The Newfoundland Growlers welcome the Cincinnati Cyclones to town this weekend for the first time ever when they kick off a three-game set on Friday night at Mary Brown’s Centre.
Newfoundland have had no shortage of success on home ice in recent memory, winning 13 of their last 14 contests on the rock. The most recent visitors were the Worcester Railers this past weekend who managed to score just once across the three contests, finally breaking the series drought in a 3-1 loss to the Growlers on Sunday afternoon.
Cincinnati made the trip north of the border midweek as they fell 4-2 to the Trois-Rivières Lions on Wednesday night at Colisée Vidéotron. Despite dropping their last outing, the Cyclones remain in the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division out west.
With the Cyclones fighting tooth and nail for a berth in the postseason and the Growlers clinched, but still chasing the Reading Royals for first place in the North Division, it could prove a pivotal weekend for both clubs.
While there’s no pre-existing rivalry between these two teams in what will be their inaugural series, massive playoff implications on both benches should serve as fuel to the fire for a hotly contested trio of games.
Puck drops is set for 7:00 pm on Friday and Saturday evening, while the action gets underway at 4:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. Growlers fans can watch all three games live on FloSports (subscription required), listen to the call on Mixlr, or follow along on Twitter (@NLGrowlers) for game updates and highlights. Tickets for all three games can be purchased at nlgrowlers.com/tickets.
WHO TO WATCH:
NFL – Zach O’Brien (F): As obvious a pick as any skater to have a noteworthy weekend, O’Brien is coming off a strong showing against the Railers where he climbed up to 70 points this season — breaking his own Growlers franchise record in the process. With six games remaining to improve that total, expect to see Newfoundland’s offensive leader on the scoresheet versus the Cyclones.
CIN–Zack Andrusiak(F): With 39 points in 29 games played, the 23-year-old has provided a strong production rate in the reduced sample size. If Andurziak can sustain his offensive output down the stretch for the Cyclones, it would go a long way in holding onto their postseason position.