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#USPHLPlayoffs: Toledo Cherokee vs. Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones 

Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones (6) at Toledo Cherokee (3)

All Games At Team Toledo Ice House, Toledo, OH

Friday, March 1, 7  p.m. EST

Saturday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. EST

Sunday, March 3, 2 p.m. EST (If Necessary) 

 

By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com 

 

The Toledo Cherokee have certainly enjoyed becoming Nationals regulars the last three seasons. They certainly don’t want it to stop now. The first step to making trip No. 4 would be to win their series against a Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones team that has struggled for victories this year. 

“As a group we are trying to continue to get better every day in practice and play good hockey as we head into the playoffs,” said Toledo Head Coach Kenny Miller. “We will make sure our guys are ready to play this weekend and be ready for whatever Cincinnati throws at us.”

“It’s been a tough season for us but everyone starts the playoffs 0-0,” added Cincinnati Head Coach Lee Lansdowne. “Our guys have been working hard both on ice and off the ice in the film room in preparation for a best of 3 with a very good, talented Toledo team. We are certainly going to have to work to slow down their high powered offense and their speed. Our players are committed to leaving everything on the ice in Toledo this weekend.”

The Cherokee recently visited Cincinnati on Feb. 10 and won by double digits, closing up a 6-0 season series over which the closest game was decided by seven goals. 

Cincinnati has approached this 2023-24 season essentially as a second expansion season – they are building from ground zero for the future, and they are excited to be out recruiting the right players for better Jr. Cyclones teams including players that will attract college coaches down the road.  

For the Cherokee, they are a veteran-laden group that includes top scorers such as Jacob Ammar (91 points in 44 games) and Brett LoGelfo (61 points) and Cameron Reel (49 points), all of whom have topped 100 points for their Cherokee careers. Santino Multari has 88 points in 87 games and the Cherokee added Aidan Gonzalez this year, providing 78 points in 41 games. Ammar’s +51 led the team and defenseman Zane Myler posted a team-leading 40 blocked shots in his 36 games. 

Emmitt Guest led the way for the Jr. Cyclones with 26 points in 43 games, and former Cherokee Alexander Atchison was a strong pickup for Cincinnati in posting 20 points in 32 games after being acquired in November. Premier veteran blueliner David MacDonald missed some time due to injury, but came across the finish line with an impressive 12 points in 20 games. Fellow defenseman Cameron Klein put himself in front of 50 opponent shots to lead the team in the blocked shots stat line. The league’s eighth-youngest team (with an average age of 18 years, 182 days) featured the league’s youngest regular player in 2023-24, forward Alan Faulkner, an ‘08 who skated in 30 games. A lot of building blocks for the future. 

Cherokee goalie Austin Nowak finished in the top 10 in goals against average at 2.09, along with a .924 save percentage. He won 13 games and creasemate Caleb Kril racked up 11 wins. For Cincinnati, they have two ‘05’s in Nick Gingold and Carter Herheim to build around, in addition to ‘03 USPHL veteran Devin DeCarlo.  

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