GAME NOTES: 2/20 vs Indy
For Immediate Release: February 20, 2018
Game 51 (Road Game 26)
Vs. Indy Fuel (23-24-2-1, 49 pts)
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 10:35am ET
Indiana Farmers Coliseum - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones snapped their two-game slide on Sunday night with a 5-4 overtime win over the Kalamazoo Wings. With the win, Cincinnati has moved into sole possession of the third spot in the ECHL’s Central Division, one point up on the Wings. The Cyclones are in the midst of 12 -of-14 games against Central Division opponents.
Sunday Afternoon Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (28-20-2-0) collected a come-from-behind, 5-4 overtime victory over the Kalamazoo Wings on Sunday afternoon. Forwards Winston Day Chief, Alex Kile, Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, along with defenseman Eric Knodel scored in regulation for the Cyclones, while defenseman Eric Diodati potted the game winner in overtime. Cincinnati outshot Kalamazoo, 48-29 on the afternoon, with goaltender Jonas Johansson stopping 25 in the win.
Friday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (27-20-2-0) fell to the Reading Royals, 8-0, on Friday night. Reading outshot Cincinnati, 45-35 on the evening, with goaltenders Jonas Johansson and Jason Kasdorf combining to stop 37 in the loss.
Last 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.
Previewing Indy: The Fuel have had a little resurgence in recent weeks, having won five of their last eight games. They now find themselves back in the playoff hunt, just eight points back of the fourth and final spot in the Central Division. Indy enters Tuesday’s game with the second best overall power play percentage at 20.5% (40/194) and fifth in home power play percentage at 21.4% (18/84). This season, one of the Fuel’s biggest strengths is playing with a lead, as they are 14-4-0-0 when leading after the first, and 14-1-0-1 when leading through two periods. They are led by forward Ryan Rupert who has accounted for 37 points (11g, 26a) through 45 games this season. He is followed by forwards Michael Neal (15g, 19a) and Darian Dziurzynski (17g, 14a) who round out the top three. In goal, Etienne Marcoux has shouldered the bulk of the load, posting a 14-11-0-1 record along with a 3.14 goals-agaisnt average and a .915 save percentage.
Inside the Series: The Cyclones are looking for their first win of the season against the Fuel, having gone 0-3-1-0 in the first four meetings of the season. The sides will meet five more times after Tuesday.
Next Game Preview: The Kalamazoo Wings return to Cincinnati on Saturday night, in the fifth of seven matchups between the Cyclones and Wings this season. Cincinnati evened up the season series at 2-2-0-0 on Sunday, with a 5-4 overtime win at home. The teams are currently in a battle for the third and fourth playoff spots in the Central Division, as they are separated by just one point.
Muzito-Bagenda Receives AHL Call: The Cincinnati Cyclones, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Buffalo Sabres and American Hockey League’s (AHL) Rochester Americans, have announced that forward Daniel Muzito-Bagenda has been recalled by the Americans. A native of Umea, SWE, Muzito-Bagenda has appeared in 33 games with the Cyclones this season and is tied for fourth on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points. He has points in 12 of his last 14 games played, accounting for seven goals and 14 assists in that span, which included an 11 game point streak from January 20-February 10 where he totaled six goals and 14 helpers.
Good First Impression: Cyclones defenseman Eric Diodati wasted little time contributing for his new team, as he recorded the game-winning goal in overtime in Sunday’s 5-4 overtime win over the Kalamazoo Wings in just his second professional game. A native of Niagara Falls, Ont, Diodati was signed to an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) on Friday, and 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.
It’s a Grand Day: Sunday afternoon marked the 1,000th game for Cyclones equipment manager Chris Burke. A native of Cincinnati, Burke is in his twelfth season as Cyclones equipment manager, having joined the team in 2006. During his tenure in Cincinnati, Burke has been a part of a pair of Kelly Cup Championships in 2008 and 2010, and went to a third Kelly Cup Final in 2014. He also served as the equipment manager for this season’s CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic in Indianapolis. Burke began his career with the Cyclones, working for the team for four seasons from 2000-2004, including one as head equipment manager. Burke spent the 2004-05 season with the ECHL’s Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies and the 2005-06 season with the Fresno Falcons. His tenure in Fresno saw Burke earn his first ECHL All-Star selection, and he was named ECHL Equipment Manager of the Year, as well.
Achievement Unlocked: Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz recorded his 800th professional point with three assists in last Saturday night’s 5-4 overtime win against the Wichita Thunder. Schultz is on the cusp of another major milestone as well, sitting just four games shy of 900 for his pro career.
Power Surge: The Cyclones have at least one power play goal in 10 of their last 13 games, going 15-for-43 in that stretch. They have the top-ranked power play unit in the League with a 20.6% power play conversion rate (40/194). Additionally, Cincinnati has the top home power play percentage in the ECHL, having lit the lamp 23 times in 96 tries which is good for 24%.
Packed Schedule: Cincinnati will have their hands full in the second half of the season, playing their final 22 games over a stretch of 53 days, which is an average of one games every 2.40 days. Additionally, Cincinnati will play 16 of those 22 games against the Central Division, and has five 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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