Nick Brunker's Blog
Gameday in Gwinnett!
March 20, 2013 | View Comments
After a short turnaround from the trip out East, the Cyclones are in Gwinnett tonight to open a four-game swing through the South Division. First up...tonight's tilt vs. Gwinnett!
The Cyclones are sitting pretty solid coming into this last road trip of the regular season...they've already clinched the North Division Title and a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. In fact, if they can secure four points in their final six games, they can finish no worse than 2nd in the East!
Make no mistake, though, that this team wants to win the conference and secure home ice advantage throughout. Gwinnett, on the other hand, is in the thick of a tough Eastern Conference race. They hold a slim four point lead over Florida in the South Division. Although former Cyclone Casey Pierro-Zabotel is still in the AHL, they have some very solid offensive players - including Justin Bowers - who has 55 points this season.
Here are some other things to keep in mind for tonight:
- Scoring first, as is normally the case, will be immense...the Clones are 31-6-1-1 this season in such situations while the Glads are 35-4-1-1. It's no secret that early leads often times lead to wins.
- Keep the trend going...the Clones have had 33 shots or more in eight straight games. It's a pretty simple formula, the more you shoot - the better chance you have to score. It's shown in the stats this season.
- Some great names return to the lineup tonight...Not only did Josh Birkholz return from injury this week, the Clones have added Justin Vaive, Josh McFadden, Trevor Lewis, and Jeff Foss. While Vaive and Foss are here on rehab assignments, both of those guys present some tremendous problems for the opposition. Vaive will wear #32...Foss will wear #44.
- It's been Michael Houser's net for the better part of the last month, and that won't change this week. He's been stellar between the pipes for Cincinnati and ranks 2nd among all ECHL goalies with a 92.7 save percentage. Cincinnati did, however, add a back-up this week by the name of Anthony D'Agostini. Like Houser, D'Agostini is an OHL alum with some solid experience over the last four seasons.
We'll be on the air TONIGHT at 6:45pm on the Cyclones Radio Network (FM 100 The FAN, America One, and CyclonesHockey.com). Hope to have you with us!
Don't forget when tagging us on Twitter...be sure to use the hastag #takebackthecup
Interested in keeping an eye on the AHL affiliates and their playoff potential?...check out this great Playoff Primer from TheAHL.com...
Here are the guys currently playing in the AHL that have seen some time with the Cyclones...they need to have at least 5 games in Cincinnati to be playoff eligible:
- Josh Shalla (in Milwaukee)...playoff eligible with 37 games with Cincy.
- Brian O'Hanley (in San Antonio)...playoff eligible with 37 games with Cincy.
- Jared Gomes (in San Antonio)...NOT playoff eligible...needs five games to qualify for playoff roster.
- Cam Reid (in Milwaukee)...playoff eligible with 11 games with Cincy.
- Jonathan Hazen (in San Antonio)...playoff eligible with 12 games with Cincy.
- Anthony Bitetto (in Milwaukee)...playoff eligible with 23 games with Cincy.
- Mike Pelech (in Peoria)...playoff eligible with 50 games with Cincy.
- John McFarland (in San Antonio)...playoff eligible with 23 games with Cincy.
- Garrett Wilson (in San Antonio)...playoff eligible with 38 games with Cincy.
- Patrick Cehlin (in Milwaukee)...NOT playoff eligible...needs 4 games to qualify for playoff roster.
- David MacDonald (in San Antonio)...playoff eligible with 60 games with Cincy.
- Magnus Hellberg (in Milwaukee)...NOT playoff eligible...needs 3 games to qualify for playoff roster.
- Brian Foster (in San Antonio)...playoff eligible with 32 games with Cincy.