GAME NOTES: 1/26 vs. Indy
Game 39 (Home Game 19)
Vs. Indy Fuel (16-19-2-1, 35 pts)
Friday, January 26, 2018 - 7:35pm ET
U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones snapped their four-game skid on Sunday evening with a 6-5 overtime road win over the Quad City Mallards. The Cyclones are just one point back of the fourth and final playoff spot in the ECHL’s Central Division, and are in the midst of a 12-game stretch against Central Division opponents.
Sunday Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (22-15-1-0) came from behind to beat the Quad City Mallards, 6-5 in overtime, on Sunday evening. Forward and assistant captain Justin Vaive led way with a hat trick, including the game-winner in overtime, while forwards Justin Danforth, Brandon McNally, and Alex Kile each added lone tallies for the Cyclones, who snap their four-game losing streak. The Cyclones were outshot, 41-29 on the night, with goaltender Jonas Johansson stopping 36 in the win.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (21-15-1-0) fell to the Indy Fuel, 3-2, on Saturday evening. Forwards Daniel Muzito-Bagenda and Justin Vaive lit the lamp for the Cyclones. Cincinnati and Indy each registered 30 shots on goal, while goaltender Jason Kasdorf stopped 27 in a losing effort.
Last Friday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (21-14-1-0) dropped a 6-2 decision to the Ft. Wayne Komets on Friday night. Forwards Rob De Fulviis and Justin Vaive scored the goals for Cincinnati. The Komets outshot Cincinnati, 39-31, with netminder Jonas Johansson stopping 33 in the loss.
Previewing Indy: The Fuel have dropped two in a row following a three-game winning streak, and are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Ft. Wayne Komets on Tuesday night. Indy enters Friday night near the top of both special teams categories, ranking second with a 20.5% power play conversion rate (30/146) and fifth on the penalty kill at 85.4% (135/158). Additionally, the Fuel are one of the top teams when they have a lead, compiling a 9-1-0-0 record when leading after one period, and a perfect 7-0-0-0 when up through 40 minutes. Offensively, they are led by forward and team captain Michael Neal who has accounted for 12 goals and 14 assists through 32 games this season. He is followed by forwards Cam Reid (8g, 17a) and Ryan Rupert (6g, 17a) who round out the top three. In goal, Etienne Marcoux continues to impress with an 11-9-0-1 record along with a 2.95 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Friday evening marks the fifth of 10 matchups on the season between the Cyclones and Fuel, and the first at U.S. Bank Arena. Cincinnati is looking for their first win over Indy, having dropped the first four.
Next Game Preview: Cincinnati will welcome in the Ft. Wayne Komets on Saturday night. Ft. Wayne earned their first win over the Cyclones in five tries last Friday night.
Duo Called Up: The Rochester Americans, American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Cyclones, have recalled forward Justin Danforth and defenseman Arvin Atwal. Danforth is in the midst of a stellar rookie campaign, leading all ECHL first years with 22 goals and 22 assists through the first 38 games of the season. His 44 points have him tied for second overall in League scoring, while his 22 goals place him in a tie for third, Additionally, he enjoyed an 11-game point streak from November 18-December 15, accounting for seven goals and 10 assists in that span. He was also the Cyclones’ representative in last Monday’s CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, recording a goal and emerging victorious in the Fastest Skater Competition, setting a new ECHL record with a lap of 12.75 seconds. This is the second call up of the season for Atwal, who is tenth on the team in scoring with a pair of goals and nine assists through 27 games. He has skated in two games with Rochester this season during his first call up from November 16-December 8, registering an assist in those contests.
Cyclones Add Taulien: The Cincinnati Cyclones have signed forward Alexander Taulien to a Standard Player Contract (SPC). A native of Crystal Lake, IL, Taulien has appeared in 31 games this season with the Birmingham Bulls of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL), accounting for seven goals and six assists along with 81 minutes in penalties in that span. He has spent the bulk of his three-year pro career in the SPHL, totaling 32 points (16g, 16a) in 71 games. He has also seen time with the Danbury Titans of the Federal Hockey League, and skated in one game with the Missouri Mavericks late in the 2015-16 season. He played collegiately for Elmira College from 2013-16, amassing 50 points (29g, 53a) in 65 career games.
Tip of the Hat: Cyclones forward and assistant captain Justin Vaive recorded his second hat trick of the season and second in Quad City in Sunday’s 6-5 overtime win over the Mallards. He also added an assist in that contest as well. Vaive is currently on a three-game goal and point streak, totaling five goals and an assist in that span. The Cyclones now have five hat tricks this season, as forwards Justin Danforth and Winston Day Chief, along with defenseman Eric Knodel, have also lit the lamp three times in a game this season.
Packed Schedule: Cincinnati will have their hands full in the second half of the season, playing their final 34 games over a stretch of 73 days, which averages out to a game every 2.14 days. Additionally, Cincinnati has nine stretches of three games in three days, two stretches of four games in five days, and one stretch of seven games in nine days.
Familiar Foes: Cincinnati is in the midst of a stretch of 12 straight against divisional opponents. Cincinnati is 13-9-1-0 against the Central Division this season, and will play 24 of their final 34 games within the division.
Home Power Surge: The Cyclones have the League’s top power play at home, converting on 21.9% of their man advantage opportunities (15/70) at U.S. Bank Arena. Cincinnati has power play tallies in three of their last five home games, lighting the lamp seven times on 22 chances.
Limited Opportunity: Cincinnati is fifth in the ECHL, averaging 2.84 goals against per game, and have allowed three or fewer goals in 15 of their last 20 games. Additionally, they have given up more than four goals on just seven occasions.
Finishing What They Started: The Cyclones have a 16-1-0-0 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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