CINCINNATI, Ohio- Amid the excitement of the Reds MLB Division Championship the Cyclones 2012 training camp has begun. Coach Jarrod Skalde has assembled a solid core of returning veterans and some promising newcomers to the US Bank Arena ice.
The return of hockey season to the region has fans on both sides of the river stoked. The preseason contest on October 5, between the ‘Clones and the Wheeling Nailers was a chippy tilt. The home crowd at US Bank Arena was treated to a show of great defense that held the West Virginians to a pair of tallies. The defense held off a five-on-three onslaught that left the Nailers frustrated. The Cyclones offense potted a trifecta of goals to send the crowd home happy.
Game two of the preseason was held in Wheeling on Sunday, October 7. The Nailers returned the favor and beat the Cyclones soundly by a score of 9-4. Wheeling scored six unanswered goals in the second stanza to take control of the contest. Thankfully for the Cylones, this was a game where evaluation of players was the primary purpose.
OFFENSE- With a total of seven goals scored over six periods it seems that the squad will have scoring punch. Whether this will be fluctuating depending upon line combinations will be seen as the season develops. Past performances by first and second line players bode well, as there has been proven scoring ability within this group.
DEFENSE- A hallmark of the Cyclones under Coach Skalde has been a solid corps of blueliners. Defensemen and the defensive pairings are well prepared and thought out. The ‘Clones have shown the building of defense has been paramount over the years. Player development in this area has been consistent and thorough.
SPECIAL TEAMS- The limited amount of power plays will show that this is an area under development as it was last campaign. This edition of the power play for the upcoming season will remain a mystery until it is a proven scoring threat.
Penalty kill is already showing to be a force to be reckoned with and has been an asset in past seasons that corresponds with defensive development.
GOALTENDING- Primary net minding duties usually are entrusted to prospects from the NHL parent clubs. This season the position will be stocked after this article is written and published but it is usually well manned.
INTANGIBLES- The club is historically top tiered with respect to talent. This of course is dependent upon the depth of the AHL affiliates in Milwaukee and San Antonio. If there is stability and few injuries above the ECHL level the personnel movement is limited at critical times during the season.
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