Cyclones Game Preview: vs. Wheeling
Game 43 (Road Game 23)
Vs. Wheeling Nailers (17-18-5-0, 38 pts)
Saturday, January 25, 2020, 7:05pm ET
WesBanco Arena - Wheeling, WV
Overview: The Cyclones conclude their two-game series against the Nailers on Saturday night in Wheeling. Cincinnati collected a 3-2 overtime win on Friday night, in a game that saw the 'Clones erase a 2-0 deficit in the third period to force overtime. The Cyclones now have won three in a row and four of their last five games, and have points in nine of their last 11 games (7-2-2-0). The Cyclones still hold a 10-point cushion over the Toledo Walleye for the top spot in the ECHL's Central Division.
Last Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (26-10-6-0) picked up a 3-2, come-from-behind overtime win over the Wheeling Nailers on Friday night. Forwards Darik Angeli and Mason Mitchell scored the goals in regulation, while defenseman Frank Hora scored the winner in overtime. Cincinnati outshot Wheeling, 36-22 on the evening, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 20 in the win. Houser had a minor equipment issue late in the third, and was replaced by Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who played the final 4:08 of regulation. He made a save on the only shot he faced.
Sunday Afternoon Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (25-10-6-0) earned their 25th win of the season on Sunday afternoon, taking down the Rapid City Rush, 3-1. Forwards Jesse Schultz, Cody Milan, and Nate Mitton scored the goals for Cincinnati. The Cyclones outshot the Rush, 23-22, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 21 in the win.
Last Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (24-10-6-0) used five third period goals to take down the Rapid City Rush, 6-3, on Saturday night. Forward Jesse Schultz led the way with a pair of goals, while forwards Nate Mitton, Pascal Aquin, and Brady Vail, along with defenseman Justin Baudry each netted lone tallies for Cincinnati, who overcame a 3-1 deficit to secure the win. . The Cyclones outshot Rapid City, 30-14 on the evening, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 11 in the win.
Previewing Wheeling: The Nailers remain in fifth place in the ECHL's Central Division, three points back of the Indy Fuel who are in fourth. They have dropped seven of their last eight games, following last night's 3-2 overtime loss to the Cyclones. The Nailers have been struggling to find the offense as of late, having been outscored, 36-15, in their last eight outings, including 35-11 in their seven losses during that stretch. They are led offensively by forward Yushiroh Hirano, who has accounted for 10 goals and a team-leading 19 assists through 38 games. He is followed by forwards Cam Brown (10g, 18a) and team-goals leader Brandon Hawkins (14g, 10a) who round out the top three. In goal, Jordan Ruby leads all active netminders with a 3.22 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage, to go along with a 4-6-3-0 record.
Inside the Series: This is the sixth meeting of the season between Cincinnati and Wheeling, with the Cyclones holding 3-1-1-0 edge though the first five games of the 10-game season series.
Next Game Preview: Cincinnati returns home on Wednesday night to take on the Orlando Solar Bears, in the beginning of a three-game homestand for the 'Clones. This will be the lone meeting of the season between Cincinnati and Orlando, and the first matchup since the 2017-18 season.
Comeback Kids: Friday's 3-2 overtime win over the Wheeling Nailers marked Cincinnati's 12th come-from-behind win of the season, and the fourth time that the Cyclones have overcome a 2-0 deficit to win a game. Friday's win also improved Cincinnati's record in one-goal games to 13-3-6-0.
Schmidt Claimed off Waivers: The Cyclones have claimed defenseman Connor Schmidt off of waivers from the Kalamazoo Wings. The Flat Rock, MI, native has appeared in 13 games for Kalamazoo this season, dishing out a pair of assists in the process. He split last season between the Toledo Walleye and the Huntsville Havoc of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL), accounting for 11 goals and six assists in 43 combined games between the two teams. He began his pro career in 2017-18, skating in 26 games for the ECHL's Tulsa Oilers and recording five assists. Prior to turning pro, the 26-year-old played collegiately for Utica College in 2016-17, following stints at Arizona State University and Ferris State University. Overall in 93 collegiate games, Schmidt totaled five goals and 17 assists, along with 131 minutes in penalties.
Scoresheet Staples: Forwards Jesse Schultz and Brady Vail have found themselves on the scoresheet more often than not in recent games. Schultz saw his six-game point streak snapped in Friday's 3-2 overtime win over the Wheeling Nailers, accounting for four goals and five assists in that time, while Vail has points in 15 of his last 18 games overall, amassing four goals and 15 assists in that span.
PK Climbing: The Cyclones penalty kill has risen to sixth in the ECHL, having successfully killed off 85.4% (135/158) of oppositional power plays. Cincinnati has killed off 40-of-43 opponent power plays in 2020, and have allowed five power play goals on their last 54 shorthanded chances overall.
Strong D: Cincinnati is second in the ECHL with 2.50 goals allowed per game, and pace the League with 25.69 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 14-straight games. The Cyclones have allowed two or fewer goals in 17 of their last 26 games, and have given up more than three on just nine occasions. They are 25-4-4-0 this season when allowing three or fewer goals.
Home is Where the Wins Are: The Cyclones are one of the top home teams in the ECHL this season, posting a record of 15-3-2-0 on home ice, and are outscoring teams, 70-42, at Heritage Bank Center. Cincinnati tied an ECHL record with 30 home wins last season against just two regulation losses, and they outscored teams 155-73 on home ice, which was the lowest goals-against margin at home in the League.
Milestone Night: December 13 was the 1,000th professional hockey game for Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz . The 37-year-old 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 358 goals and 564 assists across 1,012 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.
Holding the Lead: Cincinnati has an 16-2-2-0 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 18-0-2-0.
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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