RUNDOWN/LOWDOWN: With still 10-players incapacitated due to a myriad of maladies, the emotionally-charged Evansville IceMen continue to play some of their most compelling, inspiring hockey of this 2012-13 ECHL pro hockey season. Under the direction of third-year General Manager/Head Coach Rich Kromm, the men of Evansville pro hockey renown fashioned a work week record of 4(2-2-0); faltering in their initial two endeavors for the week before rallying to the cause in high spirit and high note with consecutive home conquests in back-to-back home contests at the Ford Center. In the process, the IceMen Icers have improved their overall season record to 23(8-14-1) totaling 17-points. Although they remain in fifth place, the Coach Kromm club has climbed to within two points of the third place position in the ECHL Eastern Conference North Division standings, presently shared by rivals Fort Wayne 18(9-8-1)19 and Kalamazoo 20(9-10-1)19. December is being considered the most critical and pivotal month for the hometown team as the men in navy, sky and white will play 9 of their 13 December games on home ice. This week, Evansville faces 3-games in 4-nights with the initial outing abroad and the latter two on the weekend at home. For a third consecutive road jaunt, the IceMen travel to Cincinnati where they will be guested by the second place Cyclones on Wednesday night before returning home Friday night to rekindle rancor with first place Toledo with Cincinnati reciprocating and touching down downtown in our town on Saturday night.
EYE-POPPING PROMOS: It’s another fun-filled weekend at the Ford Center coming up for the second weekend of December. Friday night when the IceMen play host to Toledo, it will be “College Alumni Night.” Then on Saturday night, “Hockey Night in Evansville…Saturday Nitro”! The IceMen will engage in an encore encounter opposing Cincinnati on the Third Annual “Teddy Bear Toss Night.” Everyone attending this game is exhorted and encouraged to bring a teddy bear or other stuffed animals and pitch those furry creatures on the ice at the time that the IceMen score their first goal of the game. Saturday night has also been designated as “All Faiths Night” with live entertainment to be presented immediately following the game.
“ICEMEN LIVE PRESENTED BY COORS LIGHT:” The IceMen ever-popular weekly Monday night radio show is on the air everywhere for a third consecutive year right in your listening ear. This week, show host Terry Ficorelli’s special guests will be center Jason Dale and newcomer, center Dylan Clarke. It’s IceMen Live Presented by Coors Light,” Monday nights from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm live from Show-Me’s East and on the IceMen flagship home of the new “Magic 98.5 FM and 1400 AM WEOA as well as world-wide on magic985fm.com and 1400amweoa.com.
WRAP THE RECAP: Still crippled with a bevy of injuries, ailments and other assorted maladies, the IceMen, nevertheless, undaunted and untrammeled, once again, rose to the occasion with an outstanding brand of highly-motivated hockey. Though they launched the week rather inauspiciously with two consecutive defeats in Cincinnati of 4-1 on Wednesday night and 6-1 Friday night, the men of the igloo came off the floor with two impelling, inspired performances on consecutive nights in the form of 3-2 victory verdicts over division rivals Kalamazoo on Saturday night, before the third largest crowd of the season, 8,019, and Toledo on Sunday.
AND THEN THERE WERE 10: The IceMen all-encompassing injury list’s litany still consists of 10-players of which 5 are defensemen and 5-more are from the forward position. Starting with the blue line brigade cavalcade; Aaron Gens, Jake Obermeyer, Philippe Plante, Austin Madaisky and Anton Blomqvist. At the forward position, the list looks like this; left wings Oliver Gabriel and Mark Cody, Center Todd Robinson and right wings Trent Vogelhuber and Jim McKenzie.
DECEMBER TO REMEMBER?: With their back-to-back 3-2 triumphs on home ice the past weekend, the IceMen have launched December as they did November with two consecutive victories. The IceMen completed November with a mark of 14(6-8-0). At this hour of the campaign, the IceMen have won 2-in a row, representing their second 2-game win streak of the season. Their longest win skein has been 3-in succession. Overall, the IceMen are 11(6-5-0) in their last 11-decisions and 16(8-8-0) in their most recent 16-outings after broaching the campaign with a rather heinous 7-game winless skid; 7(0-6-1).
