GAME PREVIEW: 1/5 vs. Kalamazoo
For Immediate Release: January 5, 2019
Game 34 (Home Game 18)
Vs. Kalamazoo Wings (15-17-0-1, 31 pts)
Saturday, January 5, 2018 – 7:35pm ET
U.S. Bank Arena – Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones wrap up throwback weekend on Saturday night when they welcome in the Kalamazoo Wings. Cincinnati dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to the Ft. Wayne Komets on Friday night, which marked their first home regulation loss of the season. The loss, coupled with a Toledo Walleye win over Kalamazo on Friday, has dropped Cincinnati to second place in the ECHL’s Central Division, one point back of the Walleye.
Last Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (22-7-2-2) fell to the Ft. Wayne Komets, 2-1, on Friday night. Forward Mike Marnell netted the lone goal for the Cyclones, who lose for just the first time at home in regulation. Cincinnati outshot the Komets, 21-20, with goaltender Jonas Johansson stopping 18 in the win.
Monday Evening Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (22-6-2-2) picked up a 4-1 win over the Toledo Walleye on Monday evening at U.S. Bank Arena. Defenseman Eric Knodel along with forwards Myles Powell, Pascal Aquin, and Alex Wideman scored the goals for Cincinnati. The Cyclones outshot Toledo, 41-23 on the evening, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 22 in the win.
Last Saturday Night Recap: TheCincinnati Cyclones (21-6-2-2) collected a 5-2 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets on Saturday night, in their road finale of 2018. Forward Pascal Aquin led the way with a pair of goals, while forwards Alex Wideman and Nate Mitton, along with defenseman Eric Knodel, tallied the goals for the Cyclones. Cincinnati outshot the Komets, 29-20, with goaltender Michael Houser steering aside 18 in the victory.
Previewing Kalamazoo: Despite sitting at the bottom of the ECHL’s Central Division, the Wings find themselves in the thick of the playoff race, just five points back of the Indy Fuel who are in the fourth slot. The have dropped three in a row and five of their last six, and are coming off a narrow 3-2 loss to the Toledo Walleye on Friday night. Offensively they are averaging 3.12 goals per game, and lead the League with 11 shorthanded markers. Defensively they are allowing 3.70 goals per 60 minutes, which is the third-highest total in the ECHL. They are led by forward Chris Collins who has totaled 36 points (14g, 22a) through 33 games. He is followed by forwards Reid Gardner (15g, 16a) and League goals leader Justin Taylor (21g, 6a) who round out the top three. In goal, Jake Hildebrand has shouldered the bulk of the load, appearing in 23 games and turning out a record of 8-13-0-1 along with a 3.77 goals against average and an .881 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Saturday will be the seventh of 11 matchups this season between Cincinnati and Kalamazoo. The Cyclone are 5-0-1-0 against Kalamazoo in 2018-19, outscoring the Wings 23-11 in those contests.
Next Game Preview:Cincinnati wraps up their four-game homestand on Wednesday night against the Utah Grizzlies. Wednesday marks the second game all-time between the squads, and the first meeting since December 3, 2014 when Utah collected a 4-3 shootout win over the Cyclones.
Houser Named ECHL Goaltender of the Month: Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Michael Houser has been named the Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Month for December. Houser posted a perfect 6-0-0-0 record along with a 1.17 goals against average and a .950 save percentage. Hailing from Youngstown, OH, Houser allowed two or fewer goals in each of his six contests, and one goal in five of his six starts in December. He was forced to make 22 or more saves in four occasions, with a high of 31 in a 3-1 win over the Toledo Walleye on December 5. Overall, Houser has a record of 12-2-1-0 and leads the ECHL with a 1.74 GAA and a .937 SV%, and he has allowed more than two goals just four times this season. Houser is in his fourth stint with the Cyclones, having spent 41 games in Cincinnati during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, and another 41 during the 2016-17 campaign. He has also appeared in 17 playoff games for Cincinnati as well, turning out a 9-5-3 record with a 2.24 GAA and .915 SV%. He split last season between the Ft. Wayne Komets and Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League (AHL), and has also seen AHL time with the Ontario Reign, San Antonio Rampage, and Cleveland Monsters. In 93 career AHL games, Houser has a 32-26-4-3 record, along with a 2.87 GAA and a .901 SV%. In addition to the Cyclones and Komets, Houser has appeared in ECHL games for the Manchester Monarchs, and has 94-47-10-3 career ECHL record, along with a 2.52 GAA and .917 SV%. Prior to turning pro in 2012, the Youngstown, OH, native spent three seasons with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). In 141 games played from 2009-12, the 6’2”, 192-pounder recorded 93 wins to go along with a 2.96 GAA and a .909 SV%.
