I had some stuff to do in Cincinnati this weekend, so I took advantage of those travel plans to join up with some WOXY boarders at US Bank Arena to watch the Cyclones play the (CBJ affiliate) Elmira Jackals.
On my way to USBA, I got stuck in traffic downtown and started wondering if all those people were headed to the hockey game. Are $10 tickets sufficient to bring the Cyclones back to 1990-91 levels of fan support? Turns out, they’re not — all the traffic was to see Larry the Cable Guy at the Taft Theatre. So hockey is still a niche interest in Cincinnati, while really dumb stand-up comedy is popular. Git-r-done, indeed.
There was a healthy crowd at USBA — 5,178. Not a packed house, but far better than the average 1700 they were doing last season. So maybe hockey is on the way back in Cincinnati.
There were only two Jackets prospects on the Jackals, at least that I noticed — Trevor Hendrikx and Kyle Wharton. I thought they both had decent games; Wharton scored a goal and looked like a solid offensive d-man. Although I’ve never quite had the knack for watching a player at say the ECHL level and accurately predicting their ability to move up to a higher level. I’ll leave that to the professional scouts to say if either of those guys have a future in the CBJ org.
The Cyclones certainly didn’t look like a team on the verge of setting a league record for consecutive wins early on in the game. Elmira jumped out ahead early, and the Cyclones only mounted a comeback after Elmira got into penalty trouble, giving away a series of five-on-threes. In the end, it came down to the shootout, and Cincinnati finished the Jackals off to have their winning streak hit 15 games, which is now the new ECHL record. Congratulations to them, and here’s hoping we’re entering into a nice long period of stability and decent fan support for hockey in Cincy.
And after the game, while sitting in the garage listening to the cacophony of horns (quite possibly the most annoying sports tradition I’ve encountered) I checked the NHL scores and saw the Jackets had beaten the Habs 3-0. Which brought their winning streak to two games — not quite fifteen, but from the CBJs, I’ll take it.