Monday, March 30, 2009

Three Cheers for the Good Guys

I found this buried on page 6 of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Sunday March 29, 2009.

This is an awesome program initiated by Dustin Sproat while he was in Fresno and is now established in seven cities.

Read the article.

Check out the website.

Say "thanks, Dustin" the next time you see Sproat and the rest of the guys.

Spread the word.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


That's her name.

The guest Zamboni driver for the pre-game cut tonight was Destiny. She's a local Zam driver I spotted and recognized as talented. Once upon a time, somebody gave me a chance. It's only natural, when the time is right, to do the same for somebody else.

Zamboni driving is part learned skill, part a form of art, and a heavy dose of caring enough to perfect your skill and your art. I see that spark in Destiny. Circumstances all worked out, and she got her shot.

She did pretty darn good, eh?

She owes me a blog entry about her experience. Stay tuned for that.

Now let's hope the Cyclones shake off tonight's loss and fulfill their playoff Destiny!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Surprise Tomorrow...

... if I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise, would it?

Suffice to say it will happen during the ice cut between warmup and the first period.

Want to see it happen? Show up.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Status: 3-21-09

As of today the Cyclones stand alone in First Place in the North Division, with all division teams having played 64 games. But with 74 points is a 4-way tie between Johnston, Trenton, Elmira, and Wheeling. Mathematically, Dayton is still in unlikely playoff contention with 63 points. Only Reading is out but 6 teams in contention is more teams that the total of teams in each of the other divisions.

That's a long-winded way of saying that the last 8 games are crucial for the Cyclones, any way you shake it.

It's going to be a wild ride, and fun to watch the stats and standing jumping around these last few weeks. This will be the last post I comment on standings. Call it superstition, but every time I've commented on their place in the standings, they've immediately fallen.

It will be like bumper-cars down the home stretch, the Cyclones need to play their best game every night and put the occasional inconsistency behind them. If they can do that, that can do the unprecedented in ECHL hockey.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What a Difference a Couple of Weeks Make

A couple of posts ago, I commented on the Cyclones hot/cold performance and lamented that they were in second place, firmly, but with odds against gaining first place. Well, times have changed - mostly.

Last weekend was another Friday night loss followed by a Saturday night blowout win. I'd really like to see them tune that up but the fact that they bounce back. It shows character and it shows that they slip but they don't like to lose. They'll have to work on that for playoffs but they are definitely on the right track.

In the last 10 games, they are 6-4-0-0 which is consistent with their over season average of .592. Meanwhile, Johnstown as slid with a last-ten record of 3-6-1-0. Their misfortune puts the Cyclones in the #1 place in the division with Johntown now having played the same number of games instead of having extra games in-hand.

Wheeling is two points behind and has played one more game. The race to keep first place is definitely between the Cyclones and the Chiefs and our boys have the momentum. This is a very good time of year to have the edge in the momentum department.

The teams meet in 5 of the Cyclones' last 12 games. Their destiny is in their hands. Three of those games are the final three home games.

No excuses, Cyclones fans - we all need to be there to raise the roof on USBA for these games!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Ice Out For Circus

I've written before about the icemaking process. This post is about ice removal. Once ice goes in for hockey in September or October, the only time it comes out is for the circus. For all other shows it is covered but the circus needs to access tie-in points in the concrete.

To remove the ice, the compressors are turned off and "downdraft" fans are turned on to push the heat from the ceiling down at the floor to facilitate melting. It actually starts melting pretty fast. Once it 'pops' then it's time to take it out. Basically the pop us just the melting process at the point when the ice bond to the concrete below is broken.

Then, bring in the Bobcat. I've done ice removals before where we just let it melt and then cleaned the floor by a massive spray-down with a fire hose. The Bobcat method is not only quicker, but it conserves water. I did not participate in the removal that happened March 1, 2009 but I did get pictures of the aftermath.

You can see the giant piles of ice that was sheared up by the Bobcat and deposited outside the southeast corner of the building:

You can see that from the chunks that it is not terribly thick. Ice acts as an insulator; in fact an inch of ice has about the same insulation qualities as an inch of pink fiberglass attic insulation. Yes it is cold, but the raw insulation factor is about the same. So if you let the ice build up too think, it actually insulates against itself whereby the top of the ice is too far away and too insulated from the cold pipes below, so the top stays soft and slow to skate it.

Here are close-ups of just how thick (well, thin, actually) the ice is:

Keep rooting for the Cyclones while they are on the road for the next two weeks, then be sure to come out for their homecoming March 18!

2-28-09: Redemption

The Cyclones' A-Team showed up Saturday night! As they have done several times this year, they let themselves get knocked around by a team one night, then come back the next and whack them hard. I guess that is better than winning first, then falling apart. It concerns me a little, because in the playoffs they will have to work that out and be more consistent; but they are proving what they can do. The just have to do that every night.

There redemption Saturday night was made even more sweet with Johnstown suffering an uncharacteristic 3-game losing streak. The Cyclones now nold the #1 spot in the division with 69 points - a 4-point cushion over the Chiefs, who still have two games in-hand on the Cyclones, so the best they could do is Tie if they win both of those games. Elmire and Wheeling also threaten with 65 points; both have only one game in-hand on the Cyclones and not a good of a record so they are less of a threat.

I had my own bit of redemption Saturday night by not crashing the Zamboni. My mojo is in my hat, I guess. I remembered the "Speedy Hat" Saturday night and all was right with the world again.