In a bid to shore up their backup goaltender situation, the Cincinnati Cyclones on Wednesday claimed rookie netminder Sean Bonar off waivers from the Wichita Thunder. Bonar, a British Columbia native and graduate of Princeton, takes the place of Kris Kavanagh as backup to Cyclones’ starting goalie Rob Madore.
An up-and-coming prospect during his two seasons in the British Columbia Hockey League, Bonar posted a 28-9 record with a 2.64 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage during his final junior year before heading to the Princeton Tigers. In 63 games at Princeton, Bonar’s performance reflected the overall anemic teams that he was a part of – 17-33-6 with a 3.15 GAA and .898 save percentage. Still, Bonar earned a late-season tryout with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, but did not sign with the team.
Things looked very promising during the 2014-15 pre-season when Bonar led all ECHL netminders with a .60 GAA and .980 save percentage. Signed by the Indy Fuel, Bonar was placed on the 21-day injured reserve list after only two appearances. The situation went from bad to worse when, after returning to the ice, Bonar got rocked in his next three appearances to bring his record for the year to 0-2 with a 6.50 GAA and a .813 save percentage. Needless to say, those production numbers were sufficient to secure his release from the Fuel.
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The Southern Professional Hockey League’s Fayetteville FireAntz emerged as Bonar’s next stop, signing the embattled goalie in early December. Hockey life looked promising once more as Bonar tallied a 2-1 record with a 1.98 GAA and .950 save percentage in 4 games, earning SPHL Player of the Week honors on December 23rd. Indeed, his resurgence caught the eyes of the Orlando Solar Bears, who signed him two days after Christmas.
Although Bonar posted a respectable 1-1 record with a 2.65 GAA and .911 save percentage as a backup with Orlando, his tenure was to be temporary as on February 13th the Solar Bears traded the goalie to the Wichita Thunder, who themselves were in need of emergency backup goaltending help.
Which brings us to the 11th of March. Bonar, who had not appeared in a single game for the the Thunder, was waived and subsequently claimed by the Cyclones – his fifth team this year. An inauspicious start to his career, for sure, but it’s often the name of the game for undrafted goalies breaking in to the pros. Perhaps the ping-pong nature of the season has been rattling the young goalie. Whatever the reason, should he get a start in the near future the Cyclones are giving him a chance to live up to the flashes of potential that he’s already shown.
With frequent call-ups and Sam Brittain still in Florida ready to spell Dan Ellis during Roberto Luongo‘s period of rest, the Cyclones have initiated somewhat of a revolving door behind netminder Madore. Bonar is the fourth backup goaltender to make the roster this season.
The Cyclones have just returned from a Florida road trip where the team went 1-3 against the Solar Bears and the Florida Everblades (1-2, 0-1 respectively), with their next game being at home on Friday against Orlando.