GAME NOTES: 4/8 vs. Ft. Wayne
For Immediate Release: April 8, 2018
Game 72 (Road Game 36)
Vs. Ft. Wayne Komets (45-20-5-1, 96 pts)
Sunday, April 8, 2018 - 5:00pm ET
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum - Ft. Wayne, IN
Overview: The Cyclones wrap up the 2017-18 regular season against the Ft. Wayne Komets on Sunday afternoon, in the first of potentially eight games in a row between the two sides. Cincinnati fell to the Quad City Mallards on Saturday night, in the final ECHL game in Mallards history.
Last Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (39-29-3-0) fell to the Quad City Mallards, 4-3 on Saturday night, in the final ECHL game in Quad City’s history. Forwards Myles Powell, Brandon McNally, and Dominic Zombo scored the goals for the Cyclones. The Cyclones were outshot, 49-31 on the evening, with goaltender Joseph Raaymakers stopping 45 in his pro hockey debut.
Friday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (39-28-3-0) earned a 5-2 win over the Indy Fuel on Friday night. Forwards Winston Day Chief, Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, Justin Vaive, and Brandon McNally, along with defenseman Mike Barrett lit the lamp for the Cyclones. With the win, Cincinnati has officially clinched a spot in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Cincinnati was outshot, 41-33 on the evening, with goaltender Hayden Stewart stopping 39 for the victory.
Last Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (38-28-3-0) fell to the Toledo Walleye, 4-2, on Saturday night. Forwards Alex Kile and Justin Vaive scored the goals for Cincinnati. The Cyclones outshot Toledo, 31-29, with goaltender Hayden Stewart stopping 25 in the loss.
Previewing Ft. Wayne: The Komets enter their season finale having dropped three of their last four games, including a 7-3 decision to the Wheeling Nailers on Saturday night. Ft. Wayne has second place in the ECHL’s Central Division locked up, and are set to take on the Cyclones in the first round of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. They currently have the league’s top offense, averaging 4.00 goals per game, along with the eighth-ranked offense at 3.00 goals allowed per 60 minutes. They are led offensively by forward Shawn Szydlowski who has totaled 30 goals along with a team-leading 47 assists. He is followed by forwards Garrett Thompson (29g, 42a) and Gabriel Desjardins (32g, 34a) who round out the top three. In goal, Michael Houser leads the way with a 27-11-4-0 record along with a 2.72 goals-against average along with a .910 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Sunday marks finale of the nine-game season series between the Cyclones and Komets, and serves as a first round playoff preview for the two sides. Cincinnati has posted a 5-3-0-0 record against the Komets this season, however Ft. Wayne is 3-0-1-0 in the previous four contests against Cincinnati, while outscoring the ‘Clones 17-8 in those games.
Next Game Preview: The Cyclones embark on their quest for a third Kelly Cup Championship when they take on the Ft. Wayne Komets in the first round of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Game 1 is scheduled for next Saturday, April 14, in Ft. Wayne.
Cyclones Clinches Playoff Berth: With their 5-2 win over the Indy Fuel on Friday night, the Cyclones have clinched a berth in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs, and will take on the Ft. Wayne Komets in the Divisional Semifinals. The first round is set to begin on Saturday, April 14. Ft. Wayne will host Game 1 on the 14th at 7:35pm ET, and Game 2 on Sunday, April 15, at 6:05pm ET. The Cyclones will welcome in the Komets for Game 3 on Thursday, April 19 at 7:30pm, and Game 4 on Saturday, April 21, also at 7:30pm. If necessary, the Cyclones will also host Game 5 on Sunday, April 22, at 3:00pm, before returning to Ft. Wayne for Game 6 and Game 7 on Tuesday, April 24, and Wednesday, April 25. Both games six and seven will be 7:35pm ET starts.
Single Game Playoff Tickets Now on Sale: Tickets for the first round of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs are now on sale. Tickets start at $18.00 for rows two and higher, and are just $30.50 for the front row on the glass. Cyclones playoff packages for every round of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs are already on sale, and start at $288 per seat for the general public and include all 16 potential playoff games.
Cyclones Earn ECHL Honors: This week, the ECHL announced that forward Justin Danforth has been named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team. Additionally, Danforth, along with forward Jesse Schultz and defenseman and team captain Eric Knodel have been named to the All-ECHL Second Team. Currently skating with the Americans, Danforth ranks second amongst ECHL first years with 28 goals and 31 assists, along with a team-leading plus-24 on-ice rating, through 44 games with the Cyclones this season. Before his recall on February 13, Danforth was riding a seven-game point streak totaling seven goals and 10 assists in that time, and he also enjoyed an 11-game point streak from November 18-December 15, accounting for seven goals and 10 assists in that span. Additionally, he has appeared in 15 games with the Americans this season, accounting for a pair of goals and three assists. He was also the Cyclones’ representative in this season’s CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, recording a goal and emerging victorious in the Fastest Skater Competition, setting a new ECHL record with a lap of 12.75 seconds. Schultz leads the Cyclones and ranks second in ECHL scoring with 18 goals and a League-leading 57 assists in 71 games played. He recently enjoyed an eight-game point streak from March 10-23 where he amassed a pair of goals and nine assists in that time. He also experienced a 13-game heater from November 25-December 27, totaling nine goals and 14 assists in that span. Currently in his second season with the Cyclones, Knodel is tied for third amongst League rearguards with 13 goals and 38 assists for in 56 games this season. His 13 goals tie him for fifth in the league, while his 39 assists place him in fourth amongst defensemen. He has also appeared in six games for the Americans.
Cyclones Add Raaymakers: The Cyclones have added goaltender Joseph Raaymakers to an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO). A native of Chatham, ON, Raaymakers is coming off a successful junior career in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), spending time with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and the London Knights. In 140 games, Raaymakers posted 79-45-6 record, along with a 3.20 goals-against average along with a .898 save percentage. His best season came during this past season where he recorded a 29-15-1 record, along with a 2.91 GAA along with a .910 SV%.
First for the Kid: Cyclones goaltender Hayden Stewart stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced in last Friday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Ft. Wayne Komets. The 23-year-old was signed by Cincinnati prior to Friday’s game, and recently completed a four-year collegiate career at Cornell University.
Shouldering the Load: Cyclones forwards Alex Kile, Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, Shawn O’Donnell, Jesse Schultz, and Justin Vaive have accounted for 32 of Cincinnati’s last 38 goals, dating back to Cincinnati’s 3-2 win over the Brampton Beast on March 11. Muzito-Bagenda leads the way with goals in eight of his last 12 games played, while Vaive has goals in seven of his last 11.
Power Surge: The Cyclones have at least one power play goal in 23 of their last 33 games, going 31-for-115 in that stretch (26.9%). They also have the second-ranked power play unit in the League overall with a 20.3% power play conversion rate (56/276), and they have the second-ranked home power play unit at 24.1% (33/137).
Finishing What They Started: The Cyclones have a 26-3-0-0 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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