GAME PREVIEW: 1/11 vs. Rapid City
For Immediate Release: January 11, 2020
Game 38 (Road Game 21)
Vs. Rapid City Rush (20-13-3-0, 43 pts)
Saturday, January 11, 2020, 9:05pm ET
Rushmore Plaza Civic Center - Rapid City, SD
Overview: The Cyclones wrap up their three-game western road trip on Saturday night against the Rapid City Rush. Cincinnati saw their five-game points streak come to an end on Friday night with a 5-2 loss to the Rush, however the Cyclones still hold down the top spot in the ECHL’s Central Division, six points ahead of the Toledo Walleye in second.
Last Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (22-9-6-0) fell to the Rapid City Rush, 5-2, on Friday night. Forwards Jesse Schultz and Darik Angeli scored the goals for the Cyclones, who see their two-game winning streak come to an end. Cincinnati outshot the Rush, 34-27, with goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopping 22 in the loss
Wednesday Night Recap:The Cincinnati Cyclones (22-8-6-0) collected a 4-1 win over the Rapid City Rush on Wednesday night. Forwards Pascal Aquin, Jesse Schultz, and Nate Mitton, along with defenseman Justin Baudry scored the goals for the Cyclones, who now have points in five-straight games. The Cyclones outshot Rapid City, 32-26 on the night, with goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopping 25 in the win.
Last Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (21-8-6-0) closed out Throwback Weekend on Saturday night with a 4-0 win over the Wheeling Nailers. The Cyclones received goals from defenseman Andrew DeBrincat, and forwards Mason Mitchell, John Edwardh, and Pascal Aquin, while goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped all 21 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season. The Cyclones outshot Wheeling, 50-21 on the night, marking their first 50-shot output since April 1, 2016 against the Evansville IceMen.
Previewing Rapid City: The Rush took over the third spot in the ECHL’s Mountain Division with a 5-2 win over the Cyclones on Friday night, and now lead the Utah Grizzlies by one point. The Rush have won five of their last seven games overall. Rapid City has had a lot of success when playing with the lead, as they are 10-1-2-0 when leading after one, and 13-1-1-0 when ahead through 40 minutes. Defensively, they rank tenth with 3.08 goals-against per game, and they have the fourth-ranked penalty kill at 86.7% (143/165). They are led by forward and team captain Peter Quenneville who has accounted for 14 goals and 25 assists through 36 games, including four goals and one helper in Friday’s 5-2 win over the Cyclones. He is followed by forwards Tyler Coulter (15g, 13a) and Brennan Saulnier (12g, 11a) who round out the top three. In goal, Alex Sakellaropoulos leads the way with an 4-7-0-0 overall mark, along with a 3.47 goals-against average along with a .901 save-percentage.
Inside the Series: Saturday is the is the finale of a three-game series between the ‘Clones and Rush this week, and third of five-in-six between the teams. Cincinnati won the lone meeting between the two last year, and is 2-2-0-0 all time against the Rush.
Next Game Preview: Cincinnati returns home on Friday night to take on the Ft. Wayne Komets, in the fifth of seven meetings this season. The ‘Clones are 3-0-1-0 against Ft. Wayne this season, with Cincinnati winning both games played at home.
Luukkonen Named ECHL All-Star: The Cincinnati Cyclones, in conjunction with the ECHL, have announced that goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been named the Cyclones’ representative for the upcoming 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic. Hailing from Espoo, FIN, Luukkonen has skated in 18 games for the Cyclones this season, accounting for a record of 12-4-3-0, and ranks third with a 2.02 goals-against average, to go along with a .921 save-percentage. He is also tied for second in the ECHL with three shutouts. Luukkonen has allowed more than three goals on just four occasions this season, and has made 25 or more saves on 10 occasions. He was named the Warrior Hockey/ECHL Goaltender of the Month for December after posting a record of 6-2-1-0 and a 1.88 goals-against average along with a .925 save percentage.
PK Climbing: The Cyclones penalty kill has risen to ninth in the ECHL, having successfully killed off 84.2% (117/139) of oppositional power plays. Cincinnati has killed off 22-of-24 opponent power plays in 2020, and have allowed four power play goals on their last 35 shorthanded chances.
Romeo Traded to Florida: The Cincinnati Cyclones have traded goaltender Sean Romeo to the Florida Everblades in exchange for Future Considerations. Romeo has appeared in nine games with the Cyclones this season, posting a record of 6-2-0-0 along with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage. A native of Cary, NC, Romeo spent the last two seasons at Ohio State University where he appeared in 54 games and posted a 30-17-7 record along with a 2.21 GAA and a .919 SV%. His best season came during his junior year in 2017-18 where he recorded a mark of 22-10-5 along with a 2.06 GAA and a .927 SV%. He was also a semifinalist for the 2018 Mike Richter Award as college hockey’s top goaltender that year, and was also named the NCAA Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player. Romeo left Ohio State with a school-record shutout streak of 204:27, and he is the first goaltender in school history with shutouts in three straight games. He ranks fourth in program history with a 2.22 GAA, and is tied for fourth with a .919 SV%. He helped backstop the Buckeyes to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths, including a trip to the 2018 Frozen Four.
Welcome Back:This week marks the return to Rapid City for Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz, who suited up for the Rush from 2010-15. He still stands as the Rush’s all-time scoring leader, accounting for 99 goals and 176 assists in 234 games, including three seasons of 64 or more points.
Strong D: Cincinnati is second in the ECHL with 2.51 goals allowed per game, and pace the League with 26.65 shots against per 60 minutes, and have allowed 27 shots or fewer in nine-straight games. The Cyclones have allowed two or fewer goals in 14 of their last 21 games, and have given up more than three on just eight occasions. They are 21-4-4-0 this season when allowing three or fewer goals.
Milestone Night: December 13 was the 1,000th professional hockey game for Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz. The 37-year-old had a big game, dishing out four assists in a 5-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings. Schultz recently recorded his 900th professional point, and currently sits at 357 goals and 562 assists across 1,009 games, in a career that has seen him spend time in North America in the ECHL, American Hockey League (AHL), and Central Hockey League (CHL), and he also skated in a pair of games for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also seen time overseas in Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Sweden.
Holding the Lead: Cincinnati has an 14-2-2-0 mark when scoring the game’s first goal, and they are perfect in regulation when leading through two periods this season, accounting for a mark of 17-0-2-0.
The 2019-20 Cincinnati Cyclones season is upon us! The defending Brabham Cup champion Cyclones are looking to build off of last season’s success, and we invite YOU to join us for the ride! Single game tickets, along with season and group ticket packages for every game this season are on sale now, and you can get more info 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!