GAME NOTES: 2/24 vs. Kalamazoo
For Immediate Release: February 24, 2018
Game 52 (Home Game 26)
Vs. Kalamazoo Wings (27-21-3-2, 59 pts)
Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 7:35pm ET
U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones wrap up their light week on Saturday night at home against the Kalamazoo Wings, in their annual Cyclones Fight Cancer Night. Cincinnati is coming off of a 3-2 loss to the Indy Fuel on Tuesday morning, and now find themselves in fourth place in a crowded ECHL Central Division, one point back of the Wings in third, and three up on the Fuel who are in fifth.
Tuesday Morning Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (28-21-2-0) fell to the Indy Fuel on Tuesday morning, 3-2. Cyclones forwards Rob De Fulviis and Jesse Schultz lit the lamp for Cincinnati. The Cyclones outshot Indy, 40-36, with goaltender Jason Kasdorf steering aside 33 in a losing effort.
Sunday Afternoon Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (28-20-2-0) collected a come-from-behind, 5-4 overtime victory over the Kalamazoo Wings on Sunday afternoon. Forwards Winston Day Chief, Alex Kile, Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, along with defenseman Eric Knodel scored in regulation for the Cyclones, while defenseman Eric Diodati potted the game winner in overtime. Cincinnati outshot Kalamazoo, 48-29 on the afternoon, with goaltender Jonas Johansson stopping 25 in the win.
Last Friday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (27-20-2-0) fell to the Reading Royals, 8-0, on Friday night. Reading outshot Cincinnati, 45-35 on the evening, with goaltenders Jonas Johansson and Jason Kasdorf combining to stop 37 in the loss.
Previewing Kalamazoo: The Wings snapped their five-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 6-5 overtime win over the Wheeling Nailers, and now sit one point ahead of the Cyclones in third place in the ECHL’s Central Division. Kalamazoo currently ranks second in the League with a 20.6% power play conversion percentage (45/218), and they sit third in offense with 3.75 goals scored per game. They are led offensively by forward Josh Pitt who has accounted for 21 goals and 19 assists in 45 games played. He is followed by forward Brendan Bradley, (12g, 28a) and defenseman Aaron Irving (13g, 26a) who is coming off a five-point night (4g, 1a) in Wednesday’s 6-5 overtime win over the Nailers. In goal, Joel Martin leads the way with a 19-12-2-2 record along with a 3.28 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage. Additionally, Martin leads all ECHL netminders with 2,156 minutes played.
Inside the Series: Saturday will be the fifth of seven matchups between the Cyclones and Wings this season. Cincinnati evened up the season series at 2-2-0-0 last Sunday with a 5-4 overtime win at home. The teams are currently in a battle for the third and fourth playoff spots in the Central Division, as they are separated by just one point.
Next Game Preview: The Cyclones welcome in the South Carolina Stingrays on Wednesday night in the lone meeting of the season between the two teams. The sides met once last season and three times over the last two years, with South Carolina boasting a 3-0-0-0 mark in those contests. The Stingrays are in second place in the ECHL’s South Division.
Muzito-Bagenda Receives AHL Call: The Cincinnati Cyclones, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Buffalo Sabres and American Hockey League’s (AHL) RochesterAmericans, have announced that forward Daniel Muzito-Bagenda has been recalled by the Americans. A native of Umea, SWE, Muzito-Bagenda has appeared in 33 games with the Cyclones this season and is tied for fourth on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points. He has points in 12 of his last 14 games played, accounting for seven goals and 14 assists in that span, which included an 11-game point streak from January 20-February 10 where he totaled six goals and 14 helpers.
Good First Impression: Cyclones defenseman Eric Diodati wasted little time contributing for his new team, as he recorded the game-winning goal in overtime in Sunday’s 5-4 overtime win over the Kalamazoo Wings in just his second professional game. A native of Niagara Falls, Ont, Diodati was signed to an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) on Friday, and recently completed his collegiate career, spending two seasons with the University of Waterloo and two with St. Thomas University in Canada. In 95 collegiate games, he accounted for 12 goals and 31 assists along with 62 penalty minutes. He also spent three seasons on the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), spending time with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors and Steelheads, along with the Windsor Spitfires where he totaled 10 goals and 39 assists in 173 games.
It’s a Grand Day: Last Sunday afternoon marked the 1,000th game for Cyclones equipment manager Chris Burke. A native of Cincinnati, Burke is in his twelfth season as Cyclones equipment manager, having joined the team in 2006. During his tenure in Cincinnati, Burke has been a part of a pair of Kelly Cup Championships in 2008 and 2010, and went to a third Kelly Cup Final in 2014. He also served as the equipment manager for this season’s CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic in Indianapolis. Burke began his career with the Cyclones, working for the team for four seasons from 2000-2004, including one as head equipment manager. Burke spent the 2004-05 season with the ECHL’s Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies and the 2005-06 season with the Fresno Falcons. His tenure in Fresno saw Burke earn his first ECHL All-Star selection, and he was named ECHL Equipment Manager of the Year, as well.
Power Surge: The Cyclones have at least one power play goal in 10 of their last 14 games, going 15-for-48 in that stretch. They have the fourth-ranked power play unit in the League with a 20.1% power play conversion rate (40/199). Additionally, Cincinnati has the second-best home power play percentage in the ECHL, having lit the lamp 23 times in 96 tries which is good for 24%.
Packed Schedule: Cincinnati will have their hands full in the second half of the season, playing their final 21 games over a stretch of 49 days, which is an average of one games every 2.33 days. Additionally, Cincinnati will play 15 of those 21 games against the Central Division, and they have five more stretches of three games in three days, two stretches of four games in five days, and one stretch of seven games in nine days.
Finishing What They Started: The Cyclones have a 20-1-0-0 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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