GAME PREVIEW: 12/5 vs. Toledo

GAME PREVIEW: 12/5 vs. Toledo

For Immediate Release: December 5, 2018


Game 22 (Road Game 10)

Vs. Toledo Walleye (14-2-2-0, 30 pts)

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 10:35am ET

Huntington Center - Toledo, OH


Overview: The Cyclones hit the road for the first of two this week on Wednesday morning in Toledo against the Walleye. Cincinnati snapped their three-game skid with a 5-2 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets on Saturday night, and still sit one point back of the Walleye in the ECHL’s Central Division standings. 

Saturday Night Recap:  The Cincinnati Cyclones (13-5-2-1) snapped a three-game winless streak with a 5-2 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets on Saturday night. Forward Judd Peterson led the way with a pair of goals, while forwards Myles Powell and Jesse Schultz, along with defenseman Eric Knodel tallied the goals for the Cyclones. The Cyclones were outshot, 28-26 on the evening, with goaltender Jonas Johansson stopping 26 in the win.

Last 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. 

Last 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. 

Previewing Toledo: The Walleye enter Wednesday’s game winners of eight in the last 10, and hold down the top spot in the Central Division, and are second in the ECHL’s League standings. Toledo currently ranks in the top six in both offense (2nd- 3.47 G/GM) and defense (6th- 2.72 GA/GM). Like Cincinnati, the Walleye are amongst the best in the League at protecting leads, posting identical 9-0-1-0 records when leading through the first and second periods, respectively. Their best period is the first, as they are outscoring the opposition, 21-9 through 20 minutes. They are led offensively by forward5, who possess a team-leading 10 goals along with 16 assists. He’s followed by forward TJ Hensick (6g, 19a) and defenseman Matt Register (2g, 17a) who round out the top three. 

Inside the Series: This is the second game of an 11-game season series between the Cyclones and Walleye, with Toledo taking a 4-3 overtime decision back on October 24 at U.S. Bank Arena. The Walleye were 6-2-0-0 against Cincinnati a year ago, and outscored the ‘Clones, 25-14 in the process.  

Next Game Preview: Cincinnati heads to Kalamazoo on Sunday afternoon to wrap up their two-game trip. The Cyclones are 4-0-1-0 against Kalamazoo this season, and will meet five more times after Sunday. 

Johansson Recalled: Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Jonas Johansson has been recalled by the Rochester Americans, Cincinnati’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate. A native of Galve, SWE, Johansson has posted a 7-3-1-1 record this season, along with a 2.49 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. He has also pitched two shutouts.. He has been on a tear as of late, winning six of his last eight starts and posting a 1.74 GAA and a .940 SV% in the process. The second-year netminder led Cincinnati to a pair of wins during the week of November 12, posting a 0.50 goals-against average and a .981 save percentage along with one shutout, and earned ECHL Goaltender of the Week honors for his efforts. Drafted by the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Buffalo Sabres in the third round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the third-year pro appeared in 27 games with Cincinnati last season, accounting for a 14-11-1-0 record along with a 3.13 GAA and a .909 SV%. He has also skated in 14 career games with the Americans where he has a record of 7-6-1-0.

The Best of Both Worlds: The Cyclones currently lead the ECHL in both offensive production (3.81 G/GM) and team defense (2.38 GA/GM), and are outscoring teams, 80-50.  

Familiar Foes: The Cyclones are in the midst of 10 straight games against the Central Division, and have won six of the first nine games on their current stretch. Cincinnati is 11-4-2-1 against their divisional foes this season, and are set to play 51 total games against the Central this season. 

Taking Away the Power: The Cyclones enter Wednesday as the top penalty killing team in the League, having allowed just eight goals in 75 shorthanded situations (89.3%). Additionally, Cincinnati also boasts the third-ranked home (88.6%, 34/37), and road (89.7, 20/29) penalty kills, and have only allowed six power play goals on their last 55 chances.

Defensive Dominance: The Cyclones lead the ECHL team defense, allowing 2.38 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, 25-9, in the final 20 minutes of play. Additionally, the Cyclones are 11-1-0-1. 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 11-4-0-1 in their last 16 games, outscoring their opponents 64-35 in that span, including 41-14 in their 11 wins.

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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