RUNDOWN LOWDOWN: Having completed their schedule for the first four months of the 2012-13 ECHL season, the Evansville IceMen are set to embark on a 12-game slate for the month of February. Under the direction of third year General Manager/Head Coach Rich Kromm, the IceMen completed the month of January with 4-consecutive defeats including 3-setbacks in as many days the past weekend; all against their own North Division rivals. Through 46-games, the IceMen are occupying fifth place in the Eastern Conference North Division standings with a record of 46(16-26-4) totaling 36-points. The hometown icers commence the new week, and with it, the new month 7-points behind fourth place Kalamazoo 43(19-19-5) 43-points. The IceMen have 26-games remaining on their regular season slate with 10-of those assignments set for hometown review and 16-more dates reserved for road warfare. This week, the IceMen broach February with a pair of home encounters at the Ford Center. This Friday night, North Division front-running Cincinnati will check-in for a resumption of the redoubtable rivalry which has escalated and intensified immensely through 8-dates thus far this season. Saturday night, the Elmira Jackals of the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division make their second appearance downtown in our town.
HOMESTAND TWO: This weekend, the IceMen launch the month of February with a two-game weekend homestand in as many nights against the first place Cincinnati Cyclones on Friday night followed by the invasion of the ECHL’s Upstate New York entry Elmira on Saturday night. This Saturday night has been designated “Heart Night” with the IceMen donning special game jerseys which will be auctioned immediately following the game. It’s also “Toyota Night” on Saturday night.
“ICEMEN LIVE PRESENTED BY COORS LIGHT”: It’s yet another fun-filled, entertaining two hours’ edition of the IceMen ever-popular Monday night radio show this week. It’s “IceMen Live Presented by Coors Light!” Show host, Terry Ficorelli’s special guests will be All-Star right wing Nathan Moon and first year pro right wing Sebastian Wannstrom. It’s “IceMen Live Presented by Coors Light,” Monday night from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm live from Show-Me’s East and on flagship radio home, “Magic 98.5 FM” and 1400 AM WEOA as well as world-wide on the internet at magic985fm.com and 1400amweoa.com.
WRAP THE RECAP: Confronting 3-games in 3-days the past weekend against their own North Division rivals, the IceMen sustained 3-consecutive setbacks. Beginning Friday night at Cincinnati, the IceMen winless spell at the U.S. Bank Arena reached 4-straight decisions in a 7-3 undoing. A Cyclones’ 4-goals opening period siege was too daunting to surmount for the Evansville club. Todd Robinson (1-1-2), Sebastian Wannstrom and Kevin Baker each made connection for the “Icers.” Returning home Saturday night before a large, loud crowd of 8,213, the IceMen could not secure a late second period 2-0 advantage as archrival Fort Wayne erupted for 3-late middle stanza strikes stoked 5:36 apart to catapult into victory lane, 4-2. Daniel Tetrault (1-1-2)FG/PPG and Josh Beaulieu (PPG) were the IceMen marksmen with Todd Robinson engineering 2-more resourceful assists. Sunday in Toledo, it was another strong and stellar effort for the Coach Kromm crew as it bowed to the Walleye, 4-1. It was a tight taut-fraught 1-0 Toledo lead until the waning stages of the contest. Kevin Baker did avert an Evansville shutout with his team’s lone goal which came at 19:20 of that fateful final frame.
CHECKERED RECORD: With their 12-game January schedule now completed, the IceMen, through 46-games, have compiled a season’s mark of 46(16-26-4) 36-points. Their present 4-game losing spell matches their longest of the season. The IceMen are 6(1-5-0) in their last 6-starts with their lone and last win in that span coming back on January 18th when they dismissed Kalamazoo in OT at the Ford Center, 4-3. January represented the third consecutive month in which the IceMen launched the new month with a significant unblemished skein only to wither in the latter stages of the same monthly period. Thus, the IceMen have yet to achieve a winning month in their inaugural ECHL campaign. They concluded January with a 12(5-6-1) record after commencing the New Year riding the crest of a 4-game undefeated streak at 4(3-0-1). Since the All-Star break: 3(0-3-0); since the start of the second half of the schedule; 10(4-5-1); since the beginning of the New Year; 12(5-6-1). Longest win streak has been 3-in a row; longest unbeaten streaks; 6(4-0-2) for the first 6-games in December; 4(3-0-1) for the first 4-games in January. Longest winless stretch; 7(0-6-1) mirroring the first 7-games of this season. The month accounting: October 7(0-6-1); November 14(6-8-0); December 13(5-6-2); January 12(5-6-1).
