GAME PREVIEW: 2/21 vs. Wheeling Nailers
For Immediate Release: February 21, 2020
Game 55 (Home Game 28)
Vs. Wheeling Nailers (23-21-5-0, 51 pts)
Friday, February 21, 2020, 7:35pm ET
Heritage Bank Center - Cincinnati, OH
Overview: The Cyclones picked up their 16th come-from-behind win of the season in Thursday’s 4-2 win over the Toledo Walleye. Cincinnati has won three straight games following a five-game skid, and the win over the Walleye pushed their lead in the Central Division to nine points.
Last Night Recap:The Cincinnati Cyclones (32-14-7-1) took down the Toledo Walleye on Thursday night by a score of 4-2. Defenseman Justin Baudry netted a pair of goals to extend his pointstreak to five games (4g, 6a), while forwards Justin Vaive and Brady Vail each netted lone tallies. The Cyclones outshot the Walleye, 31-30, with goaltender Jamie Phillips steering aside 28 in the win.
Sunday Afternoon Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (31-14-7-1) collected a 6-5 win over the Indy Fuel on Sunday afternoon. Defenseman Tobie Bisson, along with forwards Mason Mitchell, Nate Mitton, Pascal Aquin, Brady Vail, and Jesse Schultzall recorded goals for Cincinnati, who earn their second win in a row. Cincinnati was outshot by the Fuel, 41-22, with goaltender Jamie Phillips steering aside 36 in the win.
Saturday Night Recap: The Cincinnati Cyclones (30-14-7-1) snapped their five-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Indy Fuel on Saturday night. Five different players scored goals for Cincinnati, including forwards Justin Vaive, Cody Milan, Jesse Schultz, and Ben Johnson, along with defenseman Andrew DeBrincat. The Cyclones outshot the Fuel, 29-22, with goaltender Jamie Phillips stopping 20 for his first win as a ‘Clone.
Previewing Wheeling: The Nailers are currently in a fight with the Indy Fuel for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division, sitting four points back heading into Friday’s game. Wheeling is coming off a 6-3 loss to the Reading Royals on Wednesday night, and are 6-3-1-0 in their last 10 games. Wheeling enters Friday as the League’s least-penalized team with an average of 8.82 minutes per game, and are the 10th-best team on the road on the penalty kill, operating at 82.2% (60/73). They are led by forward Cam Brown who leads the team with 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 total points. He is followed by forwards Yushiroh Hirano (13g, 20a) and Alec Butcher (14g, 16a) who round out the top three. In goal, Jordan Ruby leads all active goaltenders with a 3.05 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage, to go along with a 6-6-3-0 record.
Inside the Series: This will be the eights meeting of the season between Cincinnati and Wheeling, with the ‘Clones posting a mark of 3-3-1-0 through the first seven games of the 10-game season series. This is the final regular season meeting in Cincinnati, as the final two games will be in Wheeling.
Next Game Preview: The Cyclones conclude their three-game weekend and six-game homestand on Saturday night against the Toledo Walleye. This will be the eighth of 10 meetings on the season between Cincinnati and Toledo, with the Cyclones posting a 2-2-2-1 mark through the first seven games, following Thursday’s 4-2 Cyclones win.
Cyclones Make Five-Player Trade with Norfolk: The Cincinnati Cyclones have acquired forward Ben Holmstrom and defenseman Johnny Coughlin from the Norfolk Admirals, in exchange for forwards Darik Angeli and Freddy Gerard, along with defenseman Scott Dornbrock. Holmstrom ranked fifth on the Admirals in scoring with nine goals and 10 assists through 42 games and was second on the team with 61 minutes in penalties. The Colorado Springs, CO, native is in his first ECHL stint after spending the previous nine seasons in both the American Hockey League (AHL) and National Hockey League (NHL). He has spent the last four seasons as the captain of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL, totaling 25 goals and 44 assists, along with 355 penalty minutes, over 268 games. Prior to a stint with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers in 2014-15 in which he accounted for five goals and 15 assists through 65 games, he captained the former Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL from 2010-2014. He skated in 256 games with the Phantoms, amassing 47 goals and 73 assists. He also racked up 393 minutes in penalties. Overall, in 586 AHL games, Holmstrom has accounted for 79 goals and 132 assists, along with 840 minutes in penalties. Additionally, Holmstrom has seen two separate stints with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, skating in a pair of games during the 2010-11 season, and another five the following year in 2011-12. Hailing from Fairport, NY, Coughlin led all Admiral defenseman and was tied for sixth on the team overall in scoring with 17 points on nine goals and eight assists. Currently in his second pro season, Coughlin began his pro career late in the 2018-19 season with the Maine Mariners, appearing in 10 games and dishing out four assists. Prior to turning pro, Coughlin enjoyed a successful four-year career at the College of the Holy Cross, accounting for 17 goals and 44 assists across 143 games. Angeli departs the Cyclones with nine goals and a team-leading 30 assists through 51 games. This will be his third-career stint with the Admirals, having played there during the 2016-17 and 2018-19 seasons. Dornbrock skated in 20 games for the ‘Clones and dished out six assists in that time, while Gerard had a pair of helpers in 16 games with Cincinnati.
When it Rains, it Pours: After being held to three or fewer goals in nine of their last 11 games, the Cyclones have scored 15 goals over their last three games, leading them to three wins in a row.
Defensively Offensive:Cyclones defenseman Justin Baudry pushed his point streak to five games following a two-goal performance in Thursday’s 4-2 win over the Toledo Walleye. He has accounted for four goals and six assists in that span, and has multi-point efforts in three-straight and in four of his last five games, including a career-high three points (3a) in Sunday’s 6-5 win over the Indy Fuel. He is now fourth on the team in scoring with 33 points (11g, 23a).
Home Sweet Home: Cincinnati is in the middle of a six-game homestand , and are 3-1-0-0 through the first three games. Cincinnati is one of the top teams at home this season, posting an 21-4-3-0 record while outscoring teams, 100-66. Their 21 home wins are second-most in the ECHL, while their four regulation losses are the fewest.
Vaive Hundred: Cyclones captain Justin Vaive played in his 500th pro game on Saturday night against the Indy Fuel, scoring a goal in a 5-3 win over the Fuel Currently in his ninth pro season, Vaive has accounted for 117 goals and 99 assists through 502 games, and is fifth on the team in scoring with 31 points (17g, 14a). Vaive appeared in 65 games for the 2018-19 Brabham Cup champion Cyclones, accounting for 19 goals and 15 assists, and was second on the team with 120 minutes in penalties. He also contributed three goals and six assists in 11 games during the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Vaive has spent the bulk of his pro career in the American Hockey League (AHL), accounting for 67 points (31g, 36a) in 280 games played between Cincinnati’s AHL affiliate Rochester Americans, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hartford Wolf Pack, and San Antonio Rampage. Prior to turning pro in 2011-12, Vaive was a four-year letter winner with the Miami University RedHawks from 2007-11. He helped lead the RedHawks to a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Regular Season Championship in 2010, and a CCHA Playoff Championship in 2011. In 160 career games with Miami, Vaive accounted for 23 goals and 23 assists, along with 208 penalty minutes.
Strong D: Cincinnati is fourth in the ECHL with 2.67 goals allowed per game, and pace the League with 26.22 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 22 of their last 26 games. The Cyclones have allowed three or fewer goals in 31 of their last 39 games, and have given up more than three on just 11 occasions. They are 29-5-5-1 this season when allowing three or fewer goals.
Holding the Lead: Cincinnati has an 20-2-2-1 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 20-0-2-0.
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!