Peterson Recalled, Glotov Reassigned: Cincinnati Cyclones forward Judd Peterson has been recalled by the Rochester Americans, Cincinnati’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate. Additionally, the Americans have reassigned forward Vas Glotov back to Cincinnati. A native of Duluth, MN, Peterson has appeared in 20 games for the Cyclones this season, accounting for six goals and seven assists. Peterson is in his first full pro season, after appearing in a pair of games for 2017-18, however he did not record a point. Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres, the National Hockey League (NHL) affiliate of the Cyclones in 2012, Peterson enjoyed a successful collegiate career at St. Cloud State University, accounting for 65 points (37g, 28a) in 151 career games. He helped the Huskies to an NCHC League championship in 2015-16, and a Regular Season Championship in 2017-18. Glotov returns to Cincinnati after appearing in one game with Rochester on December 26. A native of Barnaul, RUS, He has skated in 30 games this season for the Cyclones, accounting for six goals and 15 assists in that time. Glotov is in his first full pro season after making his pro debut late in 2017-18, appearing in six games between the Cyclones and Americans, accounting for a goal and an assist in that time. He spent the prior two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) appearing in 128 games between the Shawinigan Cataractes and the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, amassing 44 goals and 49 assists in 128 career games. He was a 2016, seventh- round draft pick of Buffalo.
Wideman Named ECHL Co-Plus Performer of the Month:Cincinnati Cyclones forward Alex Widemanhas been named the co-recipient of the AMI Graphics ECHL Plus Performer of the Monthfor December, after posting an on-ice rating of plus-16 through 12 games during the month. He shares this monthly honor with Wheeling Nailers forward Nick Saracino. A native of St. Louis, MO, Wideman had an even or better rating in every game in December, including a high of plus-3 in Monday’s 4-1 win over the Toledo Walleye, and he posted a plus-2 rating on six other occasions during the month. He ranks second on the team in scoring with 32 points (9g, 23a), and is currently on a seven-game point streak where he has totaled five goals and six assists in that time. He has a goal and an assist in each of his last four games, as well. Wideman is in his first season as a member of the Cyclones after signing an American Hockey League (AHL) contract this past summer by the Rochester Americans, Cincinnati’s AHL affiliate. Wideman accounted for 38 goals and 65 assists in 123 games with the Indy Fuel over the last two seasons, and has also seen ECHL time with the Evansville Icemen, accounting for 15 goals and 24 assists in 58 games. He has 24 career AHL games to his credit with the Binghamton Senators and Rockford IceHogs, totaling four goals and 14 assists. Prior to turning pro, the St. Louis, MO, native spent four season at Miami (OH) University, where he amassed 24 goals and 32 assists in 140 career games.
Zombo Traded to Wichita:Cincinnati Cyclones forward Dominic Zombo has been traded to the Wichita Thunder, in exchange for cash considerations. A native of Ballwin, MO, Zombo has skated in 13 games for the Cyclones this season dishing out three assists in the process. Currently in his fourth pro season Zombo accounted for 21 points (3g, 18a) in 2017-18, and ranked second on the squad with 71 games played. In three seasons in a Cyclones sweater, Zombo has totaled 15 goals and 32 assists in 147 games played. Zombo appeared in 69 games with the Toledo Walleye as a rookie in 2015-16, accounting for 10 goals and 16 assists, along with 36 penalty minutes. Prior to turning pro, the 5’10”, 185-pounder was a four-year letter winner for the University of Nebraska-Omaha where he served as an assistant captain during his junior season of 2013-2014, and was named team captain the following year during his senior season. He appeared in 137 games over four seasons and totaled 36 goals and 50 assists for 80 points.
Fanning the Flames: Forward Jesse Schultz has points in 16 of his last 18 games, accounting for eight goals and 13 assist in that time. He recorded a goal and an assist in Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Indy Fuel, and added two more assists in Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets and Monday’s 4-1 win over the Toledo Walleye, and leads the Cyclones and is tied for seventh in the ECHL with 34 points (9g, 24a).
Piling up the Points: The Cyclones have points in 12 of the last 14 games (10-2-0-2) and wins in 15 of their last 21 games (15-4-0-2). Cincinnati has outscored the opposition, 49-32, in the last 14 games.
Defensively Offensive: The Cyclones defensive corps have been contributing to the Cyclones offensive success as of late, accounting for eight goals and 21 assists in the last 17 games. Eric Knodel has three goals and seven assists in that time, and is currently tied for second in ECHL defenseman scoring with seven goals and 11 assists. Additionally, Tobie Bisson has a goal and six assists, while Devante Stephens has added three goals and an assist. Arvin Atwal (1g, 5a), and Andrew DeBrincat, Anthony Florentino, and Mitch Jones (1a each) have also found the score sheet.
Leading the Way: The Cyclones currently lead the ECHL team defense (2.30 GA/GM) and are second in the League in offensive production (3.67G/GM). The Cyclones are outscoring teams, 121-76, and have allowed two or fewer goals in 12 of the last 17 games. Closing out games have been a specialty for Cincinnati, as they have only allowed 16 goals in the third period, and are outscoring the opposition, 42-16, in the final 20 minutes of play. Additionally, the Cyclones are 15-1-0-1. when leading through two periods, and have given up more than three goals in regulation just four times this season.
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!