HOME DATE RATE: Through their first 26-home games, the IceMen have essayed a mark of 26(11-15-0) for 22-points in the standings. They have dropped their last 2-Ford Center appearances; 2(0-2-0); they are 4(1-3-0) in their last 4 at home with the lone victory coming back on January 18th in an OT 4-3 triumph over Kalamazoo. Evansville completed January with a home mark of 7(4-3-0). Since the All-Star break; 1(0-1-0); since the start of the second half; 6(3-3-0); since the New Year; 7(4-3-0). Longest home win streaks have been 4-in a row and 3-in succession with the latter attained during January.
ROAD REPAIR CARE: By bowing in a pair of foreign ice affairs this past weekend, the IceMen saw their road record for the season depreciate to 20(5-11-4). They are 4(1-2-1) in their last quartet of acts away from home bay. It is the club’s lone road win since Thanksgiving weekend back on November 24th at Reading where they stunned the Atlantic Division runaway leading Royals, 4-2. On the road; last 11(1-7-3); last 13(2-8-3). Longest winless spell abroad; 8(0-5-3); since the All-Star break; 2(0-2-0); since the second half; 4(1-2-1); since the New Year; 5(1-3-1).
DIVISION DEALING: The IceMen record by division at this juncture of the 2012-13 ECHL season as we approach the month of February for game activity. Within their own North Division; 28(11-14-3); in the midst of 7-consecutive games within their North Division, the IceMen record is 6(1-5-0) with the lone triumph that OT win over Kalamazoo. The IceMen opposing the Atlantic Division; 11(3-7-1); against the South Division; 7(2-5-0).
PREMIERE PROS: Left wing Josh Beaulieu 46(18-23-41) and Todd Robinson 38(3-37-40) have ascended into the top 20 in ECHL league-wide scoring. Robinson tops the loop in total assists (37); PPA (21) and is third in the league in PP/points (21). Meanwhile, Beaulieu ranks circuit sixth in PPG with 9 and third in GWG with 5.
PRINCE PRE-EMINENCE: Fourteen-year veteran center Todd Robinson has been on another one of his patented scoring scourges in recent action. “T. Rob” has been integral and instrumental on 8 of his teams’ last 11-goals; last 5-games; 5(1-7-8); last 12-games; 12(2-15-17). Robinson is the IceMen nomination for ECHL Player of the Week.
BETTER BAKER’S DOZEN: Right wing Kevin Baker has become a goal-scoring architect for the IceMen since his acquisition from the Orlando Solar Bears. The past week, in 3-games, he authored 3-points including 2-goals. For the season, the 33-year-old 9-year pro has fired and wired 14-goals with 10 of those being brewed with the IceMen; 20(10-3-13). Included in his scoring output are 3-GWG, 5-PPG, 4-FG and 1-OT/GWG.
DEFENSE DUET DEBUT: Two more new defensemen have debuted on the IceMen continually injury-riddled and ravaged blue line. The past week, #8 T.J. Miller made his premiere appearance, seeing service in all 3-games in 3-days. The third-year pro from Northern Michigan U. was procured off waivers from Elmira. Also debuting was fourth year pro #4 Matt Krug who the IceMen obtained in a deal from Toledo, moments before the IceMen tackled the Walleye the past Sunday. The fourth year pro performed his expertise in 2009-10 when he was a member of the IHL Huber Trophy Champions, the Muskegon Lumberjacks, capturing the IHL Defenseman of the Year Award, IHL Rookie of the Year, IHL First Team All-Star and the league’s top scoring defenseman. His coach that star-studded season was his present mentor behind the bench in Evansville, Rich Kromm.
THE LITANY OF LESIONS: The IceMen have been depleted and otherwise decimated with injuries, maladies and infirmities all season with as many as 11-player personnel incapacitated at one time. Currently, still, there are 7-players on the shelf including names the ilk and constellation of defensemen Philippe Plante, Matt Gens, Aaron Gens and Austin Madaisky along with left wing Oliver Gabriel and right wings Nathan Moon and Trent Vogelhuber.
UNEVEN STRENGTH STRONG: The IceMen special teams continue to be luminous and lustrous in this ’12-13 season. The power plant power play is 5 for the last 18 for a proficiency rating of an outstanding 27.3%. Meanwhile the penalty-killing ensemble cast has been consistently cohesive all season long. The IceMen ace shorthand band has disarmed and defused 40 of the last 44-advantages afforded the adversary for an efficiency marking of an extraordinary 90.9%. Evansville has notched 3-SHG thus far this season with rookie right wing Trent Vogelhuber accounting for 2 of those markers while Matt Gens has cashed in one SHG strike-snipe. The IceMen have allotted a league-high 11-SHGA.
