Cyclones Game Preview: vs. Ft. Wayne
Game 72 (Road Game 36)
Vs. Ft. Wayne Komets (34-26-4-6, 78 pts)
Saturday, April 5, 2019 - 7:35pm ET
U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones close out the regular season on Saturday night in Ft. Wayne against the Komets. Cincinnati took down the Brampton Beast in their home finale on Friday night.
Last Night Recap:The Cincinnati Cyclones (51-12-5-3) tied an ECHL record with their 30th home win of the season, following a 2-1 shootout triumph over the Brampton Beast on Friday night. Forward Ben Johnson scored the lone goal for Cincinnati in the shootout, while forward Alex Wideman potted the lone shootout tally. Shots in the game were tied, 27-27, with Cyclones goaltender Michael Houser stopping 26 in the win.
Wednesday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (50-12-5-3) picked up their 50thwin of the season with a 3-2 win over the Toledo Walleye on Wednesday night. Forwards Vas Glotov and Myles Powell, along with defenseman Eric Knodel netted the goals for Cincinnati, who earned their second Brabham Cup as ECHL Regular Season Champions. Cincinnati outshot the Walleye, 28-25 on the evening, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 23 in the win.
Sunday Afternoon Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (49-12-5-3) fell to the Toledo Walleye in overtime, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon. Forward Myles Powell tallied the lone goal for the Cyclones. Cincinnati outshot Toledo, 36-30 on the afternoon, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 28 in defeat.
Previewing Ft. Wayne: The Komets clinched the fourth and final playoff spot in the ECHL's Central Division following a 3-2 shootout win on Friday against the Indy Fuel, and now find themselves in third place in the Central, one point ahead of the Kalamazoo Wings in third. Last night was the Komets' League-leading 20 thgame that was decided in overtime or a shootout, and are 8-4 in overtime and now 2-6 in shootouts. They are led by forward Brady Shaw who has accounted for 26 goals and 37 assists for 63 total points. He is followed by forwards Jake Kamrass (19g, 35) and Shawn Szydlowski (18g, 36a) who round out the top three. In goal, Zachary Fucale has posted a 19-9-1-2 record along with a 3.18 goals-against average and a .892 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Saturday night is the 11th and final meeting of the season between the Cyclones and Ft. Wayne. Cincinnati is 6-2-1-1 against the Komets this season.
Home-Sweet-Home: Cincinnati is the top team on home ice in the ECHL, leading the League with a 30-2-2-2 record and outscoring teams 157-74. Their 2-1 shootout win over Brampton Friday tied the all-time ECHL mark for home wins in a season at 30 joining the San Diego Gulls in 2003-04 and Louisiana Ice Gators in 2001-02, and are one of seven teams all-time to achieve 29 wins on home ice in a season.
Cyclones Claim Brabham Cup: The Cincinnati Cyclones have earned the 2018-19 Brabham Cup as ECHL Regular Season Champions, following a 3-2 win over the Toledo Walleye on Wednesday night. This is the second Brabham Cup for the Cyclones who also took the prize during the 2007-08 campaign, before ultimately going on to win their first of two Kelly Cup championships in a three-year span. The Brabham Cup solidifies Cincinnati as the top seed in the ECHL overall, and guarantees the 'Clones home ice advantage throughout the entirety of the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by Smile Direct Club. The Cyclones clinched the ECHL's Central Division title back on March 20, marking their first division title since the 2012-13 season. They ultimately fell to the eventual Kelly Cup champion Reading Royals in the Eastern Conference Finals that season. This will the 10th trip to the postseason for the Cyclones since returning to action for the 2006-07 season, and the third berth in the last four seasons. The Cyclones have won three division championships in that time (2007-08, 2008-09, 2012-13), and have a pair of Kelly Cup championships in 2008 and 2010. Cincinnati also made a third trip to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2014, falling in six games to the Alaska Aces.
Cyclones Trio Named to All-ECHL First Team: The Cincinnati Cyclones, in conjunction with the ECHL, have announced that Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz, defenseman Eric Knodel, and goaltender Michael Houser have been named to the All-ECHL First Team. Schultz currently leads the ECHL with 22 goals and a League-leading 58 assists for a career-high 80 points through 70 games. He is tied for second with 22 power play assists and is tied for fourth with 25 power play points. This is the second-consecutive season Schultz has taken home a League honor, having been named to the All-ECHL Second Team a year ago. Knodel takes home All-ECHL honors for a second-straight campaign after being named to the All-ECHL second team last season. He leads all defensemen with 51 points (17g, 34a) and is second amongst League rearguards with 24 power play points (6g, 17a) and a plus-40 on-ice rating. He was named the AMI"Graphics ECHL"Plus Performer of the Monthfor February, after posting an on-ice rating of plus-16 through 13 games during the month. Houser currently leads all ECHL netminders with a record of 28-7-4-1, along with a 2.16 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage and a pair of shutouts. His 28 wins place him second amongst ECHL netminders, while his .921 SV% have him third. He has allowed more than three goals on just seven occasions, and has made 25 or more saves in all but 12 outings. 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.
Powell Named to ECHL All-Rookie Team: Cyclones forward Myles Powell has been named to the 2018-19 ECHL All-Rookie Team. This is the second-consecutive year that a Cyclone has been represented on the All-Rookie Team, joining last year's ECHL Rookie of the Year, Justin Danforth , who was also named to the team. A native of Comox, BC, Powell is tied for the lead in ECHL rookie scoring with 30 goals and 34 assists for 64 total points, through 55 games. Additionally, he ranks first amongst ECHL first years and is tied for sixth overall in goals, and is second on the team and tied for seventh overall in the ECHL in points. He also leads all rookies and is second in the ECHL with a plus-45 on-ice rating. Powell is currently on a five-game point streak, accounting for five goals and two assists in that time, and has points in 13 of his last 16 games overall, amassing 10 goals and 12 assists. He has enjoyed a pair of season-high seven-game point streak from November 7-21 (8g, 3a), and again from February 1-20 (6g, 7a). His first seven-game point streak also included a career-high six-game goal scoring streak (8g). Overall, Powell has point streaks of five or more games on six occasions this season, and has failed to find the score sheet in just 14 of is 55 games played. Powell has also appeared in six games for the Rochester Americans, American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Cyclones.
Good in All Areas: The Cyclones boast the League's top offense, averaging 3.93 goals per game, and the top defense, having allowed a miniscule 2.41 goals per 60 minutes and outscoring teams 279-171. Starting and finishing games have been a specialty for Cincinnati, as they have a League-leading 99 first period goals while only allowing 53, and have allowed 47 goals in the third period. Cincinnati is outscoring the opposition, 91-47, in the final 20 minutes of play, and are 37-1-1-2. when leading through two periods. They have given up more than three goals in regulation just nine times this season.
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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