GAME PREVIEW: 3/6 vs. Ft. Wayne
For Immediate Release: March 4, 2020
Game 61 (Home Game 33)
Vs. Ft. Wayne Komets (29-22-6-2, 66 pts)
Friday, March 6, 2020, 7:35pm ET
Heritage Bank Center - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones continue their three-game homestand on Friday night against the Ft. Wayne Komets. The Cyclones are coming off a 5-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings on Wednesday night for their third win in a row and seventh in the last nine games. Cincinnati can clinch a spot in the 2020 Kelly Cup Playoffs on Friday night, with a win AND a Wheeling Nailers loss.
Wednesday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (36-16-7-1) earned a 5-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings on Wednesday night. Forward Justin Vaive led the way with a pair of goals, while forwards Phil Hudon and Nate Mitton, along with defenseman Tobie Bisson added lone tallies for the Cyclones, who exploded for three power play goals in the third period. The Cyclones outshot Kalamazoo, 33-26, on the evening, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 24 in the win.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (35-16-7-1) took down the Wheeling Nailers, 5-2, on Saturday night. Forwards John Wiitala, Jesse Schultz, Ben Johnson, and Nate Mitton, along with defenseman Tobie Bisson scored the goals for the Cyclones, who held the Nailers to zero shots in the first period. It marked the first time since January 23, 2015 that the Cyclones limited an opponent to no shots in a period. Cincinnati limited the Nailers to 12 shots on the day, outshooting Wheeling 28-12, with goaltender Michael Houser steering aside 10 in the win.
Last Friday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (34-16-7-1) collected a 4-1 win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Friday night. Forward Cody Milan scored a pair of goals, while defenseman Matt Spencer and forward Ben Johnson added lone markers for Cincinnati, who snapped their two-game skid. Cincinnati outshot the Swamp Rabbits, 19-17, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 16 in the win.
Previewing Ft. Wayne: The Komets enter Friday night in third place in the ECHL’s Central Division, seven points back of the Toledo Walleye for second, and four points ahead of the Indy Fuel in fourth. Ft. Wayne has won two-straight games, and is coming off a 3-2 win over the Wheeling Nailers on Wednesday night. The Komets have top power play in the ECHL, converting on 24.6% of their chances (58/236), with 34 of their 58 power play goals coming on the road (34/129). Offensively, they are averaging 3.46 goals per game, and have outscored the opposition 70-57 in the first period. They are led by forward Brady Shaw who has totaled an team-leading 22 goals along with 35 assists for 57 points. He is followed by forward Brett McKenzie (21g, 32a), and team-assists leader Shawn Szydlowski (13g, 27a). In goal, Cole Kehler leads the way with a 14-9-2-2 record, along with a 3.05 goal-against average and a .900 save percentage.
Inside the Series: This will be the sixth of seven meetings this season between the Cyclones and Komets, and the last matchup until the season’s final day on April 5. Cincinnati is 3-1-1-0 against Ft. Wayne in 2019-20, and have won two of the three meetings in Cincinnati.
Next Game Preview: Cincinnati welcomes in the Toledo Walleye on Saturday night, in the ninth of 10 meetings of the season. The Cyclones are 2-3-2-1 against Toledo this season, with the Walleye winning three of four in Cincinnati.
Power Surge: The Cyclones went 3-for-8 on the power play in Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings. All three of Cincinnati’s power play goals came in the third period, with forward Justin Vaive accounting for two of them. He is now tied with forward Jesse Schultz for the team lead in power play goals with six. Overall, Cincinnati has converted on 15.4% of their power play chances this season (35/227).
Phillips Dealt to Brampton: The Cincinnati Cyclones have traded goaltender Jamie Phillips to the Brampton Beast, in exchange for Future Considerations. Signed to a Standard Player Contract (SPC) in late January, Phillips skated in seven games with the Cyclones and has a record of 4-3-0-0, along with a 3.18 goals-against average and an .882 save percentage. He has won each of his last four starts and has allowed two or fewer goals in three of them, including stopping all 11 shots he faced in a 3-0 shutout on February 21. Phillips spent 24 games with the Coventry Blaze of the EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) in England earlier this season, 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%.
Strong D: Cincinnati is fifth in the ECHL with 2.60 goals allowed per game, and pace the League with 25.47 shots against per 60 minutes. The Cyclones held Wheeling to zero shots in the first period of last Friday’s 5-2 win over the Nailers, marking the first time since January 23, 2015 that the Cyclones limited an opponent to no shots in a period. 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 28 of their last 32 games. The Cyclones have allowed three or fewer goals in 36 of their last 45 games, and have given up more than three on just 12 occasions all season. They are 34-6-5-1 this season when allowing three or fewer goals.
Defensively Offensive:Cyclones defenseman Tobie Bisson has goals in four of his last five games and points in six of his last eight games (5g, 1a), Additionally, defenseman Justin Baudry has accounted for four goals and eight assists over his last 11 games, and is fourth on the team in scoring with 36 points (11g, 25a).
When it Rains, it Pours: After being held to three or fewer goals in nine of their previous 11 games, the Cyclones have scored 35 goals over their last nine games, leading them to seven wins in that span.
Holding the Lead: Cincinnati has an 23-3-2-1 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 24-0-2-0.
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!