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Cyclones Game Preview: vs. Ft. Wayne

March 13, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Cincinnati Cyclones News Release

Game 60 (Home Game 29)

Vs. Ft. Wayne Komets (29-20-3-6, 67 pts)

Wednesday - 7:35pm ET

U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH

Overview: The Cyclones begin a five-game homestand on Wednesday night against the Ft. Wayne Komets. Cincinnati is coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the Kansas City Mavericks on Sunday Afternoon, pushing their division lead over the Toledo Walleye to 17 points. The Cyclones are also two points ahead of the Florida Everblades for the top spot in the ECHL overall.

Sunday Afternoon Recap:The Cincinnati Cyclones (42-10-4-3) picked up a 4-3 shootout win over the Kansas City Mavericks on Sunday afternoon. Forward Judd Peterson led the way with a pair of goals, while defenseman Andrew DeBrincat netted once for the 'Clones in regulation. Forward Alex Wideman scored the lone goal in the shootout. The Team engaged in a physical affair as well, and the teams combined for 134 minutes in penalties, including four Game Misconducts. Cincinnati was outshot, 38-29 on the afternoon, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 35 in the win

Friday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (41-10-4-3) collected a 4-2 win over the Indy Fuel on Friday night. Forwards Ben Johnson and Myles Powell, along with defensemen Eric Knodel and Devante Stephens netted the goals for the Cyclones. Cincinnati outshot the Fuel, 24-20 on the evening, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 18 in the win.

Last Sunday Afternoon Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (40-10-4-3) suffered just their tenth loss of the season with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Kalamazoo Wings on Sunday afternoon. Forwards Brady Vail and Myles Powell netted the goals for Cincinnati, who see their 10-game point streak snapped. Cincinnati outshot Kalamazoo, 40-23 on the evening, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 19 in the loss.

Previewing Ft. Wayne: The Komets currently hold down the third spot in the ECHL's Central Division, one point ahead of the Kalamazoo Wings in fourth, and seven points back of the Toledo Walleye who are in second. The Komets have won three in a row and have points in eight of their last 10 (6-2-0-2) and are coming off a 4-1 win over the Walleye on Sunday afternoon. They are led by forward Justin Hodgman who has accounted for 13 goals and 34 assists through 40 games this season. He is followed by forwards Jake Kamrass (17g, 28a) and Shawn Szydlowski (15g, 26a) who round out the top three. In goal, Zach Fucale has appeared in 28 games, posting a record of 16-7-1-0 along with a 3.26 goals-against average and a .887 save percentage.

Inside the Series: This will be the ninth of 11 meetings on the season between Cincinnati and Ft. Wayne, with Cincinnati holding a 4-2-1-1 edge against Ft. Wayne this season. The sides will meet twice more following Wednesday.

Next Game Preview: The Cyclones return home on Wednesday to begin a four-game homestand against the Ft. Wayne Komets. Cincinnati is 4-2-1-1 against Ft. Wayne this season, and the sides will meet twice more following Wednesday.

Cyclones Clinch Playoff Spot: The Cyclones are the first team to clinch a spot in the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by Smile Direct Club. The Cyclones clinched their berth by virtue of the Wheeling Nailers losing to Ft. Wayne on Wednesday night. This will the 10th trip to the postseason for the Cyclones since the 2006-07 season, and the third berth in the last four seasons. Cincinnati has two Kelly Cup Championships to their credit; a 4 games to 2 series win over the Las Vegas Wranglers in 2008, and a 4 games to 1 victory over the Idaho Steelheads in 2010. The Cyclones made a third trip to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2014 where they lost to the Alaska Aces in six games. Cincinnati has a record of 40-10-4-3 with 87 points, and currently leads the Toledo Walleye by 13 points in the ECHL's Central Division, and they have a two-point edge over the Florida Everblades for first place overall in the League. Their 40 wins is the most by a Cyclones team since the 2013-14 squad posted a 41-23-4-4 mark, and is the sixth 40-win campaign since the 2006-07 season.

