GAME NOTES: 12/27 vs. Ft. Wayne
Game 28 (Home Game 14)
Vs. Ft. Wayne Komets (17-7-2-0, 36 pts)
Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 7:35pm ET
U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: Cincinnati welcomes in the Ft. Wayne Komets in their first game following the holiday break. The Cyclones are coming off of a 7-4 loss to the Indy Fuel on Saturday night, seeing their four-game winning streak snapped in the process. Wednesday begins a busy stretch for the ‘Clones, who will play four games over the next five days.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (16-10-1-0) fell to the Indy Fuel, 7-4, on Saturday night. Defenseman Arvin Atwal, along with forwards Justin Danforth, Jesse Schultz, and Shawn O’Donnell scored the goals for Cincinnati, who see their four-game winning streak halted. The Cyclones outshot the Fuel, 44-38, with goaltenders Jason Kasdorf and Anthony Peters combining to stop 31 in the loss.
Friday 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.
Last 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.
Previewing Ft. Wayne: The Komets enter Wednesday night winners of four in a row and six of their last seven, with their last loss coming in Cincinnati on December 13. They are coming off a 7-0 shutout at home on Saturday over the Quad City Mallards. Ft. Wayne currently boasts the League’s best offense, averaging 4.08 goals per game, and are third with a 20.2% power play conversion percentage. They are led offensively by forward Shawn Szydlowski who has accounted for 33 points (14g, 19a) through the first 23 games of the season. He is followed by forwards Garrett Thompson (14g, 17a) and Artur Tyanulin (8g, 12a) who round out the top three. In goal, former Cyclone Michael Houser has shouldered the bulk of the load, posting a 12-5-2-0 record along with a 2.69 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Wednesday will be the fourth meeting of the season between Cincinnati and Ft. Wayne, with the Cyclones winning each matchup by a combined score of 13-6. The two teams are scheduled to meet five more times.
Next Game Preview: The Cyclones head back on the road Friday for a meeting with the Quad City Mallards in Moline, IL. Cincinnati took last Friday’s meeting, 7-4.
Streaky Behavior: Forward Jesse Schultz extended his point streak to 12 games with a goal in Saturday’s 7-4 loss to the Indy Fuel. He has eight goals and 12 assists in that time, including five multi-point outings, and his 20 points (10g, 18a) place him in a tie for fifth in the League in scoring. He has points in all but six games played this season.
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 five-game point streak, having totaled five goals and four assists in that span, along with a plus-7 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.
We Are, We Are....The Youth of the Nation: Despite seeing his 11-game point streak snapped in a 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards on December 15, rookie forward Justin Danforth has picked up right where he left off, accounting for a four goals and three assists in his last three games. He sits atop of the ECHL’s rookie leaderboard, and is tied for second in overall scoring with 35 points (17g, 18a), and has 11 goals and 12 assists over his last 15 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 five 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, and 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 five games, including his first ECHL hat trick in the 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards on December 15. 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 all 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 six games, totaling seven goals and 14 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 22 goals and 34 assists over the last 13 outings.
Limited Opportunity: Cincinnati is eighth in the ECHL with 2.85 goals against per game. The Cyclones have allowed three or fewer goals in 11 of their last 15 games, and have given up more than four goals on just six 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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