Cyclones Game Notes: vs. Kansas City
Overview: The Cyclones return home to take on Kansas City in the finale of a three-game series and the last of four meetings between the two teams this season. Cincinnati has won two in a row after dropping four straight, and have outscored their opponents, 11-5, in the last three games.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (24-18-2-0) picked up a 4-1 win over the Kansas City Mavericks on Saturday night. Forwards Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, Justin Vaive, Winston Day Chief, and defenseman Anthony Florentino netted the goals for the Cyclones, who have won two in a row against the Mavericks. Cincinnati outshot the Mavericks, 38-28, on the evening, with goaltender Jason Kasdorf stopping 27 in the win.
Friday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (23-18-2-0) earned a 5-1 over the Kansas City Mavericks on Friday night. Forward Justin Danforth led the way with a pair of goals, while forwards Alex Kile and Justin Vaive, along with defenseman Jake Flegel, added lone tallies for the Cyclones, who snap their four-game skid. Cincinnati was outshot, 35-27 on the night, with goaltender Jonas Johansson steering aside 34 in the win.
Last Wednesday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (22-17-2-0) dropped a 4-3 decision to the Quad City Mallards on Wednesday night. Forwards Justin Danforth and Rob De Fulviis, along with defenseman Mike Barrett scored the goals for the Cyclones, who lose their first game in seven outings to the Mallards. Shots were tied, 39-39, with goaltender Jason Kasdorf turning aside 35 in defeat.
Previewing Kansas City: The Mavericks have dropped three of their last four games, following a two-game sweep at the hands of the Cyclones last weekend on home ice. Kansas City posted a 7-3-0-0 record in the month of January, despite ranking in the bottom five in the ECHL with 2.83 goals per game. Offensively, they are led by forward Mark Cooper who has amassed 30 points (14g, 16a) through 43 games this season. Forward Matt Robertson (15g, 13a) follows close by in second, while defenseman Bryce Aneloski (5g, 22a) rounds out the top three. In goal, Mason McDonald has posted a 10-10-0-1 record along with a 3.22 goals-against average and a .892 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Thursday marks the finale of three straight between the Cyclones and Mavericks, and the last meeting between the two, with the Cyclones having taken two of the first three games against the Mavs this season. Overall, Cincinnati has a 3-6-0-0 record against the Mavericks since they came into the ECHL three seasons ago.
Next Game Preview: Cincinnati continues its four-game home stand Friday night against the Tulsa Oilers, in the second and final meeting between the sides this season. The Cyclones dropped a 3-1 decision to the Oilers back on December 9.
Bagging up the Points: Forward Daniel Muzito-Bagenda extended his point streak point streak to eight games with a goals and an assist in Saturday's 4-1 win over the Kansas City Mavericks, and now has five goals and nine assists in that time. His streak comes on the heals of a five-game point drought, and he currently is tied for fifth on the team in scoring with seven goals and 18 assists.
Offensively Defensive: Forward Mike Barrett has spent the last three games roaming the blue line on defense for the Cyclones, and has accounted for a goal and two assists in that time. He has the same stat line in 30 games as a forward.
Johansson and Stephens Reassigned: The Rochester Americans, American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Cyclones have reassigned goaltender Jonas Johansson and defenseman Devante Stephens to Cincinnati. Johansson has appeared in 17 games for the Cyclones this season, posting an 8-7-1-0 record along with a 3.33 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage. Stephens returns from his second AHL call-up having skated a pair of games last week and in six games with the Americans overall this season. Through 31 games for the Cyclones, the White Rock, BC, native has dished out eight assists and has racked up 22 minutes in penalties.
Power Surge: The Cyclones have 10 power play goals in their last seven games (10/27), and are currently fifth in the League with a 20.0% power play conversion rate (35/175). Additionally, Cincinnati has the top home power play percentage in the ECHL, having lit the lamp 18 times in 80 tries which is good for 22.5%.
Good First Impression: Signed to a Standard Player Contract (SPC) prior to Cincinnati's 5-1 win over the Kansas City Mavericks on Friday night, defenseman Jake Flegel netted a goal in his first game in a Cyclones sweater. The 6'4" rearguard has appeared in one game with the Brampton Beast, and has spent the majority of the season with the Knoxville Ice Bears of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) where he has totalled 10 points (3g, 7a) along with 50 minutes in penalties in 24 games. The third-year pro has seen 115 games of SPHL action since turning pro, accounting for four goals and 34 assists. He played collegiately for Adrian College from 2013-15, registering 10 points (2g, 8a). He was also collegiate teammates with Cyclones defenseman Chris Leone, and junior hockey teammates with forward Justin Danforth while with the Cobourg Cougars of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) from 2019-12.
Approaching Milestones: Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz is on the cusp of a pair of major career milestones, as he sits just 10 games shy of 900 for his pro career, and seven points back of 800. Schultz currently ranks second on Cyclones in scoring with 47 points (15g, 32a).
Packed Schedule: Cincinnati will have their hands full in the second half of the season, playing their final 28 games over a stretch of 65 days, which averages out to a game every 2.30 days. Additionally, Cincinnati has seven 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.
Familiar Foes: Cincinnati is in the midst of a stretch of 12 straight against divisional opponents. Cincinnati is 15-12-2-0 against the Central Division this season, and will play 18 of their final 28 games within the division.
Finishing What They Started: The Cyclones have a 18-1-0-0 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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