GAME NOTES: 2/16 vs. Reading

GAME NOTES: 2/16 vs. Reading

For Immediate Release: February 16, 2018


Game 49 (Road Game 25)

Vs. Reading Royals (27-19-3-0, 57pts)

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 7:00pm ET

Santander Arena - Reading, PA



Overview: The Cyclones saw their five-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night in a 3-2 loss to the Wichita Thunder, however are still currently tied for third in the ECHL’s Central Division. Friday marks the first of three games in three days Cincinnati who, despite seeing their five-game winning streak come to an end, have outscored their opposition 22-10 in the last six games. 

Tuesday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (27-19-2-0) dropped a 3-2 decision to the Wichita Thunder on Tuesday evening. Forward Brandon McNally netted both goals for the Cyclones, who see their five-game winning streak come to an end. The Cyclones were outshot, 31-24 on the evening, with goaltender Jonas Johansson steering aside 28 in the loss.

Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (27-18-2-0) defeated the Wichita Thunder, 5-4 in overtime, on Saturday night. Forward Justin Danforth netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner in overtime, and dished out two assists, while forwards Alex Kile, Justin Vaive, and Daniel Muzito-Bagenda chipped in lone tallies for Cincinnati. Forward Jesse Schultz reached a major career milestone in the win as well, earning his 800th professional point as a part of a three-assist night. The Cyclones were outshot, 30-18 on the evening, with goaltender Jason Kasdorf stopping 26 in the win.

Last Friday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (26-18-2-0) took down the Tulsa Oilers, 5-2, on Friday night. Forwards Alex Kile and Justin Vaive each had a pair of goals while defenseman Chris Leone chipped in one for the Cyclones, who extend their winning streak to four games. The Cyclones were outshot, 40-30 on the night, with goaltender Jonas Johansson stopping 38 in the win.

Previewing Reading: The Royals have won five of their last seven games, and are coming off a 3-2 loss in Worcester against the Railers on February 7. Reading enters Friday night with the League’s third-best penalty kill at 86.9%, and fourth in goals-against with an average of 2.73 goals allowed per game. They are led offensively by forward Matt Willows who has accounted for 18 goals and 30 assists through 49 games played this season. He is followed by forward Chris McCarthy (15g, 16a) and defenseman Nolan Zajac (9g, 19a) who round out the top three. In goal, Mark Dekanich has posted a 10-13-1-0 record with a 2.94 goals-against average along with a .910 save-percentage.  

Inside the Series: This will be the finale of a two-game season series between the ‘Clones and Royals, with Cincinnati taking the first game back in late November.

Next Game Preview:  Cincinnati continues their three-in-three against the Wheeling Nailers on Saturday night. The Cyclones have taken three of the first four meetings between the two sides this season, and the teams are slated to meet once more during the 2017-18 campaign. 



Cyclones Add Diodati: The Cyclones have signed defenseman Eric Diodati to an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO).  A native of Niagara Falls, Ont, Diodati 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. 

Achievement Unlocked:  Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz recorded his 800th professional point with three assists in Saturday night’s 5-4 overtime win against the Wichita Thunder. Schultz is on the cusp of another major milestone as well, sitting just six games shy of 900 for his pro career.  

Bagging up the Points: Forward Daniel Muzito-Bagenda’s 11-game point streak was snapped in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Wichita Thunder accounting for six goals and 14 assists in that time. He currently ranks fifth on the team in scoring with eight goals and 23 assists. 

Filling the Net: The Cyclones’ offense has been on display during the last seven games, having outscored teams 29-17 in that streak. Cincinnati has four or more goals in five-of-seven of those contests, with forward Justin Danforth leading the way with five goals along with eight assists, followed by Daniel Muzito-Bagenda who has accounted for a pair of goals and six assists. Additionally, forwards Justin Vaive (5g, 2a) and Jesse Schultz (7a) have each added seven points.  

Power Surge: The Cyclones have at least one power play goal in 10 of their last 11, going 15-for-42 in that stretch. They are now the top-ranked power play unit in the League with a 21.1% power play conversion rate (40/190). Additionally, Cincinnati has the top home power play percentage in the ECHL, having lit the lamp 23 times in 95 tries which is good for 24.2%. 

Playing Stingy: Cincinnati is tied for sixth in the League with 2.94 goals allowed per game, and tenth with 31.23 shots allowed. Cincinnati has outscored the opposition 29-17 in the last six games, and have allowed two goals or fewer in four of their last six games. Additionally, the Cyclones are 23-9-1-0 when allowing three or fewer goals. 

Packed Schedule: Cincinnati will have their hands full in the second half of the season, playing their final 26 games over a stretch of 57 days, which is an average of one games every 2.19 days. Additionally, Cincinnati will play 16 of those 26 against the Central Division, and has seven more stretches of three games in three days, 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 20-1-0-0 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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