Cyclones Need Win To Clinch Championship
COMING UP: The Cincinnati Cyclones (55-12-5) look to clinch their first-ever Kelly Cup championship Thursday, as the Las Vegas Wranglers visit U.S. Bank Arena. The Cyclones lead the best of seven series, three games to two. Should Cincinnati win Thursday, the Kelly Cup would belong to the Queen City for the first time ever. If Las Vegas wins, a seventh game winner-take-all contest would be played at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday night at 7:30pm.
RALLY TOWELS: The first 6000 fans entering U.S. Bank Arena for game six on Thursday night will receive Cyclones Rally Towels' courtesy of Beacon Orthopaedics and Dickmann's Sports Cafe.
END OF A CURSE?: The Cyclones won the Brabham Cup for turning in the ECHL's best record of 55-12-5 during the regular season. Only twice in the previous 19 years of play in the league has the team with the best record during the regular season claimed the postseason title.
LONG TIME COMING...: The Kelly Cup Finals mark the first time in 35 years that Cincinnati has played host to a professional hockey championship series. In 1973, the Cincinnati Swords captured the AHL's Calder Cup title over Nova Scotia.
IS IT THIS LATE?: Thursday will be the latest date that any variation of the Cincinnati Cyclones has ever played a game. During the 1995-96 IHL season, the then-Cyclones dropped a 1-0 decision in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Finals to Orlando. That game was played on May 29, 1996.
SEVENTH HEAVEN?: The city of Cincinnati has claimed six professional championships. In addition to the 1973 Swords championship, the IHL's Mohawks won five straight titles from 1953-1957. The Mohawks were the top affiliate of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. Montreal claimed three titles while affiliated with Cincinnati and won six championships in eight years (1953 through 1960).
BRINGING HOME THE HARDWARE!: The Cyclones also captured another piece of hardware from the ECHL after winning the series against South Carolina. Cincinnati was presented with the E.A. "Bud" Gingher Trophy for capturing the American Conference playoff championship in five games.
ABOUT MONDAY NIGHT...: The Cyclones claimed a 4-0 win at Las Vegas, behind a 27 save performance from Cedrick Desjardins--his first shutout of this postseason and third in his ECHL playoff career. David Desharnais chipped in with four assists and Jean-Michel Daoust added a goal and an assist, in the final road game of the 2007-08 postseason.
ABOUT FRIDAY NIGHT...: The Cyclones surrendered a goal just 41 seconds into the contest to Aki Seitsonen and it stood as the game winner in a 2-0 defeat. Kevin Lalande stopped 33 shots in the win.
ABOUT THURSDAY NIGHT...: A three goal explosion in the second period, wiped out a 2-0 deficit and gave the Cyclones the impetus to take a 4-2 win over Las Vegas last night. David Desharnais had a goal and two assists in the win. Jean-Michel Daoust had a goal and an assist in the triumph. Cedrick Desjardins stopped 26 shots and had an assist.
SEVENTY WINS!: The Cyclones won 55 games during the regular season and have already collected fifteen triumphs in the Kelly Cup playoffs. With 70 wins, Cincinnati has passed Alaska (2005-06--with 69 wins) for most wins combined between the regular season and playoffs. Head Coach Chuck Weber is the first person to be connected to two of the four 60-plus win teams (he was an assistant with the 2001-02 Trenton squad).
THE ONE GAME SERIES: The Cyclones win on May 3 marked the first time in club history that the club won the seventh game of a playoff series. Cincinnati has now played in an all-time ECHL-high three seventh games. Last season, Dayton took the seventh game and completed a rally from a three games to one deficit (5-3 in the game). The other time was during the 2002-03 season in the American Conference Finals--losing in overtime to Atlantic City in that seventh contest. That was the 13th game seven in ECHL history. The home team has won nine of these contests (75 percent).
COMEBACK KIDS: The Cyclones wiped out a two goal second period deficit and collected a 4-2 win over Las Vegas on May 29. It was the fourth come-from-behind triumph of the postseason, after winning 25 in such a fashion during the regular season.
THAT, IS OFFENSIVE: The Cyclones erupted for three second period goals in the 4-2 win over Las Vegas on May 29. It was the eighth time in the playoffs that Cincinnati has had a stanza with three or more goals in it. During the regular season, the Cyclones exploded for three or more goals in a period 34 times.
BIG CROWDS PROVIDE ADVANTAGE!: On May 24, 8676 showed up at U.S. Bank Arena to witness the win over Las Vegas. It was a team playoff record crowd, shattering the mark of 5210 against South Carolina two weeks prior. The postseason average of 4156 fans is the fifth-best in the ECHL and is 64.6 percent larger than the Cyclones regular season average of 2524. The Cyclones are one of three teams to increase their average attendance in the postseason, as Victoria (20.3 percent) and Alaska (2.3) are the others.
