HIRANO NAMED ECHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

HIRANO NAMED ECHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Cyclones forward Yushiroh Hirano has been named the Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for December 6-12.   

The third-year pro earns league honors for the first time in his career following an 11 point week across four games (six goals, five assists). The Cyclones went 3-1-0-0 last week, with Hirano helping the team earn two wins against his former club, the Wheeling Nailers.  

On Wednesday, Yushiroh posted his first career hat trick as part of a career-high five point game (three goals, two assists) that helped the 'Clones topple Wheeling, 6-5. Hirano became the second Japanese-born player to achieve this feat, with the only other being Takahito Suzuki who scored a hat trick with the Charlotte Checkers on October 11, 2003.

Hirano scored a goal in all four games this week and continued from his performance Wednesday with a three-point effort (one goal, two assists) in Cincinnati's 6-2 win over Indy Friday night. The Tomakomai, Japan native would return to Wheeling for games on Saturday and Sunday, collecting two more goals and an assist.

"His weapon is his shot," said Cyclones Head Coach Jason Payne ahead of Sunday's game when asked about Hirano. "He can shoot the puck. He has an NHL-caliber shot, hands down. With that shot, he just needs a split second to find that opening and if he does, there's a good chance that puck is going to find the back of the net and find it fast." 

Overall, Hirano has goals in five straight games, eight in his last nine games, and points in nine of his last 11. He sits sixth in league scoring and ranks among the top five players in goals (13), power play goals (6), and shots (80).

"It feels great to be recognized by the ECHL," said Hirano. "I'm honored especially because I've been working so hard for the past two years to reach this result since I couldn't come back to the United States last season due to the pandemic."

"I'm just trying to move up the ladder and reach the next step in my career. Where I want to be is still far away from where I am now in terms of my overall game. I am going to continue what I'm doing now and continue working hard to reach that next step."

Below is the official ECHL Press Release for Yushiroh Hirano:

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SHREWSBURY, N.J. – Yushiroh Hirano of the Cincinnati Cyclones is the Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for Dec. 6-12.

Hirano scored six goals and added five assists for 11 points in four games last week.

The 26-year-old had five points (3g-2a) in a 6-5 win over Wheeling on Wednesday, tallied three points (1g-2a) in a 6-2 victory over Indy on Friday, picked up a goal in a 4-1 loss at Wheeling on Saturday and added a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over the Nailers on Sunday. 

A native of Tomakomai, Japan, Hirano is tied for third in the ECHL with 13 goals and is tied for sixth with 25 points in 21 games this season.

Hirano has recorded 117 points (45g-72a) in 140 career ECHL games with Cincinnati and Wheeling. 

Prior to turning pro, Hirano tallied 46 points (24g-22a) in 54 career games with Youngstown of the United States Hockey League.

On behalf of Yushiroh Hirano, a case of pucks will be donated to a Cincinnati youth hockey organization by Inglasco, the exclusive puck supplier of the ECHL. Since beginning its sponsorship of the award in 2000-01, Inglasco has donated more than 45,000 pucks to youth hockey organizations in ECHL cities.

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