GAME PREVIEW: 11/28 vs. Ft. Wayne

GAME PREVIEW: 11/28 vs. Ft. Wayne

For Immediate Release: November 28, 2018


Game 20 (Home Game 11)

Vs. Ft. Wayne Komets (8-8-0-0, 16 pts)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 7:35pm ET

U.S. Bank Arena – Cincinnati, OH



Overview: The Cyclones dropped their second straight on Sunday afternoon with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Wheeling Nailers. Cincinnati now returns home for two in a row against the Ft. Wayne Komets, and are in second place in the ECHL’s Central Division, just one point back of the Toledo Walleye. 

Sunday Afternoon Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (12-5-2-0) dropped a 3-2 decision to the Wheeling Nailers on Sunday afternoon, in the finale of a three-game weekend. Forwards Brady Vail and Pascal Aquin tallied the goals for the Cyclones. Wheeling outshot Cincinnati, 30-22, with goaltender Jonas Johansson steering aside 27 in a losing effort. 

Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (12-4-2-0) fell to the Ft. Wayne Komets, 3-2, on Saturday night. Forwards Jesse Schultz and Pascal Aquin lit the lamp for Cincinnati, who see their five-game winning streak snapped. Cincinnati was outshot, 31-26, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 28 in the loss.

Friday Night Recap:The Cincinnati Cyclones (12-3-2-0) defeated the Indy Fuel, 3-0, on Friday night. Brady Vail netted a pair of goals for the Cyclones, while forward Justin Vaive tallied a lone marker for Cincinnati. Goaltender Jonas Johansson was perfect, stopping all 32 shots he faced for his second shutout in the last three games. Indy outshot Cincinnati, 32-31, while the Cyclones penalty kill was a perfect 4-for-4 on the evening in the win.

Previewing Ft; Wayne: The Komets enter Wednesday having won three in a row after dropping four of the previous six, and are coming off a 3-2 win over the Cyclones on Saturday night, pulling them back to .500 on the season. Despite to getting off to an uncharacteristically slow start, the Komets have proven to be one of the top special teams squads in the ECHL, ranking in the top 14 in both power play (14th- 16.9%) and penalty kill (7th86.5%). Like Cincinnati, Ft. Wayne has been stellar at closing out games, as they are 8-1-0-0 when leading through two periods. They are led by forward Justin Hodgman who has accounted for eight goals and 18 assists in 16 games played. He is followed by forwards Justin Kamrass (8g, 6a) and recently-acquired Jordan Sims (3g, 9a) who round out the top three.  

Inside the Series: This is the fourth game of an 11-game season series between the Cyclones and Komets, and the first of two straight for the Cyclones against the Komets, with the ‘Clones taking two of the first three meetings, and outscoring the Komets by a 11-9 margin. 

Next Game Preview: Cincinnati wraps up their three-game weekend Sunday afternoon in Wheeling against the Nailers. Sunday will be game three of the eight-game season slate, and the first of three in Wheeling. Cincinnati has won the first two games by a combined score of 8-2, continuing the trend from last season where the Cyclones were 5-1-0-0 against the Nailers, and outscored them 21-15.  

Familiar Foes: The Cyclones are in the midst of 10 straight games against the Central Division, and have won five of the first seven games on their current stretch. Cincinnati is 10-4-2-0 against their divisional foes, and are set to play 51 total games against the Central this season.

Dynamic Duo: Goaltender Michael Houser and Jonas Johansson have been lights out for the Cyclones this season. Houser sits third on the ECHL goaltending leaderboard with a 2.12 goals-against average and fourth with a .930 save percentage, while posting a 6-2-1-0 record has allowing more than three goals just twice this season.Johansson has won five of his last six starts, posting a 1.51 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage in the process, along with two shutouts. Overall, he has a 2.51 GAA along with a .913 SV%. 

Approach with Caution: Several Cyclones have been enjoying tremendous offensive success as of later, including forward Myles Powell who saw his seven-game point and six-game goal scoring streak snapped in Friday’s 3-0 win over the Indy Fuel where he totaled eight goals and three assists in that span. Forward Brady Vail has points in eight of his last 11 games, accounting for six goals and four assists in that span, while defenseman Devante Stephens has points in seven-of-10 with two goals and six assists. Additionally, forward Vas Glotov has points in seven of his last nine outings, amassing a pair of goals and eight assists.  

Taking Away the Power: The Cyclones enter Wednesday as the top penalty killing team in the League, having allowed just six goals in 66 shorthanded situations (90.9%). Additionally, Cincinnati also boasts the second-ranked home penalty at 91.9% (34/37), and have only allowed four power play goals on their last 46 chances. With a shorthanded tally from Pascal Aquin in Wednesday’s 6-3 win over Kalamazoo, Cincinnati now has League lead with seven shorthanded goals. 

Defensive Dominance: The Cyclones lead the ECHL team defense, allowing 2.32 goals per game with a pair of shutouts. Closing out games have been a specialty for Cincinnati, as they have only allowed four goals in the third period, and are outscoring the opposition, 22-6, in the final 20 minutes of play. Additionally, the Cyclones are 11-1-0-0 when leading through two periods, and have given up more than three goals in regulation just three times this season.  

Offensive Explosion:The Cyclones are 10-4-0-0 in their last 14 games, outscoring their opponents 56-29 in that span, including 46-12 in their 10 wins.Cincinnati is the top offensive team in the ECHL, averaging 4.00 goals scored per game. 

Welcome Matt Thomas: The Cyclones enter the 2018-19 season with a new head coach. In early August, Cincinnati hired Matt Thomas as the team’s new bench boss. He replaced Matt Macdonald who was named assistant coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins; American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.  A native of Maple Ridge, BC, Thomas has extensive head coaching experience in the ECHL, spanning 11 seasons with the Atlantic Boardwalk Bullies, Fresno Falcons, and Stockton Thunder from 2002-2013. Thomas served two seasons as an assistant coach with Atlantic City, including helping the Boardwalk Bullies to a Kelly Cup Championship in 2003, before assuming the role of head coach and Director of Hockey Operations with the team prior to 2004-2005. He compiled a 42-22-8 mark in his lone season as Atlantic City’s bench boss, and served as the head coach for the 2005 ECHL All-Star Game. He then moved on to Fresno prior to the 2005-06 campaign, leading the Falcons to a 43-15-14 mark along with a trip to the Western Conference Finals. Over the next two seasons in Fresno, Thomas compiled a 76-41-17 record, with trips to the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs on both occasions. He coached the Falcons during the first half of 2008-09, leading the team to an 18-10-2 mark before the team ceased operations midseason. Thomas was not out of work for long however, as he was named head coach of Stockton shortly after and finished the year with a record of 22-16-3, and a trip to the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Thomas went on to coach the Thunder for four more seasons, amassing a mark of 141-111-36, reaching the post season each year, including a trip to the 2013 Kelly Cup Finals. He enters the 2018-19 campaign as the ECHL’s sixth-winningest coach with a career record of 342-225-80, just one win back of fifth place all time. He is also the all-time leader in playoff games coached with 97, and ranks third with 49 playoff wins. 


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