With the Ads off til Thursday and Christmas soon upon us, let’s take a look down on the
farm and at the season as a whole so far.
With a record of 17-8-2-0 the Cyclones currently lead the North Division of the ECHL by three points over the Toledo Walleye. Cincinnati is riding a three-game win streak into the Christmas break after beating South Carolina back-to-back on Friday and Saturday.
After getting out to a three-goal lead Friday, the Cyclones had to fend off the rallying Stingrays with rookie David Pacan scoring his first career game-winner to seal the 6-5 victory.
Saturday night was a tighter affair with Cincinnati getting both the goals it needed in the second period from Garrett Wilson and John McFarland. Starting goalie Brian Foster earned first-star honors with 25 saves.
Center Michael Pelech leads Cincy with 21 points in 27 games, while Pacan is second with 18 in 20 games. Foster has been impressive in net as the main starter with a 12-3-2 record and a .913 save percentage. Backup Zoltan Hetenyi has compiled a 2-4 record with a .883 save percentage in six starts.
Shifting our gaze back up to the Admirals, its shaping up to be a close battle all year in the Midwest division. If the playoffs started today Milwaukee would miss the cut, but they sit just three points out of the eighth spot.
In last place in the division with 29 points, the Ads are just five points behind first place Grand Rapids with more than half the season left to go. Everyone has a winning record in the Midwest meaning every win over a Midwest opponent bears even more importance than usual.
It seems a bit early to be talking about the postseason, but if things stay tight these games against Rockford and Peoria could end up making the difference in tie-breaker scenarios down the line.
The biggest thing that’s plagued the Admirals (and really every team in the division) this season is inconsistency. That’s understandable looking at Milwaukee’s situation. They’ve had a nice start in a transition period under Dean Evason. With leaders like Captain Scott Ford and scorers like Kyle Wilson gone, other names like Austin Watson have stepped in to fill the void.
New captain Mike Moore has been out since November, but assistant captains Chris Mueller and Mark Van Guilder have been solid offensively. MVG has quietly been the team’s best facilitator in my opinion.
Evason has been pleased with a nice level of competitiveness that has developed between Jeremy Smith and Magnus Hellberg. Hellberg’s challenged Smitty more than he was last season and its starting to see fruition.
What’s your take on the season so far?
Whose your team MVP so far?
What are your holiday plans with the Ads off for most of the week?