ECHL: Cincinnati Cyclones 2023-2024 Season Recap

The Cincinnati Cyclones, the ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers, finished their season last month, and it was a bit disappointing. However, there were some positives to take away from the season as well. The team had a 31-34-7-0 record, with a 43.10%-win rate. They scored 236 goals and allowed 261 goals against. Their power-play percentage was 23%, and their penalty-kill percentage was 76.4%. The Cyclones finished 6th in the Central Division standings, which was a bit lower than hoped for, and they missed the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2016-2017 season. Despite the challenges, the team has a strong young core that shows promise for the future and will be a force to be reckoned with in the Central Division next season.

Top 3 Forwards:
Patrick Polino: 23 Goals, 35 Assists (72 Games Played)


Lincoln Griffin: 13 Goals, 18 Assists (40 Games Played)


Sahil Panwar: 22 Goals, 32 Assists (64 Games Played)

Top 3 Defensemen

Jalen Smereck: 14 Goals, 57 Assists (70 Games Played)


Cole Fraser: 3 Goals, 12 Assists (58 Games Played)


Ole Julian Bjørgvik-Holm: 5 Goals, 28 Assists (57 Games Played)

Goaltending

Cyclones fans witnessed a revolving door of goaltenders throughout the season, with six netminders taking the ice. Olof Lindbom led the pack in terms of playing time, appearing in 29 games and boasting a .884 save percentage along with a 3.56 goals-against average (GAA). Talyn Boyko also made a significant impact, playing 26 games and achieving a .888 save percentage with a 3.42 GAA. The remaining games were split among Pavel Cajan, Rylan Parenteau, Michael McNiven, and Julian Sime. Looking ahead, the team will need to shore up their goaltending if they want to make a serious run in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Unfortunate Losses

Zack Andrusiak, a key scorer for the Cyclones, was traded to the Florida Everblades in March and then moved to the Fort Wayne Komets, a divisional rival. By that stage of the season, the team was no longer in playoff contention, and it seemed that Andrusiak was ready for a new opportunity. He mentioned his interest in continuing his career in Europe, so it remains to be seen what the future holds for him.

The team captain, Justin Vaive, played in just 45 games during the last regular season before being sidelined with a season-ending shoulder injury in early February. Despite this, he managed to tally 28 points, bringing him closer to becoming the Cyclones’ all-time points leader. As he just finished his 9th season with Cincinnati, fans are hopeful that he will return for his 10th season and surpass the current franchise leader, Jesse Schultz, in points.

Louie Caporusso, a crucial player for the team, had an impressive performance in the 2022-2023 season, scoring 73 points. However, he was sidelined for most of the recent season due to a sports hernia that occurred in January. Despite this setback, he managed to tally 29 points (10 goals and 19 assists) in just 34 games, showcasing his exceptional skill. It’s expected that he will return to the Cyclones in the Fall, and his presence will be instrumental in the team’s development, particularly in terms of offensive power as a center.

Within the final games of the season, Cole Fraser sustained an undisclosed injury that is expected to keep him out of play for a significant portion of next season, possibly until January. Cole is a vital defenseman for the Cyclones, contributing 15 points in 58 games during the previous season. As an integral part of one of the top defensive pairings, the Cyclones are eager to have him back on the ice as soon as possible.

History Made in March

Cincinnati Cyclones Make Professional Hockey History

Outstanding Themed Nights

I love the variety of themed nights that the Cincinnati Cyclones offer, from the heartwarming Teddy Bear Toss night to the festive Pride night, Marvel nights, Star Wars nights, Hockey Fights Cancer night, St. Patrick’s Day game, Skyline Chili night, and New Year’s Eve Firework night. As someone who grew up in Cincinnati, attending Cyclones games has given me countless cherished memories from childhood to adulthood. These themed nights not only add fun to the game but also support great causes. While I’m a die-hard hockey fan, I appreciate how these themed nights can engage a wider audience and create an electric atmosphere at the Heritage Bank Center. Personally, my top picks are the Teddy Bear Toss and the New Year’s Eve Firework show – the energy at those games is always incredible, with Heritage Bank Center typically rocking at full capacity.

End-of-Season Awards

MVP: Jalen Smereck: Had a career-high 71 points and led the ECHL with an outstanding 57 assists.
Best Fighter: Sean Allen “The Sheriff”
Most Improved: Ole Julian Bjørgvik-Holm
Best Rookie: Sahil Panwar

2024-2025 Season Tickets on Sale:

Cincinnati Cyclones | Cincinnati, OH Professional Hockey | Ticket Packages | (cycloneshockey.com)

The Cincinnati Faithful

The passionate Cyclones fans consistently fill up the Heritage Bank Center year after year, creating what I believe to be the most electrifying atmosphere in the ECHL. The 2023-2024 season drew an impressive total of 243,350 fans, ranking among the highest in the entire league. With such overwhelming support, we have much to anticipate for the upcoming season, and I have no doubt that this steadfast fan base will be there every step of the way. Despite differing opinions, I firmly believe that Cincinnati is a true hockey town; our dedicated fans are a testament to that.

Season Attendance (Cincinnati Cyclones)
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Matthew Buhrmann

Writer at Inside the Rink l Covering Cincinnati Cyclones l Student @uofcincy l @Mbuhrmann61 on socials

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