Cyclones Game Notes: vs. Wheeling Nailers
Game 53 (Home Game 27)
Vs. Wheeling Nailers (24-23-5-1, 54 pts)
Thursday - 7:35pm ET
U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones earned their sixth-straight win with a 5-1 victory over the Kalamazoo Wings on Wednesday night. Cincinnati is now 11 points up on the Toledo Walleye, for first in the Central Division, and the win also extended their lead to five points over the Florida Everblades for first place overall in the ECHL.
Last Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (37-9-3-3) collected their sixth-consecutive win with a 5-1 triumph over the Kalamazoo Wings on Wednesday night. Forwards Jesse Schultz, Myles Powell, Mike Marnell, Vas Glotov, and defenseman Eric Knodel netted the goals for Cincinnati. The Cyclones outshot Kalamazoo, 34-20 on the evening, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 19 to collect the win.
Sunday Afternoon Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (36-9-3-3) earned a 5-4 overtime win over the Adirondack Thunder on Sunday afternoon. Defensemen Mitch Jones, Arvin Atwal, and Eric Knodel, along with forward Brady Vail netted the goals in regulation, while forward Jesse Schultz tallied the winner in overtime. The Cyclones were outshot, 38-28 on the afternoon, with goaltender Jonas Johansson steering aside 34 in the win.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (35-9-3-3) picked up their 35thwin of the season with a 5-2 decision over the Toledo Walleye on Saturday night. Forwards Ben Johnson, Vas Glotov, and Jesse Schultz, along with defensemen Tobie Bisson and Mitch Jones tallied the goals for Cincinnati, who are now one point ahead of the Florida Everblades for first place in the ECHL overall. Cincinnati was outshot, 30-23 on the evening, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 28 in the win.
Previewing Wheeling: The Nailers currently find themselves in the fifth spot in the ECHL's Central Division, and are winners of three of their last four games. They are coming off a 6-5 shootout win over the Ft. Wayne Komets on Sunday, and currently are one point back of the Komets for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central. The Nailers have the sixth- ranked offense in the ECHL with 3.45 goals scored per game, however are allowing 3.34 goals per 60 minutes, which ranks 18 thin the League. From a special teams perspective, Wheeling ranks fifth on the power play at 21.7% (49/226), and boast the 18thranked penalty kill at 81.2% (194/239). They are led by forward Zac Lynch who has totaled 15 goals and 37 assists through 53 games this season. He is followed by forwards Yushiroh Hirano (14g, 29a) and Cam Brown (9g, 28a) who round out the top three. In goal, Jordan Ruby leads all active goaltenders with a, 8-4-1-0 record, along with 2.65 goals-against average, and a .917 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Cincinnati has won three of the first four games between the two sides this season, and are slated to meet three more times after Thursday.
Next Game Preview: The Cyclones head to Ft. Wayne to take on the Komets on Sunday afternoon, in the eighth of 11 matchups on the season between the two. Cincinnati is 4-2-0-1in the first seven meetings, and have outscored the Komets, 25-16 through those contests.
Milestone Approaching: After notching his 100thECHL win in Saturday's 5-2 victory over the Toledo Walleye, goaltender Michael Houser is on the cusp of another major milestone, as he is one win shy of becoming the Cyclones' all-time goaltending wins leader. He currently has 63 career wins in a Cyclones uniform dating back to the 2012-13 season, tying him with Geoff Sarjeant (1996-98). Houser is currently second in team history with 108 career games played, 19 shy of Sarjeant's 127. This is Houser's fourth stint as a Cyclone, and has a career Cyclones record of 63-34-5-4 with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.
Point Men: Forward Vas Glotov is currently riding a six-game point streak, totaling four goals and three assists in that time, while forward Jesse Schultz has points in six of his last seven games (4g, 6a). Alex Wideman has fivegoals and fiveassists in his last 11 games, and is second on the team with 18goals and 32 assists, while forward Pascal Aquin has points in eight of his last 12 contests, accounting for three goals and 11 helpers. Finally, Ben Johnson has points in seven of his last 11 outings (3g, 9a), and Brady Vail has points in 12 of his last 18games(6g, 11a).