BACK-TO-BACK FACT: For the first time this season, the IceMen have attained back-to-back victories at home at the Ford Center. By virtue of successive 3-2 results over divisional foes Kalamazoo and Toledo, the IceMen have improved their home mark to 12(4-8-0). After commencing the campaign with a rather undesirable 5-game losing spell of voodoo, “The Kromminator” kinetic contingent has surpassed the .500 barrier in its last 7-appearances at 7(4-3-0). All 4-Evansville wins at home have been by one-goal differentials.
ROAD REPORT: Dropping a pair of alien ice invasions at Cincinnati the past week, the IceMen saw their road record slip underneath the .500 plateau for the initial time this season at 11(4-6-1). Previous to returning home the past weekend, the IceMen became somewhat road weary warriors, compiling a mark of 5(1-4-0) in a 5-games’ foreign ice expedition. Of the 4-IceMen road wins, 3 have been achieved against divisional leaders at the time of the showdown battle; in Cincinnati, 4-3; in Toledo, 4-1 and in Reading, 4-2. The lone other away from home bay triumph came in Fort Wayne with the Komets significantly superior to the .500 range.
DIVISION COMPETITION: The IceMen breakdown according to ECHL divisional alignment; North Division: 12(5-6-1); Atlantic Division: 6(2-4-0); South Division: 5(1-4-0).
SATURDAY SUPERB: On the impetus of their thrilling 3-2 triumph Saturday night on home ice against Kalamazoo, the IceMen have elevated their Saturday night winning streak to an amazing 5-in a row, permitting a mere paucity of only 6-GA in that special span. With some irony attached, the last time Evansville endured a Saturday setback was in Kalamazoo back on October 27th when they bowed to the Wings, 4-1.
DRAGON SLAYERS: In the span of the past 8-days, the IceMen have derailed two speeding locomotive expresses in the form of Atlantic Division leading Reading and North Division front-running Toledo. On Saturday, Nov. 24th at Reading, the IceMen halted the Royals all-time club record 11-game win streak with a stunning 4-2 victory verdict. This past Sunday, Evansville’s finest on ice ended Toledo’s club record 8-game unbeaten streak abroad at 8(7-0-1). Should one also add an IceMen 4-3 win on November 15th when Cincinnati was in the North Division leadership, the home town team has collected some spellbinding successes over apparent superior powers at this stage of the season.
DYLAN DEALIN’: The IceMen’s newest acquisition, Dylan Clarke, has come out of the land of forgotten with two stellar. standout performances for his new team the past weekend. The former All-American at SUNY-Plattsburgh had been toiling in relative obscurity and anonymity for the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays before hitching on with the train to Evansville. The past weekend, the former CHL Tulsa Oilers scoring kingpin of 2011-12, fashioned two dynamic efforts, connecting on two consecutive two-point masterpieces. In Saturday night’s 3-2 win over Kalamazoo, Clarke engineered a pair of assists, earning the game’s #2 Star. One night later, the 29-goal cannoneer of last year fired the ultimate GWG while assisting on one more, heralded the #1 Star of the Game in the latter contest. Clarke is the IceMen nomination for ECHL Player of the Week.
BEDAZZLING DIMINUTIVE: Diminutive yet dynamic goalkeeper Rob Madore was at the top of his game the past Saturday on home ice against the invading interlopers from Kalamazoo. Named the game’s #3 Star, the former U. of Vermont stalwart repelled 32-Wings shots in preserving a hard-fought, richly earned and deserved 3-2 victory. In his last 7-decisions, he has eclipsed the overall .500 barrier with a mark of 7(4-3-0). Madore is the IceMen nomination for ECHL Goaltender of the Week.
THE “BO” GO-GO: Sixth year left wing Josh Beaulieu continues to be the utter paragon of consistency, congruity and continuity in the IceMen rather depleted lineup. For November, the IceMen’s leading scoring magnate averaged one point per game, amassing 13-points in 13-games on 6-goals, 7-assists with 2-PPG and 1-GWG. Through the last 17-games, the Comber, Ontario product has continued to average a point a game with 17(9-8-17). Becoming the first to deliver two 2-goal games for the IceMen this season and topping his team in total goals (10) and PPG with 5, Beaulieu is the IceMen nomination for ECHL Player of the Month for November.
