April 7, 2008 - ECHL (ECHL) - Cincinnati Cyclones
COMING UP: The Cincinnati Cyclones (55-12-5) open the 2008 Kelly Cup playoffs against the winner of the Johnstown versus Dayton series. Johnstown leads the series, one game to none, in the best-of-three play-in. The winner will play the Cyclones in the best-of-seven North Division semifinals.
BRABHAM CUP COMES TO CINCINNATI!: The Cyclones claimed their first-ever Brabham Cup on Saturday night. The Brabham Cup is annually presented to the ECHL club with the league\'s best record. Cincinnati finished the season with 115 points--tied with Texas for most in the ECHL. However, because the Cyclones collected 55 wins to the 52 accumulated by Texas, Cincinnati takes the trophy on the first tie-breaker. As a result, the Cyclones will have home ice advantage in all playoff series during the duration of their stay in the Kelly Cup playoffs.
BRABHAM DISCOVERY...: The Cyclones were loading the bus for the return trip from Trenton while the final moments of the Texas-Florida game were being played. Needing a Florida win to claim the Brabham Cup, the Everblades took a 5-3 verdict to give the Cyclones their first-ever regular season title. As the final horn blew at 10:03pm at the Germain Arena, the bus rolled out of the parking lot at the Sovereign Bank Arena.
DESHARNAIS NAMED ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Cincinnati Cyclones forward David Desharnais was named the ECHL\'s Rookie of the Year yesterday (April 6) in a vote of the league\'s coaches. Desharnais led the ECHL in scoring during his debut season, amassing 29 goals and 77 assists for 106 points. David claimed the league\'s Rookie of the Month award three times during the campaign to establish an ECHL record. Last week, he was selected to the All-ECHL first team.
STARLING COLLECTS HONORS: Cyclones defenseman Chad Starling was named All-ECHL second team, after collecting a pair of goals and 20 assists for 22 points. Starling also will win the league\'s plus/minus award for turning in a +48 for the season.
STEWART MAKES IT TO NHL!: The Montreal Canadiens recalled Greg Stewart from Hamilton (AHL) last week and he played in the game Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stewart becomes the first player under Head Coach Chuck Weber to come through Cincinnati on his way to the NHL. Greg appeared in 62 games for Cincinnati last season (2006-07), collecting eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points and 126 penalty minutes.
ROAD WARRIORS: The Cyclones won 26 games away from U.S. Bank Arena this season, tying the record for most in ECHL history. The league record of 26 was set by Louisiana in 2001-02 and equaled by Cincinnati and Texas this year.
WINS EQUAL POINTS...: The Cyclones amassed 115 standings points in the regular season, tied for second-most in ECHL history with Texas (2007-08). Only Louisiana (116 points in 2001-02) has recorded more.
DIVISION CHAMPS!: For the first time in team history, the Cyclones claimed a division title on March 17 in a 3-2 win over Johnstown. Cincinnati native Jason Deitsch collected his tenth goal of the season with 10:07 to play to give the Cyclones the triumph. Max Daigneault slammed the door shut, stopping 26 shots in collecting his tenth win.
HALF A CENTURY!: The Cyclones became only the tenth team in ECHL history--and the fourth in Cincinnati\'s pro hockey history -- to register 50 wins with the triumph March 22 at Wheeling. The Cyclones surpassed the 1972-73 Cincinnati Swords (AHL--54 wins) for most in the city\'s pro hockey history. The Swords won the Calder Cup that season.
DID SOMEONE SAY COMEBACK\'?: The Cyclones picked up their 25th come-from-behind victory of the season on March 31 at Reading. Cincinnati has picked up 25 wins and has taken five other games to overtime or shootouts before dropping the decision. The 55 points gained in the standings is nearly half of the club\'s total for the year.
ABOUT SATURDAY NIGHT...: The Cyclones scored 21 seconds into the game, courtesy of Mathieu Aubin\'s 30th goal of the season. A pair of third period goals from Trenton gave the Devils a 2-1 triumph in the regular season finale.
