Fuel Dispatch First-Place Cyclones for Third Straight Victory
INDIANAPOLIS - In two nights the two hottest teams in the ECHL have seen their lengthy point streaks come to an end in Central Indiana. After snapping the Wheeling Nailers' nine-game unbeaten streak on Thursday night, the Indy Fuel (16-13-0-0) handed the league-leading Cincinnati Cyclones their first loss in over a month with a 5-2 victory Friday before a crowd of 4,242 at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Fuel have now won three straight games and five of their last six, moving back into the Central Division's top four teams over the idle Fort Wayne Komets.
Ryan Rupert tallied a pair of third period goals to pad a one-goal Fuel lead, while Brett Welychka (1g, 1a), Quentin Shore (1g, 1a) and Radovan Bondra (2a) also chipped in multi-point nights. Goaltender Matt Tomkins was stellar once again in net, stopping 30 of 32 Cincinnati shots to help Indy improve its home record to 12-4 on the season.
The Cyclones struck first at the 8:30 mark of the first period, connecting on an odd-man rush. Former Fuel forward Alex Wideman took a drop pass from defenseman Arvin Atwal and threaded a wrist shot through a screen behind Tomkins for his seventh goal of the season.
Cincinnati's only lead of the game was short-lived, as Indy quickly responded with two goals in a span of 1:31 to turn the 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 edge. Quentin Shore tied the contest at 12:13, snapping a perfectly-placed shot off the crossbar and in after Welychka found him open in the high slot. The Fuel made it 2-1 at 13:44 when Matt Rupert took a centering pass from Bondra and beat Cyclones netminder Jonas Johansson (18 saves) over the glove from the left hash mark.
Welychka completed his two-point night when he scored the eventual game-winning tally at the 2:09 mark of the second period. A stretch pass from defenseman Dimitry Osipov split a pair of Cincinnati defenders, sending Welychka toward the net on a breakaway. The rookie forward opened up Johansson with a quick move before sliding his fourth goal of the season through the five-hole to make it 3-1.
Justin Schultz pulled the Cyclones back to within one at 7:05 of the middle frame, beating Tomkins just inside the right post after Wideman connected on a pinpoint cross-ice pass. Schultz's goal was the last thing to make it past the Fuel netminder, who locked things down down the stretch - stopping 24 of 25 shots over the second and third periods.
Heading into the third with a 3-2 advantage, Ryan Rupert helped Indy pull away in the final 20 minutes. The veteran forward put the Fuel back up by two at 8:29 of the final stanza, firing a quick shot off the ensuing draw after Kevin Dufour was denied on a penalty shot. Ryan put the game away with two minutes left in regulation, picking up his eighth goal of the season on Indy's only power play chance of the evening.
In addition to finishing 1-for-1 on the man advantage, the Fuel held Cincinnati scoreless on three power play chances.
Winners of seven of nine on home ice since November 21, Indy concludes its weekend homestand Saturday night as they host the Brampton Beast. Puck drop for Nickelodeon Night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum is slated for 7:35 p.m. ET.
Single-game tickets are now on sale for the Fuel's 5th anniversary season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Lock up your seat for every second of the action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a Fuel Ticket Plan - grab yours by heading to IndyFuelHockey.com or by calling the Fuel front office at 317-925-FUEL. Don't forget to follow the Fuel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (IndyFuel) for news, updates, contests and much more throughout the 2018-19 season.
• Discuss this story on the ECHL message board...
ECHL Stories from December 28, 2018
- Steelheads Roll Through Rush with 9-1 Win - Idaho Steelheads
- Solar Bears Blanked by IceMen in 5-0 Decision - Orlando Solar Bears
- Fuel Dispatch First-Place Cyclones for Third Straight Victory - Indy Fuel
- Gardiner's Hat Trick Propels K-Wings Past Nailers - Kalamazoo Wings
- Mavs' Comeback Falls Short in Tulsa - Kansas City Mavericks
- Swamp Rabbits' Comeback Spoiled by 'Blades - Greenville Swamp Rabbits
- Railers Grab a Point in Physical 3-2 Shootout Road Loss in Portland - Worcester Railers HC
- Wings Escape with Late Win, Despite Wheeling Comeback - Wheeling Nailers
- Oilers Snap Skid on Military Appreciation Night - Tulsa Oilers
- Cyclones Point Streak Snapped in Road Loss - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Wild Win-Iecki: Everblades Hold off Swamp Rabbits for Shootout Victory - Florida Everblades
- IceMen Shutout Bears in 5-0 Rout - Jacksonville IceMen
- McNicholas Leads Mariners to Comeback Win over Worcester - Maine Mariners
- Klima's Last Minute Strike Pushes Norfolk Past Rays - South Carolina Stingrays
- Thunder Fly Past Monarchs by 4-2 Final - Adirondack Thunder
- Monarchs Drop Fourth Straight Game in 4-2 Loss to Thunder - Manchester Monarchs
- Admirals Sting Rays as Norfolk Snaps Winless Streak - Norfolk Admirals
- Royals Overwhelm Growlers 4-1 - Newfoundland Growlers
- Royals Corral First-Place Growlers, 4-1 - Reading Royals
- ECHL Transactions - December 28 - ECHL
- Americans and Grizzlies Game Tonight Is Cancelled Due to Travel Issues - Allen Americans
- Grizzlies December 28th Game Rescheduled - Utah Grizzlies
- Josh Anderson Added to Grizzlies Roster - Utah Grizzlies
- Guillaume Naud Added to Fuel Blue Line - Indy Fuel
- Solar Bears Make Adjustment to Promotional Schedule - Orlando Solar Bears
- Gladiators Acquire Rookie Forward from Wichita - Atlanta Gladiators
- ECHL Announces Fines, Suspensions - ECHL
- Cyclones Game Preview: vs. Indy - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Game Preview: Solar Bears at IceMen - Orlando Solar Bears
- Growlers Sign Brad Barone - Newfoundland Growlers
- Nailers at Wings Game Day Snap Shot, December 28 - Wheeling Nailers
- Milwaukee Admirals Sign Desmond Bergin to PTO - Adirondack Thunder
- Nastasiuk, Sheppard Recalled by AHL's Charlotte Checkers - Florida Everblades
- Penguins Recall Kevin Spinozzi - Wheeling Nailers
- OurSports Central's Plays of the Year - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
- Game Day: Nailers Come to Town for Middle of Three-In-Three - Kalamazoo Wings
- LaCouvee Loaned to Laval - Maine Mariners
- Game Day: Royals End Break, Host 1st-Place Growlers - Reading Royals
- Tammela Tricks IceMen in 4-3 Solar Bears Win - Orlando Solar Bears
- Quick Start Propels 'Blades to 5-2 Win over Atlanta - Florida Everblades
- Cuddemi, Skinner Pushes Wichita Past Tulsa - Wichita Thunder
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.