“KARPO” SHARPO: First year netminder Paul Karpowich enjoyed some of the finest early moments in his pro career the past month. The erstwhile Clarkson U. star’s resume for the month featured his first-ever pro shutout, November 17th in Fort Wayne, 5-0 as well as a spellbinding, spectacular 37-saves’ enormous performance, one week later, November 24th in a stunning 4-2 victory at Reading. In both encounters, Karpowich was hailed as the game’s #1 Star. For the month, he registered a record of 7(3-4-0) with a 3.28 GAA and .903 SPCT. Karpowich is the IceMen nomination for ECHL Goaltender of the Month.
SHORTHANDED BANDIT: Until being sidelined with injury woes, first-year right wing Trent Vogelhuber was enjoying his best month in the “play for pay” ranks. In 11-games, the former Miami of Ohio U. star engineered 7-points in 11-games including the first 4-goals of his developing career. The Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick spiced his special month with 2-SHG which rank #2 in the ECHL overall and tied for #1 in the loop among this season’s ECHL yearling class. Vogelhuber is the IceMen nomination for ECHL Rookie of the Month.
POWER PLAY/PENALTY KILL BILL: In their recently-concluded two game home stand over the weekend, the IceMen were limited to a grand total of 2-power advantages, going 0-2. Overall, the IceMen power play is 0 for the last 9; 3 for the last 23; for a conversion rating of 13%. Meanwhile the shorthand band is back on the beam with the opposition only 3-24; 87.5%; 12 for the last 96; 87.5% efficiency rating. The IceMen have scored 3-SHG thus far this season while allotting 6-SHGA at this juncture of the season.
THE MILESTONES STORY: Right wing Nathan Moon (92) is 8-games away from pro career 100. Right wing Tyler Shelast played in his 200th career pro game last Wednesday night in Cincinnati. Defenseman Daniel Tetrault (748) is 2-games away from pro career 750. Defenseman Sean Whitney scored his first-ever pro goal in Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Toledo. Goaltender Allen York won his first game as an IceMen, making 37-saves to preserve a 3-2 triumph over Toledo. When Todd Robinson returns to the lineup (1,242) he will be 8-points away from pro career 1,250.
FEW FUN FAST FACTS FROM “FIC”: The IceMen are in the midst of 9-straight games within their own North Division, having posted a 4(2-2-0) mark through the first 4-games; 2(2-0-0) at home and 2(0-2-0) on the road. After beginning the season yielding the game’s FG in their first 10-consecutive games, the IceMen have now scored the game’s FG in 9 of their last 13-episodes. They are 9(6-3-0) in that department. The IceMen are 9(5-3-1) in 1-goal games and 5(4-1-0) in the last 5-such scenarios. When they score 4 or more, the IceMen are unsullied at 5(5-0-0) and when they allow 2-GA or less, they are unblemished at 6(6-0-0). The IceMen are 9(7-1-1) entering the third period with the lead. The IceMen have played the most games in the ECHL at this stage of the season (23).
THE ICEMEN GAME CALENDAR FOR THIS WEEK:
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5TH THE ICEMEN AT CINCINNATI 6:30 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8TH CINCINNATI AT THE ICEMEN 7:15 PM
The IceMen make their fourth trip to the “Queen City” and their third in succession to clash with the second place Cyclones of their own division. Cincinnati leads the 13-game season series, 3(2-1-0), having bested Evansville the past week in a two-game home stand series sweep of 4-1 and 6-1. When the Cyclones come to Evansville on Saturday night, it will mark their first-ever appearance in the Tri-State region.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7TH TOLEDO AT THE ICEMEN 7:15 PM
For the second time in the span of less than a week the first and fifth teams will lock horns with the backdrop being Evansville one more time. The IceMen lead the 12-game season series, 2(2-0-0). They prevailed over the Walleye in Toledo back on November 3rd before trimming the Toledoans the past Sunday at the Ford Center, 3-2.
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 WEOA-AM 1400. Also on the world-wide internet at 1400amweoa.com and magic985fm.com as well as on 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 all 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.
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 4:20 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; WKBR-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.