GAME NOTES: 3/24 vs. Wheeling
Game 66 (Road Game 32)
Vs. Wheeling Nailers (33-25-7-1, 74 pts)
Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 7:05pm ET
WesBanco Arena - Wheeling, WV
Overview: The Cyclones came up short against the Atlanta Gladiators on Friday night, dropping their fifth game in a row. Despite the loss, Cincinnati maintains the third spot in the ECHL’s Central Division , three points ahead of the Kalamazoo Wings and five up on the Kansas City Mavericks.
Last Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (35-27-3-0) fell to the Atlanta Gladiators, 3-2, on Saturday night. Forwards Jesse Schultz and Daniel Muzito-Bagenda tallied the goals for the ‘Clones. The Cyclones were outshot, 34-28 on the evening, with goaltender Jason Kasdorf stopping 31 in the loss.
Friday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (35-26-3-0) fell, 6-2, to the Atlanta Gladiators on Thursday night. Forwards Alex Kile and Justin Vaive scored the goals for the Cyclones, while Atlanta’s Lindsay Sparks recorded a hat trick. The Cyclones were outshot, 29-27 on the night, with goaltender Jason Kasdorf stopping 23 in the loss.
Tuesday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (35-25-3-0) dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime decision to the Indy Fuel on Tuesday evening. Forward Justin Vaive recorded his third hat trick of the season, while forward Jesse Schultz crossed the 50-assist plateau with three helpers. Indy outshot the Cyclones, 38-17, with goaltender Jason Kasdorf steering aside 34 in defeat.
Previewing Wheeling: The Nailers enter Saturday winners of two in a row, and are coming off a 4-3 win over the Brampton Beast on Friday night. The power play has been one of the strengths of the Nailers this season, currently ranking third with a 19.5 power play conversion percentage (51/262). Offensively, Wheeling is sixth in the League with 3.44 goals-for per game, and they are one of the top teams in the ECHL when playing with a lead, posting a 22-4-1-0 record when leading after 20 minutes, and 22-2-2-0 when ahead after two. They are led offensively by forward Cody Wydo who has accounted for 26 goals and 30 assists in 52 games. He is followed by a pair of 51-point scorers in forwards Reid Gardiner (27g, 24a) and Nick Sorkin (7g, 44a), along with forward Garrett Meurs (21g, 28a). In goal, Adam Morrison has shouldered the bulk of the load, turning out a record of 16-12-2-0, along with a 3.09 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Saturday’s game against the Nailers is the finale of a three-in-three, and the last game of Cincinnati’s 7-in-9. The Cyclones have a 3-1-0-0 record in the season series against Wheeling.
Next Game Preview: The Cyclones return to Wheeling on Tuesday to wrap up their six-game season series. Tuesday will be the make-up of the postponed contest from February 17.
Streaky Behavior: Forward Jesse Schultz extended his point streak to eight games with a goal in Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Gladiators. Schultz has a pair of goals and nine assists on his current streak, and he currently ranks second in the ECHL with 71 points (18g, 53a), and is the first player in the ECHL to reach the 50-assist plateau.
Shouldering the Load: Cyclones forwards Alex Kile, Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, Shawn O’Donnell, Jesse Schultz, and Justin Vaive have accounted for Cincinnati’s last 20 goals, dating back to Cincinnati’s 3-2 win over the Brampton Beast on March 11. Muzito-Bagenda leads the way with goals in five of his last eight games played, while Vaive has goals in four of his last seven, including a hat trick in Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Indy Fuel
Glotov Signs with ‘Clones: The Cyclones have signed Vasili Glotov to an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO). A native of Barnaul, RUS, Glotov has spent the last two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) appearing in 128 games between the Shawinigan Cataractes and the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, amassing 44 goals and 49 assists in 128 career games. He was a 2016, seventh- round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres.
Power Surge: The Cyclones have at least one power play goal in 20 of their last 27 games, going 27-for-92 in that stretch (29.3%). They also have the second-ranked power play unit in the League overall with a 20.7% power play conversion rate (52/251), and they have the second-ranked home power play unit at 25.2% (32/127).
Finishing What They Started: The Cyclones have a 24-1-0-0 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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