ECHL hockey made its return to Cincinnati in an exciting fashion as the Cyclones beat Pensacola 3-1 on Friday and Toledo 4-0 on Saturday as more than 7,500 fans watched the team open with back-to-back wins for the first time since it joined the league in 1995-96.
The Cyclones are 2-0-0 and atop the North Division for the first time since Oct. 27, 2001. Cincinnati plays at Trenton on Friday, looking to open the season with three consecutive wins for the first time in club history, and is at Johnstown on Saturday.
The game on Friday marked the return of hockey to U.S. Bank Arena for the first time since Mar. 26, 2004 as the Cyclones requested and were granted a voluntary suspension for the past two seasons after reaching the Kelly Cup Playoffs twice in its three seasons since moving to Cincinnati in 2001-02. Chuck Weber became only the second coach in team history to win his first game, joining Warren Young who accomplished the feat on Oct. 13, 1995.
Cincinnati’s goaltenders, Cedric Desjardins and Dov Grumet-Morris, have the Cyclones atop the league with a combined goals-against average of 0.50 and a save percentage of .983. Desjardins made his professional debut on Saturday and stopped all 37 shots he faced after Grumet-Morris had 31 saves on Friday.