CYCLONES GAME NOTES: 2016 Western Conference Quarterfinals- Game 3 vs Ft. Wayne
Quarterfinals, Game 3 vs Ft. Wayne Komets
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 7:35 pm ET
U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati Leads Best-Of-Seven Series, 2-0
Overview: The Cincinnati Cyclones earned a pair of 3-2 victories over the Ft. Wayne Komets in Games 1 and 2 of their best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinal series. The Cyclones return home for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday and Friday, along with Game 5 on Saturday if necessary.
Game 2 Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones picked up a 3-2 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Forwards Andrew Yogan, Zach Budish, and Christiaan Minella scored the goals for the Cyclones, who lead the best-of-seven series, 2 games to 0. The Komets outshot Cincinnati, 33-20, with goaltender Brad Thiessen turning aside 31 to collect the win.
Game 1 Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones collected a 3-2 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets, in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Friday night. Forward Tommy Mele netted a pair of goals, while forward Jack Downing chipped in one for the Cyclones. Goaltender Brad Thiessen stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced to help lift the Cyclones to the win. The Cyclones and Komets meet again on Saturday night, in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:30pm ET.
Cyclones News and Notes
Well, Aren’t You Special: The Cyclones’ special teams played a crucial role in both of Cincinnati’s wins over the weekend, registering a pair of shorthanded goals and a power play tally. Friday’s game featured a power play marker from forward Jack Downing and a shorthanded tally from forward Tommy Mele, while Saturday’s game saw a shorthanded goal from forward Andrew Yogan. Cincinnati’s penalty kill ranks third amongst playoff teams with a 90.9% success rate (10/11), while the power play has converted on one of its nine chances (11.1%).
Hello Old Friends: It was a successful weekend for forward Tommy Mele against his former team, as he recorded a pair of goals in Friday’s 3-2 win. He now has 10 goals and six assists in 63 career postseason appearances. Mele started his pro hockey career with the Komets back in the 2011 playoffs when they were members of the Central Hockey League (CHL), recording seven goals and 11 assists in 54 total games played over two seasons.
Late Game Heroics: Christiaan Minella lit the lamp with 32.2 seconds left in regulation to send Cincinnati to a 3-2, Game 2 victory over the Ft. Wayne Komets, marking his second-career postseason game-winning goal. Minella is coming off a career-high 14-goal regular season, and he also tied his career high in points with 22.
Playoff History: This is the eighth time Cincinnati has made the postseason since returning to the ECHL prior to the 2006-2007 season, and the second time the Cyclones and Komets will meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The two sides clashed in the 2014 Eastern Conference Semifinals, with Cincinnati taking the best-of-seven series, 4 games to 2. The Cyclones went on to lose in the Kelly Cup Finals to the Alaska Aces that season, 4 games to 2. Cincinnati won the Kelly Cup in 2008 and again in 2010.
Career Years: A number of Cyclones reached personal bests in terms of offensive production this season. Forwards Jack Downing, Zach Budish, and Tommy Mele saw career highs in all three major statistical categories, with Downing recording 32 goals and 32 assists for 64 points, while Budish recorded a stat line of 24 goals and 34 assists for 58 points. Mele was a midseason addition to the Cyclones, coming to Cincinnati in mid-January in a trade with the Norfolk Admirals. In 74 games between the Admirals and Cyclones, Mele was responsible for 27 goals and 25 assists for 52 points. Also reaching a new personal best was forward Christiaan Minella, who potted a career-high 14 goals, and tied his career-high with 22 points.
The Kids Are Alright: The Cyclones’ rookie corps were a very important part to Cincinnati’s success this season. Overall, Cyclones rookies accounted for 55 goals and 102 assists for 157 points. Forward Nick Huard led the way, ranking sixth in League rookie scoring with 52 points (21g, 31a), followed by forwards Peter Quenneville (11g, 15a), and Joe Wilson (11g, 14a) who round out the top three rookie scorers on the team.
Down the Stretch they Come: The Cyclones were lights out this season when entering the third period with a lead, posting a record of 30-1-0-1 when leading after 40 minutes of play. The Cyclones also enjoyed their highest offensive production in the third period, outscoring teams 82-68 in the final frame, including 52-38 in the last 10 minutes of regulation.
Single Game Playoff Tickets On Sale: The Cincinnati Cyclones have announced that single game tickets for the first round of the 2016 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs are now on sale. The Cyclones will be hosting Game 3 and Game 4 of the first round, as well as Game 5 if necessary. Game 3 is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, while Game 4 and Game 5 will be played on Friday and Saturday, April 22 and 23, respectively. All games will start at 7:35pm ET at U.S. Bank Arena. The team has also announced a pair of promotions for the first round of the playoffs, including $1 beers for Game 3, and $1 John Morrell hot dogs for Game 4. Cyclones playoff tickets start at $16.00 for rows two and higher, and $29.50 for all first row seats.
Season Series Recap:
Overall: The 2015-16 regular season series between the Cyclones and Komets was about as close as it could have been, as both teams won five games of the 10-game series. The Cyclones had the advantage in the first five games of the season, posting a 3-1-1-0 record while outscoring Ft. Wayne, 16-10. The Komets managed to even up the series in the second half of the season, posting wins in three of the final five meetings, and holding a 23-17 edge in goals scored.
In Cincinnati: Seven of the 10 meetings, including four of the final five, took place at U.S. Bank Arena with Cincinnati coming away with victories in three of those contests (3-3-1-0). The Komets held a slight offensive advantage over the Cyclones, outscoring Cincinnati 27-22.
In Ft. Wayne: Even though there were only three games played in Ft. Wayne this season, the Cyclones had a decided advantage over the Komets. Cincinnati picked up wins in two of the three contests while outscoring Ft. Wayne, 11-6, including a combined 10-2 in the first two meetings back on October 31 and November 26.
The 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs are upon us! YOUR Cyclones are on the march towards another Kelly Cup Championship, and want you along for the ride! Be sure to get your single game tickets, or check out one of our 2016 Kelly Cup Playoff Ticket Packages, available NOW! Call 513.421.PUCK to reserve your seats. Fans can also get the latest team updates on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), Instagram, and our website, www.cycloneshockey.com!