Monday, October 11, 1999


Cyclones, Ducks renew crowd battle

Enquirer contributor

        When the Cyclones and Mighty Ducks opened their seasons Oct. 2, it was the first of 14 nights when both of the city's minor league teams are scheduled to play on the same night at home. The Cyclones won the attendance battle, 10,923 to 7,075.

        The Cyclones' crowd was the eighth largest in franchise history. the Ducks' audience was their fifth best.

        The Cyclones' opening night featured a pregame celebration of the team's 10th year of hockey in Cincinnati. The Ducks had baseball's all-time hit king and Cincinnati legend Pete Rose drop the ceremonial first puck. Rose also autographed memo rabilia given away during the game.

        There was some dropoff in Friday's home game between the Cyclones and reigning IHL Turner Cup champion Houston.

        The attendance was less than half that of opening night — 5,416 saw Cincinnati lose, 4-2.

        The teams don't go head-to-head again until Nov. 5. The AHL Ducks play host to the Springfield Falcons in the first meeting this year between those teams. The Cyclones get a visit from Milwaukee.

        GOALTENDER HELP: Goaltender Mark Fitzpatrick, 30, who was assigned to the Cyclones by NHL parent team Carolina Sept. 28, reported to the team before Sunday's game against Houston. He will practice today and likely start Wednesday's game against Manito ba at the Firstar Center.

        Fitzpatrick has compiled a 113-134-49 in 326 career NHL games with five different teams. He could split time between the Cyclones and Hurricanes, which could complicate Cyclones' roster decisions. Cyclones coach/General Manager Ron Smith said those decisions will be made by the franchise brass in Morrisville, N.C.

        “It's Carolina's call, really,” Smith said. “It depends what they want to do.”

        Marc Magliarditi, former Western Michigan University goalie, has played sufficiently in Cincinnati's first two games in place of regular starter Randy Petruk, who's almost fully recovered from a preseason knee injury.

        “It's very encouraging to see Magliarditi playing well,” Smith said after Friday's game. “He's trying to earn a spot on the team and he's doing a good job.”


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