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Cincinnati Cyclones Historic Starting Line Up 2024

Source: Cincinnati Cyclones / ECHL

The Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL achieved a historic feat on Saturday night! The Cyclones fielded a starting lineup entirely made of all-Black skaters. Forwards Kyle Bollers, Josh Burnside, and Elijah Gonsalves, along with defensemen Landon Cato and Jalen Smereck, formed the lineup. This makes the Cyclones the first professional hockey team to have a starting lineup comprised of all-Black skaters.

Head coach Jason Payne is not a stranger to breaking down barriers. Payne, a former professional player with 14 seasons of experience, took the role of head coach in 2022 after serving as an assistant coach since 2018.


In 2022, Jason Payne became half of what was believed to be the first pro game in North America where both teams were headed by Black coaches when the Cyclones played Joel Martin & the Kalamazoo Wings.

Payne emphasized the importance of diversity & representation in hockey. He noted the rarity of having multiple players of color on a single team and highlighted the significance of the Cyclones’ achievement in fielding five Black skaters.

In addition to the historic night, Cyclones’ defenseman Jalen Smereck set a new franchise record for points by a defenseman with 70 points. The Cyclones won 3-2 against the Wheeling Nailers in overtime.

The post Cincinnati Cyclones Make History with All-Black Starting Lineup appeared first on 101.1 The Wiz.

Cincinnati Cyclones Make History with All-Black Starting Lineup  was originally published on