GAME NOTES: 12/22vs. Quad City
Game 26 (Road Game 13)
Vs. Quad City Mallards (8-15-2-0, 18pts)
Friday, December 22, 2017 - 8:05pm ET
TaxSlayer Center - Moline, IL
Overview: Cincinnati heads back on the road for the first time in over two weeks when they head to Moline, IL, to take on the Quad City Mallards. The Cyclones have won three games in a row following a four game losing streak, including two straight at home against the Mallards at home last week. The three straight wins have kept Cincinnati in the thick of the ECHL Central Division standings, currently placing them third, just three points back of the Ft. Wayne Komets who are in second.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (15-9-1-0) battled to a 4-2 win over the Quad City Mallards on Saturday night. Forward Justin Danforth had a pair of goals, while forward Justin Vaive and defenseman Eric Knodel each added lone tallies for the Cyclones, who have now won three in a row. Cincinnati outshot Quad City, 29-26, with goaltender Jonas Johansson turning aside 24 in the win.
Last Friday Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (14-9-1-0) picked up a 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards on Friday night. Forward Winston Day Chief led the way with three goals on the night, while forwards Jesse Schultz and Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, along with defenseman Chris Leone each lit the lamp once for Cincinnati Cyclones, who have outscored the opposition 12-4 over the last two games. The Cyclones outshot Quad Mallards, 28-25 on the evening, with goaltender Anthony Peters stopping 24 to collect the win.
Last Wednesday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (13-9-1-0) earned a 6-3 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets on Wednesday night. Forward Justin Vaive netted a pair of goals, while forwards Winston Day Chief, Justin Danforth, Jesse Schultz, and Daniel Muzito-Bagenda added lone tallies for Cincinnati, who snapped their four-game losing streak. The Komets outshot Cincinnati, 42-22 on the night, with Cyclones goaltender Jonas Johansson stopping 38 for the win. Emotions ran high in this one as well, as the two sides combined for 40 minutes in penalties on 17 infractions.
Previewing Quad City: The Mallards head into Friday night having dropped six games in a row and seven of their last eight, and are coming off a 5-4 loss to the Ft. Wayne Komets on Wednesday night. They are led offensively by forward Sam Warning who has a team high 12 goals to go along with eight assists. He is followed by rookie defenseman Willie Raskob who has a goal to go along with a team-high 16 assists, and forwards Josh MacDonald (8g, 7a) and Brayden Low (7g, 7a) who round out the top three with 15 points each. In goal, recently-acquired Matt O’Connor leads all active Quad City netminders with a 3.87 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage in four games played.
Inside the Series: Friday concludes the three-game weekend series between Cincinnati and Quad City, and marks the first trip to the Quad Cities for Cincinnati this season. The Cyclones have won all three meetings between the two teams this season, and are slated to take on the Mallards five more times this season.
Next Game Preview: The Cyclones head to Indianapolis to take on the Fuel prior to the Christmas break. This will be the first of 11 meetings this season between the Cyclones and Fuel.
Schultz Named ECHL Player of the Week: On Tuesday, forward Jesse Schultz has been named Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week for December 11-17. Schultz had a monster week for the ‘Clones, accounting for a pair of goals and five assists to help Cincinnati to three wins. He kicked off the week in a big way, registering a power play goal and a pair of assists in a 6-3 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets. His goal proved to be the game winner, and he also finished with a plus-2 on-ice rating. He followed that performance with a goal in Friday’s 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards, and wrapped up his stellar week with three assists in a 4-2 victory over the Mallards on Saturday.
Streaky Behavior: Forward Jesse Schultz is currently riding a 10-game point streak totaling six goals and 10 assist in that time, including four multi-point outings. His 20 points (10g, 18a) place him 11th in the League in scoring, and he has points in all but six games played this season.
We Are, We Are....The Youth of the Nation: Despite seeing his 11-game point streak snapped in Friday’s 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards, rookie forward Justin Danforth picked up right where he left off, accounting for a pair of goals and an assist in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Quad City Mallards. He sits atop of the ECHL’s rookie leaderboard with 31 points (15g, 16a), and has nine goals and 10 assists over his last 13 games.
Hats Off on Hat Night!: Last Friday’s Winter Hat Giveaway was made even more special due to a hat trick by forward Winston Day Chief. The Standoff, AB, native has four goals over his last three games, and is now fourth on the team with eight goals on the season. He is the third Cyclone to record a hat trick this season, joining rookie forward Justin Danforth, and defenseman Eric Knodel.
Bagging Up the Points: Forward Daniel Muzito-Bagenda has experienced an offensive surge over the last three game, accounting for a pair of goals and three assists in the time. He currently ranks sixth on the team in scoring with three goals and six assists, and his six helpers tie his professional career high in that category set last season with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Standing on the Top: Cyclones goaltender Anthony Peters is third amongst ECHL goaltenders with a 2.16 goals-against average, and is second with a .931 save percentage. He stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced in last Friday’s 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards, in his first game since being returned by the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Second Line Prowess: The line of Brandon McNally, Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, and Winston Day Chief have led the Cyclones offensively over the last three games, totalling six goals and 11 assists in that span.
Secondary Scoring: Cincinnati’s second and third lines, along with the defensive corps, have made major contributions offensively in recent games, accounting for 19 goals and 28 assists over the last 12 outings, including five goals and 10 assists in Friday’s 6-1 win over the Quad City Mallards.
Limited Opportunity: Cincinnati is fourth in the ECHL with 2.64 goals against per game. The Cyclones have allowed three or fewer goals in 11 of their last 13 games, and have given up more than three goals on just five occasions.
Finishing What They Started: The Cyclones have a 12-1-0-0 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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