Cyclones Game Notes: vs. Indy
Overview: The Cyclones picked up their second win in a row with a 2-1 overtime win over the South Carolina Stingrays. The win gives Cincinnati a three-point cushion over the Kalamazoo Wings in the Central Division standings. Friday will mark the first of five straight in division for the 'Clones, who currently hold down the third playoff spot.
Wednesday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (30-21-2-0) took down the South Carolina Stingrays, 2-1 in overtime, on Wednesday night. Forward Justin Vaive netted the lone Cyclones goal in regulation, while forward Brandon McNally lit the lamp in overtime for the game-winner. The Cyclones were outshot, 23-18 on the evening, with goaltender Jonas Johansson stopping 22 in the win.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (29-21-2-0) earned a 2-1 win over the Kalamazoo Wings Saturday, on Cyclones Fight Cancer Night. Forwards Alex Kile and Justin Vaive netted the goals for the Cyclones, who are now back in third place in the ECHL's Central Division. Goaltender Jonas Johansson turned aside 32 of the 33 shots he faced in the win, as Cincinnati was outshot, 33-19 on the night, while the power play converted in one of its three chances.
Last Tuesday Morning Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (28-21-2-0) fell to the Indy Fuel on Tuesday morning, 3-2. Cyclones forwards Rob De Fulviis and Jesse Schultz lit the lamp for Cincinnati. The Cyclones outshot Indy, 40-36, with goaltender Jason Kasdorf steering aside 33 in a losing effort.
Previewing Indy: The Fuel have fought their way back from the bottom of the standings, and now sit just two points back of the fourth and final playoff spot in the ECHL's Central Division. Indy saw their four-game winning streak snapped in a 4-3 loss to the Toledo Walleye on Tuesday, however they have won six of their last eight games and have netted four or more goals in five of those six wins. Special teams has been a large piece to their success, as the currently boast the top power play unit in the League with a 23.2% conversion rate (47/203). They are led offensively by forward Ryan Rupert who has accounted for 13 goals and 26 assists, followed by team goals leader Darian Dziurzynski (20g, 16a), and Michael Neal (15g, 21a) who round out the top three. In goal, Matt Tomkins leads all active netminders with a 9-5-0-0 record along with a 3.06 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Cincinnati is looking for their first win on the season against the Fuel, with Indy posting a perfect 5-0-0-0 record. The sides will meet four more times after Friday night.
Next Game Preview: Cincinnati wraps up their four-game home stand against the Quad City Mallards on Saturday night, in the second of three games on the weekend for the Cyclones. Cincinnati has had tremendous success against the Mallards, posting a 6-1-0-0 record and outscoring Quad City 36-22 in those meetings. The sides are slated to meet once more this season.
McNally Returns to Cincinnati: Cyclones forward Brandon McNally has been released from his Professional Tryout Agreement (PTO) with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL), and has been returned to the Cyclones. He appeared in two games with the Wolves, seeing a fight in his second game of action. A native of Saugus, MA, McNally has appeared in 52 games for the Cyclones this season and is sixth on the team in scoring with 11 goals and 21 assists, while leading the team with 137 minutes in penalties.
Diodati Signed to SPC: Cyclones defenseman Eric Diodati has been signed to a Standard Player Contract (SPC) for the remainder of the season. He was signed to an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) February 16. A native of Niagara Falls, ONT, Diodati wasted little time contributing for his new team, as he recorded the game-winning goal in overtime in last Sunday's 5-4 overtime win over the Kalamazoo Wings in just his second professional game. Overall, he has goal and ana assist in four games with Cincinnati. He recently completed his collegiate career, spending two seasons with the University of Waterloo and two with St. Thomas University in Canada. In 95 collegiate games, he accounted for 12 goals and 31 assists along with 62 penalty minutes. He also spent three seasons on the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), spending time with the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors and Steelheads, along with the Windsor Spitfires where he totaled 10 goals and 39 assists in 173 games.
Home Cookin': Cincinnati is one of the top teams in the ECHL on home ice this season, posting a 17-8-2-0 record at U.S. Bank Arena. They are outscoring the opposition, 88-77 on home ice this season, and have allowed more than three goals on just eight occasions. They boast a perfect 13-0-0-0 record when leading after 40 minutes of play, and the Cyclones have the second-best power play unit at home, converting on 23.8% of their man-advantage chances (24/101).
Power Surge: The Cyclones have at least one power play goal in 11 of their last 16 games, going 16-for-52 in that stretch (30.7%). They have the fourth-ranked power play unit in the League with a 20.1% power play conversion rate (41/204).
Packed Schedule: Cincinnati will have their hands full in the second half of the season, playing their final 19 games over a stretch of 43 days, which is an average of one games every 2.26 days. Additionally, Cincinnati will play 13 of those 19 games against the Central Division, where they are 18-13-2-0 so far this season. Including this weekend, Cincinnati has five more stretches of three games in three days, two stretches of four games in five days, and one stretch of seven games in nine days.
Finishing What They Started: The Cyclones have a 21-1-0-0 record when leading through two periods this season. This is a continuing trend from last season, when the Cyclones were 23-1-3-1 when leading after one, and 26-1-2-0 when leading after 40 minutes.
New Affiliation: This offseason, the Cyclones, in conjunction with the National Hockey League's (NHL) Buffalo Sabres, announced a new affiliation agreement. For Cincinnati, the move comes following a 10-year partnership with the Nashville Predators, while the Sabres recently concluded a two-year relationship with the now-defunct Elmira Jackals. This affiliation will be a reunion of sorts for the cities of Cincinnati and Buffalo, as the Sabres' American Hockey League (AHL) Affiliate from 1971-1974 was the Cincinnati Swords. The Rochester Americans will serve as Cincinnati's new AHL affiliate, and have been the AHL affiliate of the Sabres since 2011. This is not the first time Cincinnati and Rochester have been affiliated, as the two clubs teamed up in 2010-11 when the Americans were affiliated with the Florida Panthers.
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