GAME PREVIEW: 1/31 vs. Indy
For Immediate Release: January 31, 2020
Game 45 (Home Game 22)
Vs. Indy Fuel (21-19-1-1, 44 pts)
Friday, January 31, 2020, 7:35pm ET
Heritage Bank Center - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones continue their three-game homestand on Friday night against the Indy Fuel, and are coming off a 2-1 win over the Orlando Solar Bears on Wednesday night. Cincinnati has won four of their last five games, and have points in 10 of their last 13 games (8-3-2-0). The ‘Clones have pushed their Central Division lead to eight points over the Toledo Walleye.
Wednesday Night Recap:The Cincinnati Cyclones (27-11-6-0) earned a 2-1 win over the Orlando Solar Bears on Wednesday night. Forwards Brady Vail and John Wiitala scored the goals for the ‘Clones, who now begin a stretch of 12-straight against Central Division opposition. The Cyclones outshot Orlando, 26-13, with goaltender Michael Houser steering aside 12 to collect the win.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (26-11-6-0) fell to the Wheeling Nailers, 4-1, on Saturday night. Defenseman Kurt Gosselin scored the lone goal for the Cyclones, who see their three-game winning streak come to an end. Cincinnati outshot the Nailers, 29-27 on the evening, with goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopping 23 in the loss.
Last Friday 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.
Previewing Indy: The Fuel currently hold down the fourth spot in the ECHL’s Central Division, five points back of the Ft. Wayne Komets in third, and one point up on the Wheeling Nailers who are in fifth. Indy is coming off a 5-2 loss to the Kalamazoo Wings on Thursday night, and have dropped four of their last six games overall. Indy continues to see success on the power play, as the rank fifth in the ECHL with a 21.1% conversion rate (35/166), and they have the third-best road power play at 24.1% (20/83). The Fuel are also in the top 12 in both goals-for (12th- 3.19 goals per game) and goals against (7th- 2.86 goals allowed per game). They are led offensively by forward Spencer Watson who has accounted for a team-leading 23 goals along with 20 assists in 36 games played. He is followed by forwards Bobby MacIntyre (9g, 26a) and Alex Krushelnyski (10g, 15a) who round out the top three. In goal, Charles Williams leads the way with a record of 14-8-1-2, along with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.
Inside the Series: Friday night will be the eighth of 11 meetings this season, and Cincinnati is 3-3-1-0 against the Fuel this season. Three of the final four games will be played in Cincinnati.
Next Game Preview: Cincinnati wraps up their three-game homestand on Saturday night against the Kalamazoo Wings, in the tenth of 14 meetings between the two this season, and the first since December 20. Cincinnati is 7-0-2-0 against Kalamazoo this season, and have outscored the Wings, 39-23, in those contests.
Cyclones Sign Phillips: The Cyclones have signed goaltender Jamie Phillips to a Standard Player Contract (SPC) for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. Phillips returns to North America after skating in 24 games with the Coventry Blaze of the EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) in England, where he turned out a 12-12-0-0 record, along with a 3.27 goals-against average and an .875 save percentage. Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the seventh round of the 2012 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft, Phillips split the 2018-19 season between the Florida Everblades and Reading Royals, accounting for a mark of 27-11-2-1, and was tied for seventh in the ECHL with a 2.51 GAA and had a .908 SV%. He spent his final 12 games with the Royals, allowing three or fewer goals in 11 of those contests, and he ended the season on a six-game winning streak. He has also seen ECHL time with the Jacksonville IceMen and Tulsa Oilers, and has an overall ECHL mark of 49-32-5-1, along with a 2.70 GAA and a .907 SV%. The Caledonia, ON, native has also seen time with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL), appearing in 27 games from 2016-18. He has an AHL record of 8-11-3, to go along with a 2.84 GAA and a .909 SV%.
‘Clones Acquire Gerard: The Cincinnati Cyclones have acquired forward Freddie Gerard from the Adirondack Thunder, in exchange for Future Considerations. A native of Rocky River, OH, Gerard has skated in 10 games this season between the Thunder, Idaho Steelheads, and Toledo Walleye, dishing out an assist in that time. He is coming off a successful four-year collegiate career at Ohio State University, where he accounted for 23 goals and 35 assists in 118 games. His best season came during his junior year of 2017-18 when he ranked fifth on the team in scoring with 24 points on 12 goals and 12 assists. He was also fifth on the team during his senior season last year, accounting for seven goals and 13 assists. He was also teammates with Cyclones forwardJohn Wiitala all four years.
Luukkonen Recalled:The Rochester Americans, Cincinnati’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate have recalled Cyclones goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. Named the Cyclones’ representative for the 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic Luukkonen has skated in 22 games for the Cyclones this season, accounting for a record of 12-6-3-0, and he ranks third with a 2.16 goals-against average, to go along with a .916 save-percentage. He is also tied for third in the ECHL with three shutouts. Luukkonen has allowed more than three goals on just six occasions this season, and has made 25 or more saves on 10 occasions. He was named the Warrior Hockey/ECHL Goaltender of the Month for December after posting a record of 6-2-1-0 and a 1.88 goals-against average along with a .925 save percentage.
Johansson Earns first NHL Call-up: Former Cyclones goaltender Jonas Johansson has been recalled to the Buffalo Sabres; Cincinnati’s National Hockey League (NHL) affiliate. 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 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%.
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, however he has points in seven of his last eight outings, accounting for four goals and six assists in that time, while Vail has points in 16 of his last 20 games overall, amassing five goals and 15 assists in that span.
PK Climbing: The Cyclones penalty kill has risen to sixth in the ECHL, having successfully killed off 84.2% (139/165) of oppositional power plays. Cincinnati has killed off 44-of-50 opponent power plays in 2020, and have allowed eight power play goals on their last 61 shorthanded chances overall.
Strong D: Cincinnati is second in the ECHL with 2.50 goals allowed per game, and pace the League with 25.64 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 16-straight games. The Cyclones have allowed two or fewer goals in 18 of their last 28 games, and have given up more than three on just 10 occasions. They are 26-4-4-0 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 16-3-2-0 on home ice, and are outscoring teams, 72-43, 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.
Holding the Lead: Cincinnati has an 17-2-2-0 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!