Cyclones Game Preview: vs. Tulsa Oilers
Game 24 (Home Game 13)
Vs. Tulsa Oilers (13-6-3-2, 31 pts)
Wednesday - 7:35pm ET
U.S. Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones begin a three-game homestand on Wednesday night against the Tulsa Oilers, and are currently riding a three-game winning streak. Cincinnati sits atop the ECHL's Central Division, one point ahead of the Toledo Walleye, and are embarking on a stretch of six consecutive games out of division.
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.
Last Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (13-5-2-1) snapped a three-game winless streak with a 5-2 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets on Saturday night. Forward Judd Peterson led the way with a pair of goals, while forwards Myles Powell and Jesse Schultz, along with defenseman Eric Knodel tallied the goals for the Cyclones. The Cyclones were outshot, 28-26 on the evening, with goaltender Jonas Johanssonstopping 26 in the win.
Previewing Tulsa: The Oilers are in the midst of a two-week road trip and have dropped five straight after winning six in a row and nine-of-10. They are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ft. Wayne Komets On Sunday afternoon. Tulsa is currently averaging 3.08 goals per game while allowing 2.88 goals per game, and they averaging the fewest shots against in the ECHL at 27.58. On the special teams front, the Oilers are 25th in power play conversion rate at 10.6 % (10/94), and 20thon the penalty kill at 82.4% (70/85). They are led offensively by forward Ryan Tesink who has accounted for nine goals and 13 assists through 24 games. He is followed by forwards Adam Pleskach (8g, 12a) and Tyler Soy (5g, 9a) who round out the top three.
Inside the Series: This will be the first of two meetings on the season between the Oilers and Cyclones, with both coming at U.S. Bank Arena. The teams split a two-game series last season, and Cincinnati is 2-1-0-0 all time against Tulsa.
Next Game Preview: Cincinnati welcomes in the Norfolk Admirals on Thursday night, in 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.
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.
The Puck Stops Here: Cyclones goaltender Michael Houser leads the ECHL with a 1.92 goals-against average along with a .935 save percentage, while posting an 8-2-1-0 record in the process. He has won four of his last five starts, and has allowed three or fewer goals in five straight games.
Defensively Offensive: The Cyclones defensive corps have been contributing to the Cyclones offensive success as of late, accounting for three goals and six assists in the last six 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 while Tobie Bisson (3a) and Mitch Jones (1a) have also found the score sheet.
Leading the Way: The Cyclones currently lead the ECHL team defense (2.32 GA/GM) and are second in the League in offensive production (3.74G/GM). The Cyclones are outscoring teams, 86-52, and have allowed two or fewer goals in six of the last seven games. The Cyclones are 13-4-0-1 in their last 18 games, outscoring their opponents 67-36 in that span, including 47-14 in their 13 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, 27-9, in the final 20 minutes of play. Additionally, the Cyclones are 13-1-0-1. 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 Wednesday as the top penalty killing team in the League, having allowed just eight goals in 81 shorthanded situations (90.1%). Additionally, Cincinnati also boasts the fourth-ranked home (89.1%) and third-ranked road (91.4%) penalty kills, and have only allowed six power play goals on their last 60 chances.
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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