GAME NOTES: 12/23 vs. Indy
Game 27 (Road Game 14)
Vs. Indy Fuel (8-14-2-1, 19pts)
Saturday, December 23, 2017 - 7:35pm ET
Indiana Farmers Coliseum - Indianapolis, IN
Overview: Cincinnati heads to Indianapolis to battle the Indy Fuel on Saturday night, in their final game before the Christmas holiday. The Cyclones earned a 7-4 win over the Quad City Mallards on Friday night for their fourth victory in a row, and their third straight over Quad City.
Last Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (16-9-1-0) collected a 7-4 win over the Quad City Mallards on Friday night. Forward Justin Vaive led the way with a first period hat trick, while forwards Winston Day Chief, Rob De Fulviis, Justin Danforth and Jesse Schultz added lone tallies for the Cyclones. The Cyclones were outshot, 38-32 on the night, with goaltender Anthony Peters stopping 34 in the win.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (15-9-1-0) battled to a 4-2 win over the Quad City Mallards on Saturday night. Forward Justin Danforth had a pair of goals, while forward Justin Vaive and defenseman Eric Knodel each added lone tallies for the Cyclones, who have now won three in a row. Cincinnati outshot Quad City, 29-26, with goaltender Jonas Johansson turning aside 24 in the win.
Last Friday Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (14-9-1-0) picked up a 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards on Friday night. Forward Winston Day Chief led the way with three goals on the night, while forwards Jesse Schultz and Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, along with defenseman Chris Leone each lit the lamp once for Cincinnati Cyclones, who have outscored the opposition 12-4 over the last two games. The Cyclones outshot Quad Mallards, 28-25 on the evening, with goaltender Anthony Peters stopping 24 to collect the win.
Previewing Indy: The Fuel enter Saturday night having dropped three in a row and four of their last five contests, and are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Kalamazoo Wings on Wednesday night. Indy currently sits in sixth place in the ECHL’s Central Division, one point ahead of the Quad City Mallards for seventh, and 10 back of both the Kalamazoo Wings and Kansas City Mavericks who are tied for fifth. They are led by forward Cam Reid who has accounted for 17 points (7g, 10a) through 23 games this season. He is followed by a pair of 16-point scorers in forwards Nick Bligh (8g, 8a) and Alex Wideman (7g, 6a), and forward Ryan Rupert (5g, 10a) who round out the top three. In goal, Etienne Marcoux has been a bright spot for the Fuel, posting a 4-4-0-1 record, while leading the League with a .941 save percentage, and ranking fifth in the ECHL with a 2.28 goals-against average.
Inside the Series: Saturday marks the first of 10 meetings between the Cyclones and Indy this season, and game one of six on the year in Indianapolis. The Cyclones posted a 7-4-0-1 record against the Fuel last season.
Next Game Preview: After a three-day break for the holidays, Cincinnati returns home on Wednesday when they welcome in the Ft. Wayne Komets, kicking off a four-game in five day stretch. The Cyclones and Komets have met three times this season, with Cincinnati winning each matchup by a combined score of 13-6.
Feeling the VAIVE-be: Cyclones forward Justin Vaive recorded a hat trick in the first period of Friday’s 7-4 win over the Quad City Mallards, marking his second ECHL hat trick. Vaive is currently riding a four-game point streak, having totaled five goals and three assists in that span, along with a plus-6 on-ice rating. He’s the fourth Cyclone to record a hat trick for Cincinnati this season, joining forward Justin Danforth and Winston Day Chief, and defenseman Eric Knodel.
Shorthanded Bandits: Forwards Rob De Fulviis and Justin Danforth potted shorthanded goals in Friday’s 7-4 win over the Quad City Mallards, giving the Cyclones four on the season, placing them in a tie for fourth in the ECHL in that category.
Streaky Behavior: Forward Jesse Schultz extended his point streak to 11 games, following a goal and two assists in Friday’s 7-4 win over the Quad City Mallards. He has seven goals and 12 assists in that time, including five multi-point outings, and 20 points (10g, 18a) place him in a tie for fifth in the League in scoring, and he has points in all but six games played this season.
We Are, We Are....The Youth of the Nation: Despite seeing his 11-game point streak snapped in Friday’s 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards, rookie forward Justin Danforth has picked up right where he left off, accounting for a three of goals and two assists in his last two games. He sits atop of the ECHL’s rookie leaderboard, and is tied for third in overall scoring with 33 points (16g, 17a), and has 10 goals and 11 assists over his last 14 games.
Schultz Named ECHL Player of the Week: On Tuesday, forward Jesse Schultz has been named Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week for December 11-17. Schultz had a monster week for the ‘Clones, accounting for a pair of goals and five assists to help Cincinnati to three wins. He kicked off the week in a big way, registering a power play goal and a pair of assists in a 6-3 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets. His goal proved to be the game winner, and he also finished with a plus-2 on-ice rating. He followed that performance with a goal in Friday’s 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards, and wrapped up his stellar week with three assists in a 4-2 victory over the Mallards on Saturday.
Bagging Up the Points: Forward Daniel Muzito-Bagenda has experienced an offensive surge over the last four games, accounting for a pair of goals and three assists in the time. He currently ranks sixth on the team in scoring with three goals and seven assists in that time. His seven helpers have set a new professional career high in that category.
Day by Day, Goal by Goal: Forward Winston Day Chief has five goals in his last four games, including his first ECHL hat trick in last Friday’s 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards. He currently ranks fourth on the Cyclones with nine goals.
The Puck Stops Here: Cyclones goaltender Anthony Peters is fourth with a .928 save percentage and fifth amongst ECHL goaltenders with a 2.30 goals-against average. He has won his last four starts and five of last six, stopping 24 or more shots in al but one of those contests.
Second Line Prowess: The line of Brandon McNally, Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, and Winston Day Chief have led the Cyclones offensively over the last five games, totalling seven goals and 13 assists in that span.
Secondary Scoring: Cincinnati’s second and third lines, along with the defensive corps, have made major contributions offensively in recent games, accounting for 21 goals and 31 assists over the last 12 outings, including five goals and 10 assists in last Friday’s 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards.
Limited Opportunity: Cincinnati is fifth in the ECHL with 2.69 goals against per game. The Cyclones have allowed three or fewer goals in 11 of their last 14 games, and have given up more than four goals on just five occasions.
Finishing What They Started: The Cyclones have a 13-1-0-0 record when leading through two periods this season. This is a continuing trend from last season, when the Cyclones were 23-1-3-1 when leading after one, and 26-1-2-0 when leading after 40 minutes.
New Affiliation: This offseason, the Cyclones, in conjunction with the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Buffalo Sabres, announced a new affiliation agreement. For Cincinnati, the move comes following a 10-year partnership with the Nashville Predators, while the Sabres recently concluded a two-year relationship with the now-defunct Elmira Jackals. This affiliation will be a reunion of sorts for the cities of Cincinnati and Buffalo, as the Sabres’ American Hockey League (AHL) Affiliate from 1971-1974 was the Cincinnati Swords. The Rochester Americans will serve as Cincinnati’s new AHL affiliate, and have been the AHL affiliate of the Sabres since 2011. This is not the first time Cincinnati and Rochester have been affiliated, as the two clubs teamed up in 2010-11 when the Americans were affiliated with the Florida Panthers.
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