GAME PREVIEW: 12/1 vs. Ft. Wayne

GAME PREVIEW: 12/1 vs. Ft. Wayne

For Immediate Release: December 1, 2018

 

Game 21 (Home Game 12)

Vs. Ft. Wayne Komets (10-8-0-0, 20 pts)

Saturday, December 1, 2018 - 7:35pm ET

U.S. Bank Arena – Cincinnati, OH

 

Overview: The Cyclones snapped their two-game point drought, however fell in a shootout to the Ft. Wayne Komets on Wednesday night. Cincinnati remains one point back of the Toledo Walleye for first place in the ECHL’s Central Division, heading in to Saturday night’s two-game homestand finale.  

Wednesday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (12-5-2-1) fell in a shootout, 4-3, to the Ft. Wayne Komets on Wednesday night. Forwards Nate MittonMyles Powell, and Pascal Aquin tallied the goals for Cincinnati. The Cyclones outshot the Komets, 33-26, with goaltender Jonas Johansson stopping 22 in defeat. 

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

Last 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.

 

Previewing Ft; Wayne: The Komets enter Saturday having won four in a row after dropping four of the previous six, and are coming off a 3-2 overtime win over the Toledo Walleye on Friday night. Despite to getting off to an uncharacteristically slow start, the Komets have climbed to two games above.500, and are now in third place in the ECHL’s Central Division. proven to be one of the top special teams squads in the ECHL, ranking in the top six in both power play (6th- 19.1%) and penalty kill (5th86.6%). 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 seven goals and 18 assists in 18 games played. He is followed by forwards Justin Kamrass (8g, 7a) and recently-acquired Jordan Sims (3g, 11a) who round out the top three. 

Inside the Series: This is the fifth game of an 11-game season series between the Cyclones and Komets, and the finale of two in a row for the Cyclones against the Komets. The ‘Clones are 2-1-0-1 in the first four meetings of the season series. 

Next Game Preview: Cincinnati heads to Toledo for a Wednesday morning matinee against the Walleye. This will be the second of nine meetings on the season between the Cyclones and Toledo, with Cincinnati dropping a 4-3 overtime decision on October 24. 

Familiar Foes: The Cyclones are in the midst of 10 straight games against the Central Division, and have won five of the first eight games on their current stretch. Cincinnati is 10-4-2-1 against their divisional foes this season, 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 having allowed more than three goals just twice this season.Johansson has won five of his last seven starts, posting a 1.71 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage in the process, along with two shutouts. Overall, he has a 2.54 GAA along with a .911 SV%. 

Approach with Caution: Several Cyclones have been enjoying tremendous offensive success as of late, including forward Brady Vail who has points in eight of his last 12 games, accounting for six goals and four assists in that span, while defenseman Devante Stephens has points in seven-of-11 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 nine assists. 

Taking Away the Power: The Cyclones enter Saturday as the second-best penalty killing team in the League, having allowed just eight goals in 73 shorthanded situations (89.0%). Additionally, Cincinnati also boasts the fourth-ranked home penalty at 88.6% (34/37), and have only allowed six power play goals on their last 53 chances. 

Defensive Dominance: The Cyclones lead the ECHL team defense, allowing 2.40 goals per game with a pair of shutouts. Closing out games have been a specialty for Cincinnati, as they have only allowed eight goals in the third period, and are outscoring the opposition, 22-8, in the final 20 minutes of play. Additionally, the Cyclones are 10-1-0-1. 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 10-4-0-1 in their last 15 games, outscoring their opponents 59-33 in that span, including 46-12 in their 10 wins.Cincinnati is the third-ranked offensive team in the ECHL, averaging 3.75 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. 

 

The 2018-19 season is HERE, and the Cincinnati Cyclones want YOU along for the ride!Single game, Group, and Season Tickets are on sale NOW by calling (513) 421-PUCK! Stay on top of all the latest team updates and information on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), and Instagram, along with our website, www.cycloneshockey.com!

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