GAME NOTES: 2/28 vs. South Carolina
Game 53 (Home Game 27)
Vs. South Carolina Stingrays (35-11-5-1, 76 pts)
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 7:35pm ET
U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones continue their four-game home stand on Wednesday night against one of the top teams in the ECHL; the South Carolina Stingrays. Cincinnati is coming off a 2-1 win over the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday night, and have leapfrogged the Wings into third place in the ECHL’s Central Division.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (29-21-2-0) earned a 2-1 win over the Kalamazoo Wings Saturday, on Cyclones Fight Cancer Night. Forwards Alex Kile and Justin Vaive netted the goals for the Cyclones, who are now back in third place in the ECHL’s Central Division. Goaltender Jonas Johansson turned aside 32 of the 33 shots he faced in the win, as Cincinnati was outshot, 33-19 on the night, while the power play converted in one of its three chances.
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.
Previewing South Carolina: The Stingrays are one of the top teams in the ECHL, currently sitting second in the South Division, just two points back of the Florida Everblades. The Stingrays have won four in a row and eight of their nine games in the month of February, however offensively they sit 16th in goals-for per game at 3.08. The key to their success this season has been on the defensive side of the puck, where they rank first in the league with 2.17 goals-allowed per game, and second with 27.62 shots allowed per 60 minutes. They also boast the League’s top penalty kill at 91.6 % (185/202). They are led offensively by forward Joe Devin who has totaled 43 points (15g, 28a) in 52 games, followed by forwards Steven Whitney (15g, 22a) and Tim McGauley (13g, 23a) who round out the top three. In goal, Parker Milner lead the way with an 18-4-2-0 record, and is tops amongst ECHL goaltenders with a 1.98 goals-against average and second with a .929 save percentage
Inside the Series: Wednesday night marks the lone meeting of the season between the ‘Clones and Rays. 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.
Next Game Preview: Cincinnati welcomes in the Indy Fuel on Friday night, in the first of a three-game weekend for the Cyclones. Cincinnati is looking for their first win on the season against the Fuel, with Indy posting a perfect 5-0-0-0 record. The sides will meet four more times after Friday night.
Diodati Signed to SPC: Cyclones defenseman Eric Diodati has been signed to a Standard Player Contract (SPC) for the remainder of the season. He was signed to an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) February 16. A native of Niagara Falls, ONT, Diodati wasted little time contributing for his new team, as he recorded the game-winning goal in overtime in last Sunday’s 5-4 overtime win over the Kalamazoo Wings in just his second professional game. Overall, he has goal and ana assist in four games with Cincinnati. He 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.
McNally Returns to Cincinnati: Cyclones forward Brandon McNally has been released from his Professional Tryout Agreement (PTO) with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL), and will be returned to the Cyclones. He appeared in two games with the Wolves, seeing a fight in his second game of action. A native of Saugus, MA, McNally has appeared in 51 games for the Cyclones this season and is sixth on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 21 assists, while leading the team with 137 minutes in penalties.
Home Cookin’: Cincinnati is one of the top teams in the ECHL on home ice this season, posting a 16-8-2-0 record at U.S. Bank Arena. They are outscoring the opposition, 86-76 on home ice this season, and have allowed more than three goals on just eight occasions. The boast a perfect 13-0-0-0 record when leading after 40 minutes of play. Additionally, the Cyclones have the second-best power play unit at home, converting on 24.2% of their man-advantage chances (24/99).
Power Surge: The Cyclones have at least one power play goal in 11 of their last 15 games, going 16-for-51 in that stretch. They have the third-ranked power play unit in the League with a 20.3% power play conversion rate (41/202). Additionally, Cincinnati has the second-best home power play percentage in the ECHL, having lit the lamp 24 times in 99 tries which is good for 24.2%.
Packed Schedule: Cincinnati will have their hands full in the second half of the season, playing their final 20 games over a stretch of 45 days, which is an average of one games every 2.25 days. Additionally, Cincinnati will play 14 of those 20 games against the Central Division, where they are 18-13-2-0 so far this season. Cincinnati has five more stretches of three games in three days, including this upcoming weekend, 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 21-1-0-0 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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