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Cyclones Game Preview: vs. Norfolk

December 13, 2018 - ECHL (ECHL) - Cincinnati Cyclones News Release

Game 25 (Home Game 14)

Vs. Norfolk Admirals (12-10-1-1, 26 pts)

Thursday - 7:35pm ET

U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH

Overview: The Cyclones extended their winning streak to four games following Wednesday's 4-1 victory over the Tulsa Oilers. Cincinnati is now three points clear of the Toledo Walleye for first place in the ECHL's Central Division, and are in the midst of a three-game homestand.

Last Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (16-5-2-1) took down the Tulsa Oilers, 4-1, on Wednesday night. Forwards Brady Vail, Jesse Schultz, Vas Glotov, and Justin Vaive netted the goals for the Cyclones, who push their winning streak to four games. Cincinnati was outshot, 23-20, on the evening, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 22 in the win.

Sunday Afternoon Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (15-5-2-1) beat the Kalamazoo Wings on Sunday afternoon, 3-1. Forward Judd Peterson netted a pair of goals while forward Jesse Schultz added one for the Cyclones. The Cyclones outshot Kalamazoo, 36-22 on the evening with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 21 in the win.

Last Wednesday Morning Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (14-5-2-1) collected a 3-1 win over the Toledo Walleye on Wednesday morning. Defenseman Devante Stephens led the way with a pair of goals while forward Jesse Schultz chipped in one for the Cyclones. The Cyclones were outshot by the Walleye, 32-30, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 31 in the win.

Previewing Norfolk: The Admirals have dropped three in a row following a sweep at the hands of the Manchester Monarchs last week. Norfolk is currently tied with the Orlando Solar Bears for fourth place in the ECHL's South Division, and are in the midst of nine straight games out of division. The Admirals owe some of their success to protecting the lead, as they are a perfect 8-0-0-0 when leading through two periods, and are 9-3-0-1 when scoring the first goal of the game. Offensively, the Admirals are averaging 3.00 goals per game, and are led by forward Taylor Cammarata who had accounted for eight goals and 10 assists through 24 games played. He is tied with forward Ben Duffy who has five goals and 13 assist, and followed by a pair of 15-point scorers in Darik Angeli (4g, 11a) and Jalen Smereck (1g, 14a).

Inside the Series: This will be the third all-time meeting between the Cyclones and Admirals, and the first-ever meeting at U.S. Bank Arena. The Admirals and Cyclones have met twice before during the 2015-16 season, with Norfolk winning both matchups, including one in overtime.

Next Game Preview: Cincinnati hosts the Wichita Thunder on Saturday night to wrap up their three-game homestand. The teams split a two-game series last season, and the Cyclones hold a 4-2-0-0 edge overall against Wichita.

Johansson Reassigned: Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Jonas Johansson has been reassigned by the Rochester Americans, Cincinnati's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate. He posted a 2-1-0-0 record along with a 2.97 GAA and an.891 SV% in three games during his call up. A native of Galve, SWE, Johansson has a 7-3-1-1 record this season in Cincinnati, along with a 2.49 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. He has also pitched two shutouts.. He has been on a tear as of late, winning six of his last eight starts and posting a 1.74 GAA and a .940 SV% in the process. The second-year netminder led Cincinnati to a pair of wins during the week of November 12, posting a 0.50 goals-against average and a .981 save percentage along with one shutout, and earned ECHL Goaltender of the Week honors for his efforts. Drafted by the National Hockey League's (NHL) Buffalo Sabres in the third round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the third-year pro appeared in 27 games with Cincinnati last season, accounting for a 14-11-1-0 record along with a 3.13 GAA and a .909 SV%. He has also skated in 14 career games with the Americans where he has a record of 7-6-1-0.

I Wish That I had Jesse's Goals: Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz is currently on a four-game goal streak, which is in conjunction with a five-game point streak. He has accounted for four goals and three assists in that time, and has points in seven of his last eight games overall (5g, 5a).

The Puck Stops Here: Cyclones goaltender Michael Houser leads the ECHL with a 1.84 goals-against average along with a .937 save percentage, while posting an 9-2-1-0 record in the process. He has won five of his last six starts, and has allowed three or fewer goals in six straight games.

Defensively Offensive: The Cyclones defensive corps have been contributing to the Cyclones offensive success as of late, accounting for three goals and eight assists in the last seven games. Eric Knodel has a goal and three assists in that time, and currently ranks third in ECHL defenseman scoring with five goals and 13 assists. Additionally, Devante Stephens has added a pair of goals and an assist while Tobie Bisson (4a) and Mitch Jones (1a) have also found the score sheet.

Leading the Way: The Cyclones currently lead the ECHL team defense (2.21 GA/GM) and are second in the League in offensive production (3.75G/GM). The Cyclones are outscoring teams, 90-53, and have allowed two or fewer goals in seven of the last eight games. The Cyclones are 14-4-0-1 in their last 19 games, outscoring their opponents 71-37 in that span, including 48-16 in their 14 wins. Closing out games have been a specialty for Cincinnati, as they have only allowed nine goals in the third period, and are outscoring the opposition, 29-9, in the final 20 minutes of play. Additionally, the Cyclones are 14-1-0-1. when leading through two periods, and have given up more than three goals in regulation just three times this season.

Taking Away the Power: The Cyclones enter Thursday as the top penalty killing team in the League, having allowed just nine goals in 84 shorthanded situations (89.3%). Additionally, Cincinnati also boasts the fifth-ranked home (87.8%) and second-ranked road (91.4%) penalty kills, and have only allowed seven power play goals on their last 64 chances.

Powell Recalled to Rochester: Cincinnati Cyclones forward Myles Powell has been recalled by the Rochester Americans, Cincinnati's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate. A native of Comox, BC, Powell has appeared in 17 games for the Cyclones this season, accounting for 10 goals and eight assists in the process. He is currently riding a four-game point streak, totaling two goals and three assists, and he also had a seven-game point streak from November 7-21, totaling eight goals and three assists in that time. Powell is currently in his first full pro season, after appearing in seven games in 2017-18 between the Cyclones and Americans. He accounted for a goal and two assists in those contests, along with a pair of assists in four playoff games for Cincinnati. Prior to turning pro, Powell spent four seasons at the Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.), where he accounted for 45 goals and 60 assists in 149 career games.

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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