Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reflecting on the Wheeling Series

Sorry it's taken me so long for this entry. Once again my "real job" seriously interferes with the rest of my life.

So, what a series that was! You talk about highs and lows! Truly, there is no shame in that series for either team. Of course I'm darn glad the Cyclones emerged victorious, but had Wheeling won, I would have had to have said that they earned it. I was particularly happy with the wide-open style of hockey played by both teams - sort of old mid-1980's Edmonton Oilers hockey. I love it.

And three cheers to the Nailers for not playing the trap and not playing clutch-and-grab hockey. Even when they had the lead - which is pretty much what we at home had to endure - they played it straight. They didn't stand 4 guys up across the blue line, take the puck, and chip it back into the Cyclones zone. That's not hockey. I hate when teams play it. Wheeling's coaching staff deserves praise for not stooping to that style.

Monday's game 7 was, IMHO, awesome. I know I have said how "special" it was too many times; but it truly was. Games 7 is rare, and OT in game 7 is more rare. Double OT, wow. Incredible - especially when the good guys win at home. My wife has asthma and she says how horrible it is not being able to breathe during an asthma attack; well, I think I started having an asthma attack in the second period and didn't start breathing again until it was all over.

I think the boys got a harsh education in the adversity of playoff hockey. Honestly, I wondered if they could pull through. Thankfully they did. Wheeling was a worthy opponent and put the Cyclones through their paces. The Cyclones ultimately found the way to win. That's what playoff hockey is all about.

Major cudos to the team and the leadership - Coach Weber and Coach Stork - in securing the series success.

The ice cuts for a double-OT game were interesting. The ice is softening up with the spring weather. Trying to give them the best possible ice, I cut as deep as I dared and used as little water as possible. As a result, I filled the snow tank completely on all 5 cuts. I was a little worried that I would have filled it before finishing and have to go dashing off the ice to dump and return. We had a secret code worked out so the rest of the staff would know everything was OK and that was why I was leaving (rather than leaving for some mechanical problem).

Looking ahead, I think Elmira will be a very different series and present new challenges. The Jackals are more of a physical and goonish team. That's fine for the skilled Cyclones as long as they don't lose control of their emotions. It's a difficult balance to put your heart and soul into the game but not get emotional and lose control. They have to do that. Period.

I believe they can. If they do, the series could be a sweep but I think it is more likely to go 5 games.

The Twittering seems to be popular so I'll continue. During the first intermission Monday night I believe I made history - delivering the world's first tweet from upon the Zamboni while resurfacing during a pro hockey game. A buddy of mine happened to catch the moment on camera. Note I'm looking down at something - I'm sending the tweet at this very moment:

Sign up to follow my twittering at:

Let's pack the house this weekend and start this series off with 2 wins!


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