2018 Kelly Cup Playoff Preview- Divisional Semifinal vs. Ft. Wayne
For Immediate Release: April 11, 2018
2018 KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS
Divisional Semifinals vs. Ft. Wayne Komets
Game 1: Saturday, April 14- Cincinnati AT Ft. Wayne @ 7:35pm ET
Game 2: Sunday, April 15- Cincinnati AT Ft. Wayne @ 6:05pm ET
Game 3: Thursday, April 19- Ft. Wayne AT Cincinnati @ 7:35pm ET
Game 4: Saturday, April 21- Ft. Wayne AT Cincinnati @ 7:35pm ET
Game 5: Sunday, April 22- Ft. Wayne AT Cincinnati @ 3:05pm ET (If Necessary)
Game 6: Tuesday, April 24- Cincinnati AT Ft. Wayne @ 7:35pm ET (If Necessary)
Game 7: Wednesday, April 25- Cincinnati AT Ft. Wayne @ 7:35pm ET (If Necessary)
*Bold Italic Indicates Cyclones Home Game*
Overview: The Cyclones take on the Ft. Wayne Komets in the Divisional Semifinal round of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Komets enter the series as the second seed in the Central, while Cincinnati holds down the third seed. This is the third time since 2014 that the Cyclones and Komets have met in the playoffs, with Ft. Wayne prevailing in seven games in the 2016 Western Conference Quarterfinals, and the Cyclones taking a six-game series during the 2014 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Single Game Playoff Tickets Now on Sale: Tickets for the first round of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs are now on sale. Tickets start at $18.00 for rows two and higher, and are just $30.50 for the front row on the glass. Cyclones playoff packages for every round of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs are already on sale, and start at $288 per seat for the general public and include all 16 potential playoff games.
Season Series Recap: The Cyclones posted a 5-4-0-0 record against the Komets this season, with two of those wins coming in overtime. Cincinnati started out the nine-game series hot, winning each of the first four games between the two sides and outscoring the Komets 18-9 in those contests. Ft. Wayne turned the tide in the final five games, posting a 4-0-1-0 record in those contests, while outscoring Cincinnati, 23-11.
Previewing Cincinnati: The Cyclones are in the playoffs for the ninth time in the last 12 years after finishing third in the Central Division, three points ahead of the Indy Fuel who locked up their spot on the season’s last day. The Cyclones had one of the top power play groups during the regular season, ranking second in both overall (20.1%- 56/279) and home (24.1%- 33/137) conversion rates. Cincinnati was one of the ECHL’s strongest teams when playing with a lead as well, posting a 22-8-1-0 record when leading after one, and a 26-4-0-0 mark when up after two periods.
The Cyclones were led by All-ECHL Second Team member Jesse Schultz, who ranked second in League scoring with 75 points, including a League-leading 57 assists. He also led the Cyclones in power play scoring with 32 points (3g, 29a). He was followed by the reigning ECHL Rookie of the Year, Justin Danforth, who accounted for 28 goals and 31 assists in 44 ECHL games played. Defenseman and team captain Eric Knodel placed third on the Cyclones and in League defenseman scoring with 13 goals and 39 assists, earning him a spot on the All-ECHL Second Team as well, while forward Daniel Muzito-Bagenda came in fourth with 46 points (19g, 27a) in 46 games played. Team-goals leader Justin Vaive rounded out the top five in scoring with 32 goals and 19 assists. Between the pipes, both Jonas Johansson and Jason Kasdorf virtually split time right down the middle, with Johansson recording a 14-11-1-0 record along with a 3.13 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage, while Kasdorf countered with a 13-11-1-0 record with a 3.04 GAA and a .903 SV%.
Cincinnati Cyclones Playoff Roster:
Forwards (11): Mike Barrett, Winston Day Chief, Rob De Fulviis, Alex Kile, Brandon McNally, Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, Shawn O’Donnell, Myles Powell, Jesse Schultz, Justin Vaive, Dominic Zombo
Defensemen (8): Arvin Atwal, Brock Beukeboom, Eric Diodati, Anthony Florentino, Eric Knodel, Chris Leone, Brycen Martin, Mitch Nylen
Goaltenders (3): Jonas Johansson, Jason Kasdorf, Hayden Stewart
Eligible Players (2):Justin Danforth, Anthony Peters
Previewing Ft. Wayne: The Komets finished second in the ECHL’s Central Division, seven points back of the Toledo Walleye in first. This is the fifth consecutive trip to the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the Komets, who have advanced past the first round in each of the previous four seasons. Ft. Wayne wrapped up the 2017-18 season with the ECHL’s top offense, scoring 290 total goals for an average of 4.03 goals per game. Additionally, Ft. Wayne ranked just ahead of the Cyclones in ninth place with 3.00 goals allowed per 60 minutes.
They were led by the ECHL’s top scorer in Shawn Szydlowski, who accounted for 31 goals and 48 assists through 64 games this season. He was followed by Garrett Thompson who netted 29 goals along with 42 helpers, and team goals leader Gabriel Desjardins, who totaled 67 points (33g, 34a) in 58 games this season. In goal, former Cyclone Michael Houser led the way with a 28-11-4-0 record, along with a 2.73 goals-against average and a .909 saver percentage.
Ft. Wayne Komets Playoff Roster:
Forwards (9)- Mason Baptista, Gabriel Desjardins, Dennis Kravchenko, Shawn Szydlowski, Justin MacDonald, Anthony Petruzzelli, Garrett Thompson, Phelix Martineau, Justin Hodgman, Marco Roy, Jamie Schaafsma
Defensemen (8)- Jason Binkley, Dan Maggio, Curtis Leonard, Bobby Shea, Cody Sol, Ryan Culkin, Ryan Lowney, Kevin McKernan.
Goaltenders (2)- Michael Houser, Garrett Bartus.
Eligible Players (3)- Trevor Cheek, Artur Tyanulin, Zac Larraza.
The 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs are upon us, and the Cincinnati Cyclones are on the quest for a THIRD Kelly Cup Championship! Single game playoff tickets and packages are on sale NOW, and can be purchased by calling (513) 421-PUCK! Also, stay on top of the latest team updates, news and note on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), and Instagram, along with our website, www.cycloneshockey.com!