GAME PREVIEW: 2/7 vs. Toledo
For Immediate Release: February 7, 2020
Game 48 (Home Game 34)
Vs. Toledo Walleye (25-13-3-1, 54 pts)
Friday, February 7, 2020, 7:35pm ET
Heritage Bank Center - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones return home to take on the Toledo Walleye on Friday night, in the beginning of a three-in-three between the two sides. Cincinnati saw their three-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday night in Indy, with a 3-2 loss to the Fuel. Despite the loss, Cincinnati remains 10 points clear of the Walleye for the top spot in the ECHL’s Central Division.
Tuesday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (29-12-6-0) fell to the Indy Fuel, 3-2, on Tuesday night. Forwards Mason Mitchell and Ben Johnson scored the goals for Cincinnati. The Cyclones outshot the Fuel, 24-20, with goaltender Jamie Phillips stopping 17 in his Cyclones debut
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (29-11-6-0) clipped the Kalamazoo Wings, 4-3 in overtime, on Saturday night. Forward Pascal Aquin led the way with a pair of goals, including the game-winner in overtime, while forwards Mason Mitchell and Nate Mitton each potted lone markers for the Cyclones, who improve to 6-6 in overtime games this season. Cincinnati outshot the Wings, 35-24, with goaltender Michael Houser steering aside 21 in the win.
Last Friday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (28-11-6-0) picked up a come-from-behind, 4-3 overtime win over the Indy Fuel on Friday Night. Forwards Mason Mitchell and Ben Johnson, along with defenseman Justin Baudry scored the goals in regulation, while defenseman Tobie Bisson scored the winner in overtime win for Cincinnati, who earn their fifth win in the last six outings. The Cyclones outshot Indy, 38-25, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 22 in the win.
Previewing Toledo: The Walleye enter the weekend 10 points back of the Cyclones for the top spot in the ECHL’s Central Division, and are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Indy Fuel on Saturday night, snapping their four-game winning streak. The Walleye are in the top three in the League in both power play and penalty kill, ranking third on the man advantage with a 23.8% conversion rate (38/160), and second when down a man at 87.9% (145/165). Offensively, Toledo is third in the ECHL with an average of 3.81 goals per game, and they are outscoring teams, 112-80 over the final 40 minutes of regulation. Additionally, the Walleye are 13-3-1-0 when leading after one, and 18-1-2-0 when ahead after two periods of play. They are led by forward Josh Kestner is tied for fifth in the ECHL in points with a team-leading 22 goals along with 27 assists for 49 points. He is followed by team assists leader Shane Berschbach (14g, 30a), and forward TJ Hensick (10g, 29a) who rounds out the top three. In goal, Billy Christopoulos leads the way with a 15-3-2-0 mark, along with a 2.60 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Cincinnati begins a three-in-three against the Toledo Walleye on Friday night at home. Cincinnati is 1-1-1-0 against the Walleye this season, and five of the Cyclones’ next nine games will be played against their I-75 rivals.
Next Game Preview: The Cyclones hit the road to continue their three-game weekend with the Walleye in Toledo on Saturday night. The face-off is scheduled for 7:15pm ET.
Aquin Recalled to Rochester: The Rochester Americans, American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Cyclones have recalled forward Pascal Aquin. He has accounted for six goals and 11 assists in 30 games played with the Cyclones this season, and has added an additional three goals two assists in 15 games with the Americans. Two of his goals for Rochester came in Wednesday’s 4-2 win over the Cleveland Monsters.
Johansson Makes NHL Debut: Former Cyclones goaltender Jonas Johansson made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut with the Buffalo Sabres, Cincinnati’s NHL affiliate, on Tuesday night. He entered the game in the second period and stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced in Buffalo’s 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. He made his first NHL start on Thursday, stopping 18 of the 21 shots he faced in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Drafted by the Sabres in the third round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Johansson has spent parts of the last two seasons with the Cyclones, accounting for an overall record of 32-16-2-2, along with a 2.86 GAA and a .909 SV%. Last season was his best in a Cyclones uniform, as he turned out a mark of 18-5-1-2, along with a 2.60 GAA and a .909 SV%. He won each of his last seven starts and eight of his last nine, and allowed more than three goals on just seven occasions. Additionally, he was tied for second in the ECHL with three shutouts. Recalled by the Sabres last Wednesday, Johansson has appeared in 20 games this season for the Rochester Americans, Cincinnati’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, posting a record of 13-3-3, and he ranks third in the AHL with a 2.19 goals-against average and is fifth with a .925 save percentage. He also represented the Americans in last weekend’s AHL All-Star Game in Ontario, CA.
Working Overtime: The Cyclones have improved their record in overtime games to 6-6 this season, following Saturday’s 4-3 overtime victory over the Kalamazoo Wings. After six of their first nine overtime games went in the loss column, Cincinnati has won three-straight overtime contests, including two games in which they had to overcome a 2-0 deficit.
PK Climbing: The Cyclones penalty kill has risen to sixth in the ECHL, having successfully killed off 84.8% (151/178) of oppositional power plays. Cincinnati has killed off 56-of-63 opponent power plays in 2020, and have allowed nine power play goals on their last 74 shorthanded chances overall.
Strong D: Cincinnati is second in the ECHL with 2.53 goals allowed per game, and pace the League with 25.47 shots against per 60 minutes. They are the only team in the ECHL averaging under 27 shots against per game, and the Cyclones have allowed 27 shots or fewer in 19-straight games. The Cyclones have allowed two or fewer goals in 18 of their last 31 games, and have given up more than three on just 10 occasions. They are 28-5-4-0 this season when allowing three or fewer goals.
Cyclones Sign Phillips: The Cyclones have signed goaltender Jamie Phillips to a Standard Player Contract (SPC) for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. Phillips returns to North America after skating in 24 games with the Coventry Blaze of the EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) in England, where he turned out a 12-12-0-0 record, along with a 3.27 goals-against average and an .875 save percentage. Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the seventh round of the 2012 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft, Phillips split the 2018-19 season between the Florida Everblades and Reading Royals, accounting for a mark of 27-11-2-1, and was tied for seventh in the ECHL with a 2.51 GAA and had a .908 SV%. He spent his final 12 games with the Royals, allowing three or fewer goals in 11 of those contests, and he ended the season on a six-game winning streak. He has also seen ECHL time with the Jacksonville IceMen and Tulsa Oilers, and has an overall ECHL mark of 49-32-5-1, along with a 2.70 GAA and a .907 SV%. The Caledonia, ON, native has also seen time with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL), appearing in 27 games from 2016-18. He has an AHL record of 8-11-3, to go along with a 2.84 GAA and a .909 SV%.
‘Clones Acquire Gerard: The Cincinnati Cyclones have acquired forward Freddie Gerard from the Adirondack Thunder, in exchange for Future Considerations. A native of Rocky River, OH, Gerard has skated in 10 games this season between the Thunder, Idaho Steelheads, and Toledo Walleye, dishing out an assist in that time. He is coming off a successful four-year collegiate career at Ohio State University, where he accounted for 23 goals and 35 assists in 118 games. His best season came during his junior year of 2017-18 when he ranked fifth on the team in scoring with 24 points on 12 goals and 12 assists. He was also fifth on the team during his senior season last year, accounting for seven goals and 13 assists. He was also teammates with Cyclones forward John Wiitala all four years.
Holding the Lead: Cincinnati has an 18-2-2-0 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 19-0-2-0.
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!