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Cyclones Game Preview: vs. Wheeling Nailers

February 14, 2020 - ECHL (ECHL) - Cincinnati Cyclones News Release

Game 51 (Home Game 25)

Vs. Wheeling Nailers (21-20-5-0, 47 pts)

Friday, February 14, 2020, 7:35pm ET

Heritage Bank Center - Cincinnati, OH

Video Preview| Last Game Highlights

Overview: The Cyclones dropped their fourth game in a row on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Toledo Walleye by a 5-2 score. Cincinnati still remains in the top spot of the ECHL's Central Division, and are in the midst of 12-straight games against the Central Division.

Sunday Afternoon Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (29-13-7-1) lost to the Toledo Walleye on Sunday afternoon, 5-2, on the road. Defenseman Justin Baudry scored both goals for Cincinnati, who still maintain a six-point lead over Toledo for first place in the Central Division. Toledo outshot the 'Clones, 34-27, with goaltender Jamie Phillips stopping 29 in the loss.

Last Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (29-12-7-1) fell to the Toledo Walleye, 3-2 in a shootout, on Saturday night. Forward Nate Mitton and defenseman Andrew DeBrincat scored the goals for Cincinnati, who lose in a shootout for the first time this season. The shots were tied, 37-37, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 35 in the loss.

Friday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (29-12-7-0) fell to the Toledo Walleye, 3-2 in overtime, on Friday night. Forwards Darik Angeli and Cody Milan scored the goals for the Cyclones. Cincinnati outshot the Walleye, 29-25, with goaltender Michael Houser steering aside 22 in the loss.

Previewing Wheeling: The Nailers enter the weekend in fifth place in the ECHL's Central Division, three points back of the Ft. Wayne Komets in fourth. Wheeling has won four of their last six games, however are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Reading Royals on Saturday. The Nailers have had a lot of tight games since they last played the Cyclones on January 25, as four of their five games in that span have been decided by two or fewer goals, and are 3-0-0-0 in their last three one-goal games. Overall, the Nailers are 11-4-5-0 in one-goal games this season. They are led by forward Cam Brown who has accounted for 14 goals and a team-leading 20 assists through 46 games this season. He is followed by forward Yushiroh Hirano (10g, 19a), and Alec Butcher (12g, 15a) who round out the top three. In goal, Alex D'Orio leads the way with a record of 11-10-2-0, along with a 3.44 goals-against average along with a .892 save percentage.

Inside the Series: Cincinnati and Wheeling meet for the seventh of 10 times this season on Friday night, with the Cyclones holding a 3-2-1-0 mark through the first six games of the season series.

Next Game Preview: The continue their three-game weekend on Saturday night, when they begin a two-game series with the Indy Fuel. Cincinnati is 4-4-1-0 against the Fuel this season, with Indy emerging victorious in three of the previous four meetings.

Vaive Hundred: Cyclones captain Justin Vaive will play in his 500th pro game on Saturday night against the Indy Fuel. Currently in his ninth pro season, Vaive has accounted for 115 goals and 99 assists through 498 games, and is fourth on the team in scoring with 28 points (15g, 13a). Vaive appeared in 65 games for the 2018-19 Brabham Cup champion Cyclones, accounting for 19 goals and 15 assists, and was second on the team with 120 minutes in penalties. He also contributed three goals and six assists in 11 games during the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Vaive has spent the bulk of his pro career in the American Hockey League (AHL), accounting for 67 points (31g, 36a) in 280 games played between Cincinnati's AHL affiliate Rochester Americans, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hartford Wolf Pack, and San Antonio Rampage. Prior to turning pro in 2011-12, Vaive was a four-year letter winner with the Miami University RedHawks from 2007-11. He helped lead the RedHawks to a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Regular Season Championship in 2010, and a CCHA Playoff Championship in 2011. In 160 career games with Miami, Vaive accounted for 23 goals and 23 assists, along with 208 penalty minutes.

Spencer Recalled by Rochester: The Rochester Americans, American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Cyclones have recalled Cyclones defenseman Matt Spencer . Spencer has skated in 32 games for the 'Clones this season, accounting for 14 assists in that time. Acquired in a November trade between the Americans and Syracuse Crunch, Spencer appeared in three games with the Orlando Solar Bears before the trade. He skated in 47 games between the Crunch and Orlando in 2018-19, accounting for a pair of goals and 14 assists in that time. Drafted by the Lightning in the second round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Spencer played his junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), spending four seasons with the Peterborough Petes. In 251 OHL games, he accounted for 19 goals and 79 assists, and was named an assistant captain during his final two seasons from 2015-17.

Home Sweet Home: Friday begins a six-game homestand for the Cyclones. Cincinnati is one of the top teams at home this season, posting an 18-3-3-0 record while outscoring teams, 82-52. Their 18 home wins are the third-most in the ECHL, while their three regulation losses are the second-fewest. Additionally, Cincinnati has the third-best penalty kill at home with an 87.6% kill rate (78/89).

Working Overtime: The Cyclones went to overtime for the 14th time this season, and skated in their first shootout on the season Saturday night, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Toledo Walleye. They are now 6-8 in games that require more than 60 minutes, and after six of their first nine overtime games went in the loss column, Cincinnati has won three of their last five overtime contests, including two games in which they had to overcome a 2-0 deficit.

PK Climbing: The Cyclones penalty kill is sixth in the ECHL, having successfully killed off 84.5% (158/187) of oppositional power plays. Cincinnati has killed off 60-of-70 opponent power plays in 2020, and have allowed 11 power play goals on their last 83 shorthanded chances overall.

Strong D: Cincinnati is third in the ECHL with 2.60 goals allowed per game, and pace the League with 25.88 shots against per 60 minutes. They are the only team in the ECHL averaging under 27 shots against per game, and the Cyclones have allowed 27 shots or fewer in 20 of their last 22 games. The Cyclones have allowed three or fewer goals in 29 of their last 35 games, and have given up more than three on just 11 occasions. They are 28-5-5-1 this season when allowing three or fewer goals.

Holding the Lead: Cincinnati has an 18-2-2-1 mark when scoring the game's first goal, and they are perfect in regulation when leading through two periods this season, accounting for a mark of 19-0-2-0.

Johansson Makes NHL Debut: Former Cyclones goaltender Jonas Johansson made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut with the Buffalo Sabres, Cincinnati's NHL affiliate, last Tuesday night. He entered the game in the second period and stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced in Buffalo's 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. He made his first NHL start on Thursday, stopping 18 of the 21 shots he faced in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Drafted by the Sabres in the third round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Johansson has spent parts of the last two seasons with the Cyclones, accounting for an overall record of 32-16-2-2, along with a 2.86 GAA and a .909 SV%. Last season was his best in a Cyclones uniform, as he turned out a mark of 18-5-1-2, along with a 2.60 GAA and a .909 SV%. He won each of his last seven starts and eight of his last nine, and allowed more than three goals on just seven occasions. Additionally, he was tied for second in the ECHL with three shutouts. Recalled by the Sabres last Wednesday, Johansson has appeared in 20 games this season for the Rochester Americans, Cincinnati's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, posting a record of 13-3-3, and he ranks third in the AHL with a 2.19 goals-against average and is fifth with a .925 save percentage. He also represented the Americans in last weekend's AHL All-Star Game in Ontario, CA.

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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