Cyclones Trade for Rimmer: The Cyclones have acquired goaltender Ty Rimmer from the Wichita Thunder, in exchange for goaltender Devin Buffalo and future considerations. A native of Edmonton, AB, Rimmer has split this season between the Wichita Thunder, and Kitzbuheler EC of the Alps Hockey League. While with Wichita, he has accumulated a record of 2-9-1-0 along with a 3.91 goals-against average and a .882 save-percentage in 12 games. He appeared in 42 games with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits during the 2017-18 season, posting a 14-23-1-1 mark, with a 3.91 GAA and a .898 SV%. Rimmer has also seen ECHL time with the Bakersfield Condors and Norfolk Admirals, and in 113 career ECHL games he has accounted for a 38-56-6-4 record to go along with a 3.48 GAA and a .898 SV%. He also has 10 AHL games and 39 Central Hockey League (CHL) games to his credit. Prior to turning pro during the 2012-13 season, Rimmer enjoyed a successful junior hockey career in the Western Hockey League (WHL), appearing in 159 games between five teams across a four-year period. In those contests, he turned out a mark of 74-65-4-10 with a 3.01 GAA and a .910 SV%.

Man Advantage: The Cyclones are 23 for their last 73 on the power play and now ranks 14 th in the ECHL with a 17.1% conversion rate on the power play (44/258).

Good in All Areas: The Cyclones boast the League's top offense, averaging 3.98 goals per game, and the top defense, having allowed a miniscule 2.39 goals per 60 minutes and outscoring teams 234-141. Starting and finishing games have been a specialty for Cincinnati, as they have a League-leading 87 first period goals while only allowing 43, and have allowed 39 goals in the third period. Cincinnati is outscoring the opposition, 72-39, in the final 20 minutes of play, and are 30-1-0-2. when leading through two periods. They have given up more than three goals in regulation just nine times this season.

Point Men: Forward Brady Vail is currently on an nine-game point streak, amassing six goals and seven assists in that time, and he has points in 20 of his last 25 games overall (11g, 16a). Forward Vas Glotov saw his 10-game point streak come to an end in last Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Kalamazoo Wings. He accounted for six goals and nine assists in that time, including three multi-point efforts, and has points in 11 of his last 13 games overall (6g, 10a). Forward Alex Wideman saw his eight-game heater snapped last Sunday as well, following three goals and six assists in that span. Overall, he has seven goals and nine assists in his last 16 games, and is second on the team with 20 goals and 35 assists. Forward Pascal Aquin has points in five of his last seven games (3g, 5a) and is tied for fourth in League rookie scoring with 23 goals and 28 assists.

League Leaders: Cincinnati currently boasts a pair of League-leaders in forward Jesse Schultz and goaltender Michael Houser . Schultz currently paces the ECHL in both points (69) and assists (51) and has also added 18 goals. He has points in 12 of his last 14 games (5g, 13a), and in 33 of his last 43 contests, accounting for 17 goals and 38 assists in that time. Houser currently leads the League in wins with 24, fewest losses with five, goals-against average at 2.07, and is tied for third in save percentage at .924. He is 17-2-2 in his last 20 games, allowing two or fewer goals in 14 of them. Houser was also 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.

Knodel Named AMI Graphics ECHL Plus Performer of the Month: Cincinnati Cyclones defenseman Eric Knodel has been named the recipient of the AMI"ˆGraphics ECHL"ˆPlus Performer of the Month for February, after posting an on-ice rating of plus-16 through 13 games during the month. He joins forward Alex Wideman, who was co-recipient of the AMI"ˆGraphics ECHL"ˆPlus Performer of the Month in December. Knodel posted an even or better rating in 12 of his 13 games during the month, including pair or plus-four games- an 8-1 road win over the Maine Mariners on February 8, and a 5-4 overtime victory against Adirondack on February 17. He ranks second among ECHL"ˆdefensemen, and sixth overall in the league, with a plus-39 rating this season, and is also tied for second among blueliners with 15 goals and is also tied for second with 44 points.

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.

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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