BIG (CROWD) WEEKEND: The Cyclones welcomed 15,573 for the two Kelly Cup Finals games against Las Vegas on May 24-25--the third time in this postseason that Cincinnati has topped its club record for weekend home attendance. The team set a weekend playoff record of 8323 for the two games with Johnstown in the opening round. In the divisional finals--the Cyclones did not host a weekend game. In the conference finals, 10,063 came to the opening two games versus South Carolina.
MORE ATTENDANCE NEWS: The Cyclones have had 41,567 watch the ten playoff games at U.S. Bank Arena this season. That is the 19th most in ECHL playoff history.
OVERCROWDING: The Cyclones have been responsible for five of the seven biggest crowds in the American Conference playoffs. The 8676 Saturday night was the largest attendance for an ECHL playoff game since May 2001--when Trenton played at South Carolina in a Kelly Cup Finals game. Between the regular season and playoffs, 132,395 people have witnessed Cyclones hockey in 2007-08--an average of 2878 per game.
CYCLONES AND RECORDS: David Desharnais holds the Cyclones playoff season record for scoring with 32 points...Desharnais also holds the career postseason scoring record with 32 points, two more than Jason Deitsch (30) during his career...Desharnais and Thomas Beauregard have nine goals in the Kelly Cup playoffs this season, one shy of the club record for goals in a postseason...Mathieu Aubin holds the club record for playoff goals with eleven.
BRABHAM CUP COMES TO CINCINNATI!: The Cyclones claimed their first-ever Brabham Cup on April 5. The Brabham Cup is annually presented to the ECHL club with the league's best record. Cincinnati finished the season with 115 points--tied with Texas for most in the ECHL. However, because the Cyclones collected 55 wins to the 52 accumulated by Texas, Cincinnati takes the trophy on the first tie-breaker. As a result, the Cyclones have home ice advantage in all playoff series during the duration of their stay in the Kelly Cup playoffs. The Brabham Cup and numerous other trophies earned by the Cyclones are on display at Kelly Cup playoff games at U.S. Bank Arena during games for fans to see and photograph.
ROAD WARRIORS: The Cyclones won 26 games away from U.S. Bank Arena during the regular season, tying the record for most in ECHL history. The league record of 26 was set by Louisiana in 2001-02 and matched by Cincinnati and Texas this year. In the Kelly Cup playoffs, the Cyclones have continued their road excellence--posting a 8-3 mark in the postseason. The 34 wins away from U.S. Bank Arena during the regular season and playoffs is the most ever by an ECHL club. Cincinnati has a league-best eight road wins in the playoffs.
DESHARNAIS NAMED ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Cincinnati Cyclones forward David Desharnais was named the ECHL's Rookie of the Year on April 6 in a vote of the league's coaches. Desharnais led the ECHL in scoring during his debut season, amassing 29 goals and 77 assists for 106 points. David claimed the league's Rookie of the Month award three times during the campaign to establish an ECHL record. On April 8, he was selected to the All-ECHL first team.
STEWART MAKES IT TO NHL!: The Montreal Canadiens recalled Greg Stewart from Hamilton (AHL) last week and he played in the game April 5 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stewart becomes the first player under Head Coach Chuck Weber to come through Cincinnati on his way to the NHL. Greg appeared in 62 games for Cincinnati last season (2006-07), collecting eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points and 126 penalty minutes.
WINS EQUAL POINTS...: The Cyclones amassed 115 standings points in the regular season, tied for second-most in ECHL history with Texas (2007-08). Only Louisiana (116 points in 2001-02) has recorded more.
DIVISION CHAMPS!: For the first time in team history, the Cyclones claimed a division title on March 17 in a 3-2 win over Johnstown. Cincinnati native Jason Deitsch collected his tenth goal of the season with 10:07 to play to give the Cyclones the triumph. Max Daigneault slammed the door shut, stopping 26 shots in collecting his tenth win.
HALF A CENTURY!: The Cyclones became only the tenth team in ECHL history--and the fourth in Cincinnati's pro hockey history -- to register 50 wins with the triumph March 22 at Wheeling. The Cyclones surpassed the 1972-73 Cincinnati Swords (AHL--54 wins) for most in the city's pro hockey history. The Swords won the Calder Cup that season.
STREAK TO REMEMBER: The loss on March 13 against Trenton ended a 14-game home winning streak for the Cyclones, who outscored the opposition, 64-36, during that run. The winning streak started on Jan. 5. The loss also ended a 20-0-2 run for Cincinnati at U.S. Bank Arena. Starting with a win over Elmira on Mov. 28, the club went more than 15 weeks without a regulation time loss at the facility. The team outscored the opponent, 103-52 during that time.
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