Cyclones Game Preview - Cincinnati vs. Chicago

Cyclones Game Preview - Cincinnati vs. Chicago
CINCINNATI CYCLONES (15-12-0-5)
vs.
CHICAGO EXPRESS (16-15-4-2)


Click here for tonight's game note packet

DATE: Friday, January 20, 2012
TIME: 7:30pm ET
SITE: U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH
RADIO: None
WEBCAST: CyclonesHockey.com (America One)

NHL AFFILIATES
Cincinnati Cyclones: Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators
Chicago Express: Columbus Blue Jackets

NEXT HOME GAME (After Tonight)
Saturday, January 21 - 7:30pm vs. Chicago Express
KIDS EAT FREE: Fans ages 2-12 will receive a FREE meal courtesy of Donatos, Snack Healthy, and Sunny D!

TONIGHT'S MATCHUP: Tonight the Cyclones will begin a stretch of seven straight North Division games, five of which will be against the Chicago Express. For a Cincinnati team that trails the Express by just three points with five games in hand, this will be a critical battle for divisional position. So far this season, the Clones have gone 2-2-0-2 against the Express and have yet to surrender a game in regulation to them at U.S. Bank Arena, going 2-0-0-1.

SCOUTING THE EXPRESS: Chicago is in the midst of a three-game losing streak, going 0-2-0-1 in that time, and has just two wins in their last ten contests. Not surprisingly, the Express have the second-worst team defense in the ECHL with 127 goals allowed this season (3.43 goals-allowed per game). However, with all their struggles, they have been a tough team to beat when getting an early lead - going 10-2-0 when ahead after 20 minutes of play. Forward Chad Painchaud is Chicago’s offensive leader, posting 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists) in 37 games collectively. After goaltender Rob Nolan was traded and Paul Dainton in the AHL, Allen York is the Express’ go-to guy in net. In nine appearances this year, he is 4-3-1 with a 3.62 goals-against average.

About Sunday Afternoon in Wheeling: Chris Barton’s goal in round three of the shootout proved to be the game-winning strike as the Nailers came from behind to earn a 4-3 win over the Cyclones in front of 2,342 at WesBanco Arena. It was Cincinnati’s fifth shootout defeat of the season and the second time they have played back-to-back overtime games. Mathieu Aubin and Anthony Luciani each had multi-point games in a losing effort.

No Learning Curve Here: The Cyclones sport two of the ECHL’s top rookies. Matt Sisca and Anthony Luciani rank fourth and fifth respectively among all first-year players in points. Luciani’s 13 goals-scored are third-best among rookies while Sisca’s 21-assists is second-most.

Markedly Improved: Despite being on track for a record of roster moves, the Clones have been significantly better than they were in 2010-11. A year ago at the All-Star Break, Cincinnati sat at 17-17-7 - which amounts to a .475 winning percentage. This season, Jarrod Skalde’s team has amassed a .546 mark.

Shutting the Door: The Cyclones have been an extremely tough team to beat when carrying a lead into the third period. They are averaging less than a goal-allowed in the final frame this season and have the third-fewest total goals-allowed in the ECHL (30) in the third period. In addition, their 275 third period shots-allowed is a league-low. Cincinnati is 9-2-0-2 when holding the advantage through 40 minutes.

SEASON SERIES (16 Meetings - 10 Remaining)
Nov. 4 Cincinnati 3 at Chicago 4 Final SO
Nov. 5 Chicago 2 at Cincinnati 3 Final SO
Nov. 11 Cincinnati 3 at Chicago 5 Final
Nov. 19 Cincinnati 1 at Chicago 2 Final
Dec. 17 Chicago 0 at Cincinnati 3 Final
Dec. 22 Chicago 3 at Cincinnati 4 Final
Jan. 20 Chicago at Cincinnati 7:35 pm EST
Jan. 21 Chicago at Cincinnati 7:35 pm EST
Jan. 25 Cincinnati at Chicago 7:00 pm CST
Jan. 28 Cincinnati at Chicago 7:30 pm CST
Jan. 29 Cincinnati at Chicago 4:00 pm CST
Feb. 18 Cincinnati at Chicago 7:30 pm CST
Mar. 1 Chicago at Cincinnati 7:35 pm EST
Mar. 21 Chicago at Cincinnati 7:35 pm EDT
Mar. 28 Cincinnati at Chicago 7:00 pm CDT
Mar. 31 Chicago at Cincinnati 7:35 pm EDT

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