CINCINNATI - It's 10:15 a.m., and inside U.S. Bank Arena, the Cincinnati Cyclones take to the ice. It's the practice skate before the evening game.
Forward Dan Eaves says his teammates have different routines to prepare for the game.
"Different guys have different routines each day. Some guys like to play video games. Some go straight to bed," Eaves said.
As the players head for home, the Cyclones' support staff checks what needs to be done prior to the game. Equipment manager Chris Burke is a one-man maintenance machine. Burke sharpens the players' skates to a razor's edge.
"Each guy will come in, put the number on the board and whether or not they want it half inch, three-eighths, five eights. It's all personal preference to the player," Burke explained.
Burke also outfits the locker room. He washes the uniforms and towels for both the Cyclones and the visiting opponents. Burke says on game day, that could mean 12 to 16 loads of wash.
"Each guy has a practice set, a game set and a workout set, so I do stay pretty busy with laundry," said Burke.
The director of marketing and public relations says the fans are not who you might assume. In fact, about 80 percent of Cyclones tickets are purchased by moms.
"Most people think we're a single guys' thing. Guy's night out. But we are very much so about the family," said Sean Lynn, director of marketing and public relations for the Cyclones.
The next family-friendly promotion is Friday, February 15.
"It's Kids Eat Free. All kids aged 2-12 who come through the door will get a John Morrell hot dog, a snack, and a beverage. We see great response to that. Moms absolutely love it. It takes that burden of what the kid is going to eat that night away," said Lynn.
Tickets are available at www.cycloneshockey.com.