CINCINNATI– The beloved-Thanksgiving series begins tonight when the Cyclones (7-5-1-0) face the Toledo Walleye (11-2-2-0) for the third time in a row after seeing them twice last week.
The home team looks to bounce back from losing both games against the Central Division leaders. Cincinnati opens up their three-game week on Wednesday night at 7:35 for US Bank Arena’s Thanksgiving Eve, featuring $1 beers, to kick off celebrations for the holiday of the year.
|Toledo||11-2-2-0 –24 pts.|
|Kansas City||9-6-0-0 –18 pts.|
|Cincinnati||7-5-1-0 –15 pts.|
|Ft. Wayne||6-5-2-0 –14 pts.|
|Quad City||6-8-0-0 –12 pts.|
|Kalamazoo||5-5-0-1 –11 pts.|
|Indy||4-7-2-1 –11 pts.|
vs. Toledo Walleye; Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 7:35 pm
PREVIEWING TOLEDO: The Clones face the Walleye for the third time in a week when they come back to US Bank Arena on Thanksgiving Eve. Last week, Toledo outscored Cincinnati 9-4 between the two matchups. Leading the pack for the Walleye was Mike Borkowski and A.J. Jenks who both scored twice in Saturday’s 6-2 win for Toledo.
vs. Wheeling Nailers; Friday, Nov. 24 at 2:35 pm
PREVIEWING WHEELING: Cincinnati goes into Friday’s matchup with a record of 1-1 against Wheeling thus far this season. This will be the Nailers first time in the Queen City for the 2017-18 year, after facing the Worcester Railers at home on the 22nd. Leading the pack for Wheeling is Cody Wydo with 20 points on the year, notched two (2a) against Cincinnati.
@ Fort Wayne Komets; Saturday, Nov. 25 at 7:30 pm
PREVIEWING FORT WAYNE: In storybook ending style, the last time the Cyclones faced the Komets was also the last night for the Sin Bin Cyclones legend, Dakota Johnson -no, not the 50 Shades of Grey actress. Anyways, the last time the two Central Division rivals met, Toledo rallied to tie the game at 2-2 before ultimately being tossed a big “L” by Shawn O’Donnell in overtime.
ARV STAR – After skating in 11 games for the Cyclones, Arvin Atwal was called up with teammate, Eric Knodel, to the AHL’s Rochester Americans on Nov. 16. Of the currently-four Cincinnati players who have spent time in Upstate New York thus far this season, Atwal is the only one to notch a point, assisting in C.J. Smith’s opening goal en route the Americans 4-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack last Friday. The Surrey, BC native has recorded one goal and three assists (4 pts) in his time in Cincinnati this season. Last year, Atwal had 17 points (2g-15a) in 39 games before being sidelined with an injury for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.
CAPTAIN KNODEL—Before the 2017-18 season began, Head Coach Matt Macdonald awarded the Captain title to veteran defenseman, Eric Knodel. “He’s a captain; he’s a leader. Guys look up to him, and I think he’s a big reason for why we’re having the success that we’re having,” stated Coach Macdonald. Echoing coach’s sentiments, second-year Clone, Rob De Fulviis, praised Knodel, saying, “[He] deserves it. He’s our guy that everyone leans on. He’s got six feet, six inches of him, so plenty to go around.”
VETERAN LEADERSHIP— Following the move of Knodel’s appointment to team captain came to a domino effect of guys stepping up in the locker room. Both Coach Macdonald and Knodel called veterans O’Donnell and Dominic Zombo as being core guys who are behind the team’s mission. On the ice, this year’s vets are making a loud statement. O’Donnell currently leads the team in points, goals, and assists, amassing 15 points (6g-9a) in 12 games. Excited to have him back, Coach Macdonald described O’Donnell as “an elite hockey player [who] should be in the American Hockey League.” Not to be ignored, Brandon McNally, Zombo, and De Fulviis have made a loud statement as well. Macdonald noted McNally for his large physical presence, his point-scoring in nearly every game, as well as the confidence he brings in to every game. Zombo, seen as the utility man on the team, Macdonald finds him to be “extremely effective in what he does,” as the second-year veteran can play any position on the ice, “no question.” As for De Fulviis, Macdonald believes he’s another guy that would do anything for the team as well, “He’s a guy that’ll go out and shoot a big goal, then the next night come out and eat a puck to block a shot. He’s a great teammate.”
THE NEXT BIG THING—In the midst of his rookie season, Justin Danforth is taking Cincinnati by storm. The Oshawa, ONT native has frequented the score sheet with his 12 points (6g-6a) this season, including a hat-trick against the Florida Everblades on Nov. 10. Before coming to the Queen City, Danforth played for four years with fellow-Clone, Mitch Nylen, at Sacred Heart University. During his collegiate career, Danforth leads Sacred Heart in points his freshman, junior, and senior years, ultimately finishing seventh all-time in program history with 124 points and fifth all-time with 82 assists. While the rookie himself is humble and down-to-earth, his coaches and teammates happily brag for him. De Fulviis simply stated, “He’s awesome,” also commenting on his agility, “He’s got a burst of speed that comes out of nowhere. He does everything right; he’s awesome in the face-offs; he’s playing with two guys that know what they’re doing out there. At the end of the day, he doesn’t need that much help; he’s got it under control. He’s a first-year guy, but he’s playing like he’s been out there a couple of years.”
Macdonald agrees, saying, “Danforth is an amazing hockey player,” elaborating on his intense work ethic, putting in extra time on and off the ice to be the best all-around athlete he can be. Macdonald sees Danforth as having “a bright future” that he, “can’t say enough good things about” In Coach’s eyes, “the sky’s the limit” for the young rookie.
ICYMI—Jesse Schultz is in his 15th professional hockey season. I’ll just leave it at that. (Sorry, guys.)
Points: O’Donnell –15
Goals: O’Donnell & Danforth -6g
Assists: O’Donnell –9
PIM: McNally – 20
Record: 9-5-1-1 –20 pts/.625 win%
2nd in North Division
Clones in Rochester:
Devante Stephens- No points
Arvin Atwal- 1 assist and 17 PIMs in 1 game (HFD @ RCH, W)
Eric Knodel- No points
|ADD||Nick Trecapelli, D||Claimed off waivers from Indy|
|ADD||Alex Kile, F||Activated from Injured Reserve|
|ADD||Brycen Martin, D||Assigned from Rochester by Buffalo|
|ADD||Vaclav Karabeck, F||Assigned from Rochester by Buffalo|
|DELETE||Andrew Radjenovic, F||Traded to Orlando|
|DELETE||Eric Knodel, D||Loaned to Rochester|
|DELETE||Arvin Atwall, D||Loaned to Rochester|
|DELETE||Austin Block, F||Placed on Injured Reserve (effective 10/22)|