GAME PREVIEW: 1/9 vs. Utah
For Immediate Release: January 9, 2019
Game 35 (Home Game 19)
Vs. Utah Grizzlies (20-8-3-1, 44 pts)
Wednesday, January 9, 2018 – 7:35pm ET
U.S. Bank Arena – Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones are back in first place in the ECHL’s Western Conference following an 8-5 win over the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday night. The Cyclones are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games, and currently hold a one-point lead over the Toledo Walleye for the top spot in the Western Conference.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (23-7-2-2) took down the Kalamazoo Wings, 8-5 on Saturday night, in front of 12,143 fans at U.S. Bank Arena. Forwards Nate Mitton,Jesse Schultz, and Alex Wideman each had a pair of goals, while forwards Pascal Aquinand Vas Glotoveach netted lone markers. The Cyclones outshot Kalamazoo, 26-15, with goaltender Jonas Johansson stopping 10 in the win.
Friday 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.
Last 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.
Previewing Utah: The Grizzlies are atop a top Mountain Division, tied with the Tulsa Oilers at 44 points, and one point ahead of the Idaho Steelheads who are in third. They have won four of their last five games, and are coming off a 4-3 overtime win over the Wichita Thunder on Saturday night. Utah ranks in the top six in the ECHL in both offense and defense, as they are sixth with 3.50 goals scored per game, and are allowing 2.66 goals per 60 minutes which is good for fourth. Additionally, Utah’s special teams has consistently been near the top, ranking fifth on the power play with a 20.0% conversion rate (31/155), and seventh on the penalty kill at 85.5% (112/131). Forward Cole Ullyleads all active players with 10 goals and 23 assists through 26 games this season. He is followed by forward Austin Carroll (10g, 12a) and Tim McGauley (10g, 10a) who round out the top three. Joe Canata has appeared in 18 games in goal, posting a 9-6-2-4 record with a 2.39 goals-against average and a.915 save percentage. Kevin Carr has skated in 14 games and has an 11-2-1-1 mark with a 2.68 GAA and a .901 SV%.
Inside the Series: Wednesday night against the Utah Grizzlies 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. This is the one and only matchup between the teams during the regular season.
Next Game Preview: Cincinnati hits the road for four in a row beginning Friday night in Kansas City against the Mavericks. Cincinnati won three of the four meetings between the two last season, however the Mavericks are 6-3-0-1 all-time against the Cyclones.
Thomas Named Western Conference All-Star Coach:Cincinnati Cyclones head coachMatt Thomas has been selected as the head coach for the Western Conference All-Stars for the upcoming 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic. He was selected as the Western Conference bench boss by virtue of the Cyclones having the top winning percentage in the conference, as the Cyclones are 23-7-2-2, and lead the Central Division with 50 points while owning the league’s top winning percentage at .735. This year’s All-Star Classic is being hosted by the Toledo Walleye on Monday, January 21 at 7 p.m. ET at the Huntington Center, and the game will air live exclusively on NHL Network.
A native of Maple Ridge, BC, Thomas was hired by the Cyclones in early August, replacing former head coach Matt Macdonaldwho was named assistant coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins; American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. Thomas is coaching in the All-Star Game for the third time, after previously earning the honor in 2005 with Atlantic City and 2009 with Stockton, which is tied for the most in ECHL history, joining Chris Cichocki, Glen Gulutzan, Davis Payneand Jeff Pyle.
Glotov Named to ECHL All-Star Team: Cincinnati Cyclones forward Vas Glotov had been named the Cyclones’ representative for the upcoming 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic. He will play for the team representing the Western Conference. This year’s All-Star Classic is being hosted by the Toledo Walleye on Monday, January 21 at 7 p.m. ET at the Huntington Center, and the game will air live exclusively on NHL Network. Glotov has appeared in 31 games for the Cyclones this season, accounting for seven goals and 16 assists in that span. A native of Barnaul, RUS, Glotov is in his first full pro season, after making his pro debut last season. He appeared in six games between the Cyclones and Rochester Americans, American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Cyclones, registering a goal and an assist. 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 the Buffalo Sabres.
Fanning the Flames: Forward Jesse Schultz has points in 15 of his last 18 games, accounting for 10 goals and 15 assist in that time. He had a pair of goals and two assists in Saturday’s 8-5 win over the Kalamazoo Wings, and leads the Cyclones and is tied for fifth in the ECHL with 38 points (11g, 27a).
Piling up the Points: The Cyclones have points in 13 of the last 15 games (11-2-0-2) and wins in 16 of their last 22 games (16-4-0-2). Cincinnati has outscored the opposition, 57-37, in the last 15 games.
Defensively Offensive: The Cyclones defensive corps have been contributing to the Cyclones offensive success as of late, accounting for eight goals and 23 assists in the last 18 games. Eric Knodel has three goals and seven assists in that time, and is currently tied for fourth 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, 7a), and Andrew DeBrincat, Anthony Florentino, and Mitch Jones (1a each) have also found the score sheet.
Good in All Areas: The Cyclones currently lead the ECHL team defense (2.38 GA/GM) and are tied for first in the League in offensive production (3.79G/GM). The Cyclones are outscoring teams, 128-81, and have allowed two or fewer goals in 12 of the last 18 games. Starting and finishing games have been a specialty for Cincinnati, as they are outscoring teams 46-29 in the first period, and have allowed a League-low 18 goals in the third period. Cincinnati is outscoring the opposition, 42-18, in the final 20 minutes of play, and are 16-1-0-1. when leading through two periods. They have given up more than three goals in regulation just five times this season.
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%.
Wideman Named ECHL Co-Plus Performer of the Month: Cincinnati Cyclones forward Alex Wideman has been named the co-recipient of the AMI Graphics ECHL Plus Performer of the Month for 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.
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!