GAME NOTES: 2/24 vs. Wichita
Game 55 (Home Game 29)
Vs. Wichita Thunder (16-30-3-1, 36pts)
Friday, February 24, 2017 - 7:35pm ET
U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: Cincinnati enters Friday winners of eight of their last 11 games, despite dropping a 5-1 decision to the Wichita Thunder on Wednesday night. The Cyclones still remain in the thick of the ECHL playoff race, sitting just five points back of the South Carolina Stingrays for the fourth and final spot in the South Division.
Wednesday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (26-24-4-0) fell to the Wichita Thunder, 5-1, on Wednesday night. Forward Shane Walsh scored the lone goal for the Cyclones as the Thunder snap their 13-game losing streak (0-11-2-0). The Cyclones were outshot, 23-20 on the night, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 18 in the loss.
Monday Morning Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (26-23-4-0) earned a 3-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings on Monday morning. Forwards Tommy Mele and Christiaan Minella, along with defenseman Jaynen Rissling recorded the goals for the Cyclones, who return the favor to the Wings after Kalamazoo beat Cincinnati in the Cyclones’ Field Trip game back in November. It was another busy night for Cyclones goaltender Michael Houser who turned aside 37 of the 39 shots he faced to collect his eighth win in the last nine starts.
Sunday Afternoon Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (25-23-4-0) defeated the Ft. Wayne Komets, 5-4 in a shootout, on Sunday afternoon. Forwards Shane Walsh, Justin MacDonald, and Brandon McNally, along with defenseman Jonathan Diaby netted the goals for the Cyclones. Cincinnati was outshot, 34-21, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 30 in the win.
Previewing Wichita: The Thunder snapped their 13-game losing streak in Wednesdays’s 5-1 win over the Cyclones, and are now 1-11-2-0 in their last 14 games. Wichita has been in some close games on their current skid, as seven of their 13 losses have been decided by two or fewer goals, and nine by three or fewer. Rookie forward Matt DeBlouw leads all active Thunder players with 31 points (12g, 19a) through 43 games this season. He is followed by forwards Louick Marcotte (10g, 15a) and David Friedmann (11g, 12a) who round out the top three. In goal, Scott Greenham leads the way with an 9-8-2-0 record along with a 3.29 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Friday marks the finale of the three-game series between the Cyclones and Thunder, with each team winning on the road in the first two meetings. This will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two, with Cincinnati holding a 2-1-0-0 edge.
Next Game Preview: The Cyclones welcome in the Indy Fuel for the 11th of 12 meetings between the two sides this season, and the last meeting at U.S. Bank Arena in 2016-17. Cincinnati holds a 6-4-0-0 edge in the first 10 meetings of the season.
Climbing the Ladder: The Cyclones are 8-2=3-0-0 in their last 11 games and sit just five points back of the fourth and final playoff spot in the ECHL’s South Division. The offense has been on display for Cincinnati over the last 10 games, totaling 34 goals and outscoring the opposition 30-17 in their eight wins.
The Puck Stops Here: Goaltender Michael Houser has put together some stellar play as of late, posting a 8-2-0-0 record along with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .924 save-percentage in his last 11 games. He’s been busy in recent games as well, making 27 or more saves in eight of his last 10 starts. He recently had a five-game winning streak where he posted a 1.97 GAA and a .943 SV%.
In the Nick of Time: Forward Nick Huard scored the game winning goal with 1:24 left in regulations in last Friday’s 2-1 win over the Quad City Mallards. He followed up that performance with a two-assist performance in Sunday’s 5-4 shootout win over the Ft. Wayne Komets, and added one more helper in Monday’s 3-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings. He is currently riding a three-game point streak (1g, 3a) and has accounted for six goals and nine assists in his last 16 games overall.
Power Surge: The Cyclones went 2-for-6 on the power play in Sunday’s 5-4 shootout win over the Ft. Wayne Komets, and have converted on 13 of their last 45 man-advantage opportunities over the last seven games (28.8%).
That’s Offensive!: Forward Jordan Sims has been a man on a mission in recent games, accounting for four goals and 10 assists in his last 12 games.
Putting Up the Points: Forward Brandon McNally has points in seven of his last nine games, totaling four goals and three assists in that time.
It’s Good to be Home: After playing 11-of-12 games on the road in January, the Cyclones play 12-of-16 at home in February. The Cyclones are 16-8-4-0 at home this season, averaging 3.07 goals per game on in their first 28 home games. Cincinnati also boasts the League’s fourth- best penalty kill at home, having killed of 71/81 oppositional power plays (87.6%).
Defensive Front: The Cyclones currently boast one of the top defenses in the ECHL, as they currently rank eighth in allowed per game with 3.00 and fifth in shots allowed with 29.87 allowed per 60 minutes.
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