Cyclones allowed 200 goals in the regular season - second fewest in the ECHL. Only the Idaho Steelheads surrendered fewer goals (191).
Family Ties: Cyclones rookie goaltender Marc Cheverie has a family history with Cincinnati. His brother, Evan, played with the Cyclones for two seasons (2002-04)...notching 70 points in 83 games during that stretch. Only two other sets of family members have ever played for the Cyclones...but neither at the same time. Cam Stewart played with Cincinnati from 1996-97 while younger cousin, Greg, was with the 2006-07 Cyclones. The Bozoian brothers, A.J. and Mike, also played for Cincinnati....A.J. from 2007-08 and Mike from 2003-04.
Getting a shot at the “A”: Cyclones veteran forward Scott Reynolds added to his extensive hockey resume last weekend when he made his AHL debut with the Rochester Americans. In his first game on Saturday, the 29-year-old notched his first career AHL assist in a 4-2 Americans win over Toronto. It was also former Cyclones Head Coach Chuck Weber’s first career regular season win at the Triple-A level.
Catch the Coors Light Cyclones Coaches Show: Join Head Coach Jarrod Skalde and select players every Monday night from 7-8pm at the Great American Sports Cafe as they talk with Nick Brunker about all things Cyclones. This week will be the debut show for the 2010-11 season. The entire team will be on hand to meet fans in attendace.