Cyclones remain within striking distance of first place in ECHL North

CINCINNATI, Ohio—As the Cyclones have entered the new year, the club has had a successful season thus far. Sitting at or near the top of the North

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Division battling rivals for supremacy has not always been a smooth ride. Several recent losses to conference foes have jumbled the standings as Toledo has risen inside the North. The squad has weathered the storm and has eight come from behind wins to their credit thus far. Recently, the club managed a four-goal comeback against the Icemen in Evansville to regain first place in the division. The ‘Clones have also acquired some muscle in a three-team trade. Bringing Andrew Conboy from the Wheeling Nailers to the Queen City completed an earlier future considerations deal. Conboy scored a goal in the Evansville tussle in his first game as a Cyclone. The penalty kill unit has continued its’ strong play, though there have been fewer shorthanded goals scored this season. The defense and strong netminding by Brian Foster and newcomers Michael Houser and Zoltan Hetenyi have anchored the team. Blueliner Brian O’Hanley has been a veteran presence and leader this campaign. The defensive pairings have worked well together and the chemistry has been good on most nights giving support to the goaltender in net.
Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Offensively there have been a few hiccups for short periods, but overall the second and third periods have been the stronger scoring stanzas. The club has outscored opponents by a wide margin during the final period so far this season, allowing for the comeback wins. This group is never really out of a game until the final horn has sounded. The team ended 2012 with a road loss to the Kalamazoo Wings, a close game. Another one-goal loss that is always disappointing but as said earlier, a mere bump in the road, when compared to an entire season. The team began 2013 with another trade by swapping defenseman Maury Edwards for Taylor Ellington with the Florida Everblades.
Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

The first game of the new year pitted the ‘Clones against old IHL rival the Ft. Wayne Komets. This was a heated rivalry in the 1990s as both squads battled for divisional supremacy for many years. Rookie Michael Houser started in net for the Cyclones. The Cyclones gained the edge at 13:08 with a goal by John McFarland. There was no further scoring in the first period. Midway through period two, the Komets evened the score at one-apiece. Anthony Luciani broke the tie less than two minutes later with a sharp shot over the shoulder of the Komets netminder Marcos Cousineau. Ft. Wayne returned the favor as Cory Elkins scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game at two each. Mike Embach wristed a shot past Cousineau at the midpoint of the third stanza to gain a 3-2 edge for the Cyclones. David Pacan scored an empty net goal at 19:47 to seal the win. The final score 4-2 over the Komets. The Cyclones lead Toledo in the division race by two points. THROWBACK NIGHT & THE TEDDY BEAR TOSS Saturday night the Cyclones held their annual retro jersey night combined with a teddy bear event to benefit traumatized children. The Ft. Wayne Komets provided the opposition and a crowd of over 12,000 fans came to US Bank Arena to sample the action.
Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

The Cyclones scored first on a goal by Andrew Conboy and the teddy bears rained down upon the ice. The Cyclones led after the first period, but Ft. Wayne fought back in the second period to tie the score at three apiece. Then the Komets took over the game and established a 5-3 lead in the third stanza. The ‘Clones managed to reduce the deficit to one goal, but were unable to overcome the fifth goal and lost the contest 5-4.
Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

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Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Photo by Rob Huelsman

Contact the author/Photographer at Rob.Huelsman@Prohockeynews.com Follow us on Twitter @prohockeynews

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