THE MAKINGS OF MILESTONES: Kevin Baker (242) is 8-assists away from pro career 250. Josh Beaulieu (42-47-89) is 11-points shy of 100 with the IceMen. Dylan Clarke (92) is 8-points shy of pro 100. Mark Cody (191) is 9-games away from pro career 200. Jim McKenzie (288) is 12-games away from pro career 300. T.J. Miller (92) is 8-games away from 100. Josh Beaulieu is the lone IceMen player to play in all 46-games this season. Coach Rich Kromm (388) is 12-wins away from career 400.
FEW FUN FAST FACTS FROM “FIC”: The IceMen have attracted 20,290 fans for their last 3-home games for an average of 6,763. After claiming conquests in their first 3-contests this season against Toledo, including an 8-5 demolition back on 12/7 in Evansville, the IceMen have dropped the last 3-in a row, being outscored, 10-2. The IceMen are 3(2-1) in OT outcomes this season, winning the latter 2-consecutively. The IceMen are 3(0-3) in the OTSO thus far this season as the last 10-consecutive OTSO affairs have taken place on the road. The IceMen have yet to engage in the OTSO at home since their move to the Ford Center for the 2011-12 season. When the IceMen score 4 or more, their record is 14(13-1-0).
THE ICEMEN GAME CALENDAR FOR THIS WEEK:
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST CINCINNATI AT THE ICEMEN 7:15 PM
For the ninth time, this brewing and simmering rivalry is rekindled. The IceMen are 8(3-4-1) against the first place Cyclones who enter the new month of February owning a 5-game unblemished skein overall; 5(4-0-1) and a 3-game win streak on the road where they are 10(7-3-0) in their past 10-escapades. Evansville is 3(2-1-0) in 3-home dates against the “Queen City Sextet,” dispatching their nearby rivals, 4-1 in the last action back on January 6th at the Ford Center.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND ELMIRA AT THE ICEMEN 7:15 PM
The fourth and final time in regular season competition that the IceMen and the Jackals lock horns. Through the previous three encounters, the IceMen are 3(1-1-1). In the Jackals first appearance here in Evansville back on December 28th, they defeated the IceMen, 6-3. In the most recent action, back on the weekend of January 11th and 12th, the IceMen extracted 3 of a possible 4-points by virtue of 2-OT results, capturing the second game, 4-3 on a Josh Beaulieu strike stoked with the first shot in the first minute of OT at the :38 mark. That goal halted an IceMen dreadful and dastardly 8-game winless streak in enemy territory.
THE ICEMEN ON THE NEW “MAGIC 98.5 FM” WEOA/WEOA-AM 1400 & THE ICEMEN RADIO NETWORK:
All of the IceMen game broadcasts are on flagship stations; the all-new “Magic 98.5 FM, WEOA as well as on WEOA-AM 1400. Also, they are on the world-wide internet at 1400amweoa.com and magic985fm.com as well as the IceMen Radio Network. WLME-FM 102.7, “The Game” in Owensboro, KY; WMSK-AM 1550, Morganfield, KY and WVLN-AM 740 in Olney, IL broadcast the complete schedule of IceMen games while WITZ-AM 990 and WITZ-FM 104.7, Jasper, IN carry a select schedule of games, numbering 23-30 for the season.
THE ICEMEN DAILY UPDATES ARE EVERYWHERE ON THE AIR: The IceMen daily update reports can now be heard on 18-different radio outlets throughout the Tri-State region. Flagship WEOA-FM 98.5 and WEOA-AM 1400 program the IceMen report at 4:200 pm Monday through Friday. The Townsquare Media family of stations; WGBF-AM 1280, WGBF-FM 103.1, WKDQ-FM 99.5; WJLT-FM 105.3; WKDS-FM 106.1; WBKR-FM 92.5, Owensboro, KY and WOMI-AM 1490, Owensboro, KY present the report every afternoon in drive time between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm. Elsewhere, WITZ-AM 990 and WITZ-FM 104.7 in Jasper, IN; WSON-am 860 and WSON-FM 96.5 in Henderson, KY; WMSK-AM 1550, WMSK-FM 101.3 in Morganfield, KY; WRAY-AM 1250 in Princeton, IN; WLME-FM 102.7, “The Game” in Owensboro KY and WYFX-FM ESPN Radio 106.7, Mount Vernon, IN.
THE ICEMEN TICKET INFORMATION: IceMen single game tickets for all 36-home games are on sale at the Ford Center Box Office and at Ticketmaster.com or by contacting the IceMen offices for various season ticket plans and great group rates at (812) 421-GOAL (4625). Visit the IceMen website at www.evansvilleicemen.com.