Fuel Edged by Cyclones in First Half of Home-And-Home Set
CINCINNATI - The Indy Fuel (5-5-0-0) fell victim to a second period surge from the Cincinnati Cyclones (7-2-2-0), dropping the first half of a weekend doubleheader by a 5-2 score Friday night at U.S. Bank Arena. The Cyclones found the net four times in the middle frame - including three goals in a span of 2:15 - to even the season series with the Fuel at a game apiece. The Central Division rivals wrap up a home-and-home series Saturday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Cincinnati forward Myles Powell broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of shorthanded goals scored on the same Indy power play, while forward Vasili Glotov picked up three assists for the Cyclones, who notched their third straight victory and fifth in their last six outings. Matt Rupert scored twice for the Fuel, who drop to 1-3 away from Central Indiana.
The two teams found themselves scoreless after a tightly contested opening frame, but it only took Cincinnati's Pascal Aquin a little over a minute to put the home team on the board as the second period started. Attacking on a 2-on-1 rush, Glotov slid a cross-ice feed to Aquin on the back post, who beat a sprawling Matt Tomkins (34 saves).
Matt and Ryan Rupert connected shortly afterward to even the score at one goal apiece. After linemate Olivier Labelle forced a turnover on the forecheck, Ryan hopped on a loose puck and found his brother open for a one-timer in the slot.
Indy had a chance to strike again moments later when they took the ice on a power play, but Powell swung the momentum back in favor of Cincinnati with two shorthanded tallies in 42 seconds. The Cyclones took a 2-1 lead at 4:42 when Powell and Glotov converted on a 2-on-1 rush, before the pair hooked up again at 5:24 with a rebound tally. Justin Vaive completed the three-goal rally at 6:57, swatting a Jesse Schultz centering pass over Tomkins' shoulder.
Matt Rupert steered home a net-mouth feed from Labelle in the late stages of the second period, bringing the Fuel back to within two with his team-leading sixth goal of the campaign.
Indy controlled the play for long stretches of the third period, but Cincinnati goaltender Jonas Johansson (26 saves) was up to the task to keep his team on top. The netminder made a point-blank stop on Fuel defenseman Miles Liberati in the early stages, before a last-ditch effort by a Cyclones defenseman helped keep a Radovan Bondra shot from trickling across the line midway through the frame.
Cincinnati put the game out of reach at 6:44 of the final frame when Devante Stephens picked up his own rebound off of the right goal post.
Neither team was able to score on the power play Friday night, with Indy finishing 0-for-2 and the Cyclones coming up empty on three opportunities.
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.
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