Power Surge: After snapping an 0-19 stretch on the power play, the Cyclones are now 12 for their last 44on the man advantage. Cincinnati is now 22 ndin the ECHL with a 14.5% conversion rate on the powerplay (33/228).
He's a Brick....HOUSE!: Goaltender Michael Houser is 12-2-1-1 in his last 14 games, allowing two or fewer goals in 11 of them. He was named the Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Month for December after a perfect 6-0-0-0 record along with a 1.17 goals against average and a .950 save percentage during the month. Overall, Houser has a record of 18-4-2-1 and leads the ECHL with a 1.92 GAA and a .930 SV%, and he has allowed more than two goals just eight times this season.
Fanning the Flames: Forward Jesse Schultz has points in 28 of his last 36 games, accounting for 16 goals and 30 assists in that time following a goal and an assist in Wednesday's 5-1 win over the Kalamazoo Wings. He leads the ECHL in scoring with 60 points (17g, 43a).
Good in All Areas: The Cyclones boast the League's top offense, averaging 3.96 goals per game, and the top defense, having allowed a miniscule 2.35 goals per 60 minutes and outscoring teams 206-122. Starting and finishing games have been a specialty for Cincinnati, as they have a League-leading 82 first period goals while only allowing 37, and have allowed 32 goals in the third period. Cincinnati is outscoring the opposition, 61-32, in the final 20 minutes of play, and are 27-1-0-2. when leading through two periods. They have given up more than three goals in regulation just seven times this season.
Packed Schedule: The Cyclones are in the midst of a stretch of 29 games in 59 days. Cincinnati will play three games in three days on four separate occasions during that time, a pair of four-game-in-five-days stretches, two stretches of seven-games in 10 days, and one of 10 games in 17 days.
Record-Setting Performance: With seven first period goals in last Friday's 8-1 win over the Maine Mariners, the Cyclones set a franchise record for goals in a single period, andit now stands as the fifth-most for a single period in ECHL history. Additionally, with four goals in the opening 7:29, forwards Brady Vail (2), Judd Peterson and Myles Powell set a Cyclones record for the earliest four goals in Cyclones history, and with defenseman Devante Stephens goal at 17:45, and Vail's hat trick goal at 18:18, Friday also saw new records set for the earliest five and six goals scored in Cyclones team history.
Welcome Matt Thomas: The Cyclones enter the 2018-19 season with a new head coach. In early August, Cincinnati hired Matt Thomas as the team's new bench boss. He replaced Matt Macdonald who was named assistant coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins; American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. A native of Maple Ridge, BC, Thomas has extensive head coaching experience in the ECHL, spanning 11 seasons with the Atlantic Boardwalk Bullies, Fresno Falcons, and Stockton Thunder from 2002-2013. Thomas served two seasons as an assistant coach with Atlantic City, including helping the Boardwalk Bullies to a Kelly Cup Championship in 2003, before assuming the role of head coach and Director of Hockey Operations with the team prior to 2004-2005. He compiled a 42-22-8 mark in his lone season as Atlantic City's bench boss, and served as the head coach for the 2005 ECHL All-Star Game. He then moved on to Fresno prior to the 2005-06 campaign, leading the Falcons to a 43-15-14 mark along with a trip to the Western Conference Finals. Over the next two seasons in Fresno, Thomas compiled a 76-41-17 record, with trips to the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs on both occasions. He coached the Falcons during the first half of 2008-09, leading the team to an 18-10-2 mark before the team ceased operations midseason. Thomas was not out of work for long however, as he was named head coach of Stockton shortly after, and finished the year with a record of 22-16-3, and a trip to the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Thomas went on to coach the Thunder for four more seasons, amassing a mark of 141-111-36, reaching the post season each year, including a trip to the 2013 Kelly Cup Finals. He enters the 2018-19 campaign as the ECHL's sixth-winningest coach with a career record of 342-225-80, just one win back of fifth place all time. He is also the all-time leader in playoff games coached with 97, and ranks third with 49 playoff wins.
The 2018-19 season is HERE, and the Cincinnati Cyclones want YOU along for the ride! Single game, Group, and Season Tickets are on sale NOW 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!
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