CINCINNATI, OH – The Cincinnati Cyclones (33-21-2-0) head out on the road to face the Indy Fuel (27-28-2-1) in the opening night of a three-in-three weekend set. Puck drops at 7:35 pm at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Cincinnati enters tonight’s game in the midst of a five-game win streak. The Cyclones defeated key opponents in their fight to lock down a playoff position, taking down the Kalamazoo Wings twice in regulation, as well as taking home the victory against the Fuel for the first time all season.
Last weekend, the Cyclones dominated home and visiting ice, sweeping their three opponents. In Cincinnati’s first win against Indy, Winston Day Chief had a blowout night, recording a natural hat trick en route to Cincinnati’s 4-3 victory. The very next night, Day Chief picked right back up where he had left off by scoring the first goal of the night against the Quad City Mallards. Overall, four Cyclones skaters recorded multi-point nights, including Alex Kile and Rob De Fulviis (1g-1a), as well as Dominic Zombo and Mitch Nylen (2a). Wrapping up the weekend, the Cyclones made their way to Kalamazoo where they took down the Wings 3-1.
Cincinnati saw several skaters record impressive weekends. Coming out on top, Zombo ended the weekend with the most points by recording six assists throughout the trio of games. Following shortly behind, Day Chief and Brandon McNally finished with four points each – (4g) and (1g-3a), respectively.
As Cincinnati makes their way into Indiana Farmers Coliseum, they’ll be transported to Bikini Bottom for the Fuel’s Nickelodeon Night, where the Cyclones will dawn Patrick Star uniforms. The lucky Cyclones even get to switch out their typical black breezers for Patrick’s infamous green and purple board shorts. Cincinnati will hope to drag the Fuel down deeper into Rock Bottom of the ECHL playoff race.
Due in part to the tear they’ve been on, the Cyclones now sit comfortably in the third position in the Central Division by holding six points between them (68 pts) and the fourth place Kansas City Mavericks (62 pts.)
As for the Fuel, they come into the contest, dropping four out of their last five games. Although a serious contender in the fight for a playoff spot before the drought, they currently sit at sixth in the division with 57 points.
After yesterday’s arguably inactive ECHL Trade Deadline, neither team made much of a splash regarding trades. Indy opted to sign defenseman James Roll to an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) who just wrapped up his college season at Niagara University. In a corresponding move, the Fuel released defenseman Brendan Mitchell from his contract and Mitchell returns to the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL).
Cincinnati, however, had a more eventful day. The Cyclones yet again faced the Buffalo Sabres/Rochester Americans injury curse, as Kile and Vaclav Karabacek were recalled to the American Hockey League to fill spots left open by unhealthy players.
In good news, Cincinnati gained a defenseman for cash considerations from the Worcester Railers. Brock Beukeboom, son of New York Rangers Stanley Cup winner Jeff Beukeboom, is in his first professional season after wrapping up a four-year career with the University of Prince Edward Island in 2016-17. This season, Brock has skated for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and the Railers, amassing a total of 11 points (2g-9a) in 41 games. To add much-needed security to a now depleted forward group, the Cyclones signed Darren McCormick to contract on Friday. The 25-year-old has skated in 42 SPHL games this season, recording 22 goals and 14 assists (36pts).
The Cyclones head up to Fort Wayne tomorrow evening for one of their last of three meetings against the Komets this season, then make their way up to the Great White North to face the Brampton Beast on Sunday.