ABOUT FRIDAY NIGHT...: The Cyclones got an overtime goal from Ryan Russell with 21.3 seconds left in overtime to give Cincinnati a 4-3 win. Reading scored a pair of third period power play goals to rally from a two-goal deficit to knot the game up. Mathieu Aubin netted a goal, the eleventh consecutive game he has had a point.
ABOUT TUESDAY NIGHT...: Cyclones forward Mathieu Aubin picked up a pair of goals and a pair of assists in leading the club to a 5-4 win at Dayton. Olivier Latendresse added four assists and Chad Starling chipped in with a goal and an assist in the triumph. The victory gave Cincinnati an 8-3-1 mark against their I-75 opponent.
STREAK TO REMEMBER: The loss on March 13 against Trenton ended a 14-game home winning streak for the Cyclones, who outscored the opposition, 64-36, during that run. The winning streak started on Jan. 5. The loss also ended a 20-0-2 run for Cincinnati at U.S. Bank Arena. Starting with a win over Elmira on Mov. 28, the club went more than 15 weeks without a regulation time loss at the facility. The team outscored the opponent, 103-52 during that time.
THEY ARE CATCHING ON: The Cyclones drew a club-record 9615 for the March 28 game against Elmira, the sixth time this season that the club has exceeded 5000 in attendance for a game-five of these have happened since the start of the new calendar year. U.S. Bank Arena has had an average of 2523 check out the Cyclones through 36 home dates, an increase of 36.8 percent in attendance through an equal number of dates from a year ago. The last time the Cyclones had six or more crowds of 5000 in a season was back during 2002-03, when the club had it happen eight times. In the 20 games at U.S. Bank Arena since January 1, the Cyclones are averaging 3078 fans per contest.
DESHARNAIS DETAILS...: Cyclones center David Desharnais is the 16th rookie in ECHL history to reach 100 points in a season and the first since Dany Bousquet, who played for Birmingham in 1996-97 (68 gp, 54-53-107). That Birmingham team was the original Cyclones club (1990-92), that moved when the IHL rolled into town. Bousquet would begin the following season with the IHL Cyclones (1997-98), appearing in the first two games--including the club\'s first-ever game at The Crown (now U.S. Bank Arena)--before being returned to Birmingham. Desharnais has 102 points, twelfth-most in league history.
FORTY-THREE OVER!: With the close of the regular season, the Cyclones are 43 games above .500 for the second time in team history. Prior to this season, the last time a Cincinnati pro hockey team was 30 games above break even was March 3, 1996 when the IHL Cyclones were 42-12-9 (.738). No professional hockey team called the Cincinnati Cyclones has EVER been more than 31 games above the break even mark--prior to this season. The last time any Cincinnati pro team was more than 33 games above .500 was October 3, 1976 after the Cincinnati Reds finished the regular season at 102-60-42 games above the mark. The Cyclones are 55-12-5. The last time a club was more than 42 games above .500 was at the end of the 1975 baseball season--when the Reds were 108-54.
WE ARE QUITE OFFENSIVE: The Cyclones have scored an ECHL-high, and club record, 292 goals. Cincinnati averaged 4.05 goals per game, the most in the ECHL. The club has posted five games in which it has netted eight goals-which sets a team-record for most games with eight or more in a season. Cincinnati was the first team in the league to reach the 100 goal and 200 goal plateaus this season, reaching the double century mark February 22.
BUT SOLID ON DEFENSE: The Cyclones were also tops at the other end of the spectrum, surrendering just 178 goals on the campaign--fewest in the ECHL. Cincinnati goaltenders allowed 2.47 goals per game and turned in seven shutouts during the year. The Cyclones also led the league in fewest shots on goal allowed--yielding just 28.42 shots per game.
CYCLONES COACHES SHOW: The Cyclones Coaches Show airs every Monday from Jefferson Hall at Newport on the Levee from 7-8pm. The show, features Head Coach Chuck Weber and two players.