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Cyclones Game Preview: vs. Toledo

December 14, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Cincinnati Cyclones News Release

Game 26 (Home Game 13)

Vs. Toledo Walleye (14-8-2-0, 30 pts)

Saturday, December 14, 2019, 7:35pm ET

Heritage Bank Center - Cincinnati, OH

Overview: The Cyclones picked up a 5-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday night for their fourth win in their last five games, and 12th in the last 15. Cincinnati continue to lead the ECHL's Central Division, as they currently have a four-point advantage over the Ft. Wayne Komets .

Last Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (17-6-2-0) collected a 5-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday night, in the opener of Star Wars Weekend. Forward Ben Johnson led the way with a pair of goals and two assists, while forward Justin Vaive added two goals and one helper. Additionally, forward Pascal Aquin recorded a lone goal, and forward Jesse Schultz dished out four assists in his 1,000th professional hockey game. Cincinnati was outshot, 29-23 on the evening, with goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen steering aside 27 in the win.

Wednesday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (16-6-2-0) defeated the Kalamazoo Wings, 3-2 in overtime, on Wednesday night. Forward Ben Johnson and defenseman Tobie Bisson scored the goals in regulation for the Cyclones, while forward Brady Vail scored the winner in overtime. The 'Clones were outshot, 27-19 on the evening, with goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukonnen stopping 25 in the win.

Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (15-6-2-0) took down the Toledo Walleye, 4-1, on Saturday night. Forwards Jesse Schultz, John Edwardh, and Justin Vaive, along with defenseman Kurt Gosselin recorded the goals for Cincinnati, who spoil Toledo's annual Teddy Bear Toss Night. Cincinnati outshot Toledo, 36-27 on the evening, with goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen steering aside 26 for the win.

Previewing Toledo: The Walleye are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, and are coming off a 6-2 win over the Indy Fuel on Friday night. Toledo ranks amongst the top teams in the ECHL in numerous statistical categories, including power play (1st, 27.5%), penalty kill (5th, 86.0%), goals per game (2nd, 4.00), and goals-against per game (11th, 3.13). Additionally, Toledo is 10-2-0-0 when scoring the game's first goal, and are 12-0-1-0 when leading through two periods. They are led by forward Josh Kestner who has accounted for a team-leading 13 goals along with 15 assists. He is followed by forwards TJ Hensick (6g, 19a) and Shane Berschbach (4g, 19a) who round out the top three. In goal, Billy Christopoulos leads all active Walleye goaltenders with a 5-0-1-0 record, along with a 2.99 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.

Inside the Series: Cincinnati hosts the Toledo Walleye on Saturday night, in the second game of a 10-game season series. The Cyclones earned a 4-1 win over the Walleye last Saturday night in Toledo, and only two of the first six games of the season series will be played in Cincinnati.

Next Game Preview: Sunday will be the eighth of 14 meetings between Cincinnati and Kalamazoo this season. Cincinnati is 6-0-1-0 against the Wings this season and has won six in a row, outscoring Kalamazoo, 27-12 in their six wins (30-16 overall).

Milestone Night: Friday night was the 1,000th professional hockey game for Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz , and he had a big game, dishing out four assists in a 5-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings. Schultz recently recorded his 900th professional point, and currently sits at 355 goals and 559 assists across 1,000 games, in a career that has seen him spend time in North America in the ECHL, American Hockey League (AHL), and Central Hockey League (CHL), and he also skated in a pair of games for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also seen time overseas in Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Sweden.

Johnny on the Spot!: Cyclones forward Ben Johnson had a pair of goals and two assists in Friday's 5-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings, and now has points in three-straight games (3g, 4a), and in 10 of their his 11 (6g, 8a).

Deuces Wild: Forward Justin Vaive recorded his third two-goal game of the season in Friday's 5-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings, and he also added an assist for his fifth multi-point effort of the season. He has points in two of his last three games (3g, 2a).

Comeback Kids: The Cyclones posted their second two-goal comeback in the span of a week with a 3-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings on Wednesday night. Cincinnati overcame a 2-0 deficit to take down the Indy Fuel, 3-2, last Tuesday, and now have seven come-from-behind wins on the season, including three from two-goals down. Additionally, Cincinnati is 6-2-0-0 when trailing after the first period.

Setup Man: Cyclones defenseman Tobie Bisson played a crucial part in Wednesday's 3-2 overtime win against Kalamazoo. He scored the game-tying goal midway through the third period, and assisted on Brady Vail's overtime winner. He now has a pair of goals and seven assists on the season, and has multi-point efforts on three occasions.

Aquin, Vail Return: The Rochester Americans, America Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Cyclones, have reassigned forwards Pascal Aquin and Brady Vail back to Cincinnati. Aquin skated in 10 games for Rochester during his call-up, accounting for a goal and two assists, along with nine penalty minutes. Vail skated in seven contests for the Americans and recorded a goal and an assist, along with a plus-one on-ice rating.

Luukkonen Named ECHL Goaltender of the Month: Cyclones goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been named the recipient of the Warrior Hockey / ECHL Goaltender of the Month for November. The rookie sensation posted a record of 6-2-1-0 and a 1.88 goals-against average along with a .925 save percentage. Hailing from Espoo, FIN, Luukkonen allowed more than two goals on just three occasions, and stopped 22 or more shots in seven of his nine contests. His month was highlighted by back-to-back shutouts on November 14 and 16, stopping all 22 shots he faced in a 1-0 win over the Allen Americans, before steering aside all 23 shots he faced in a 5-0 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets two nights later. Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres, Cincinnati's National Hockey League (NHL) affiliate, in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Luukkonen ranks second in the ECHL with a 1.82 GAA and is sixth in save percentage at .927.

Familiar Foes: The Cyclones are in the middle of a stretch of 15 straight games against their Central Division foes. This season, the Cyclones will play 52 of their 72 games against the Central Division, and currently possess a record of 13-4-2-0 against their divisional rivals.

Finding Their Stride: The trio of Justin Vaive, Darik Angeli, and Jesse Schultz have accounted for 30 goals and 37 assists over the last 20 games for the Cyclones. Schultz has points in 14 of his last 20 games (13g, 17a), and leads the team in scoring with 31 points on the season (14g, 17a). Additionally, Angeli has points in 10 of his last 15 games (5g, 9a), while Vaive has 11 goals and six assists over his last 19 outings.

Holding the Lead: Cincinnati has an 12-1-0-0 mark when scoring the game's first goal, and they are a perfect 12-0-0-0 when leading through two periods this season. They are the second-best defensive team in the ECHL, allowing 2.36 goals per game, and they lead the League with an average of 26.92 shots allowed per 60 minutes.

The 2019-20 Cincinnati Cyclones season is upon us! The defending Brabham Cup champion Cyclones are looking to build off of last season's success, and we invite YOU to join us for the ride! Single game tickets, along with season and group ticket packages for every game this season are on sale now, and you can get more info 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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