Mavericks Fall 5-1 to Indy Fuel in Season-Opener
Indianapolis, IN (Oct. 24, 2014) - The Missouri Mavericks struggled during a two minute stretch of the third period as they fell in a fairly evenly played game by a 5-1 count against the Indy Fuel on Friday night in their first ECHL game.
David Rutherford scored the lone goal for Missouri, but it was Indy's offensive outburst in the final frame where they scored three times in a 2:13 stretch, finished with four third period goals, that was the difference.
Indy took advantage of an early power play scoring the game's first goal. Robert Czarnick has had the hot hand to start the season for the Fuel and he was the one in the right place at the right time banging the puck past Mike Clemente for his fourth goal of the season. Nick Jones and Rhett Bly earned the assists at the 5:59 mark of the opening period.
The Mavs would bounce back with a 4-on-4 goal scored by Rutherford. The speedy forward took a pass at the blue line from teammate Jared Brown and went in on Cody Reichard beating him on the backhand for Missouri's first goal of the 2014-15 campaign. Colten Hayes and Brown earned the assists on the goal scored at the 8:30 mark.
The first period ended with the teams knotted at one goal apiece although the Fuel had a healthy advantage in shots (15-6) as Clemente was outstanding stopping 14 shots.
The teams were fairly even during the second period, but Missouri was able to settle in with a pair of power play chances late in the middle frame that helped the offense gain some momentum. The flip side to those man advantages was that it also created the best chances for the Fuel in the period as twice they were able to gain shorthanded breakaways against Clemente, both stopped by the Mavs netminder.
As the teams neared the midway point of the third period, the Fuel would regain their second lead of the night thanks to former Mavs defenseman Anders Franzon finding Mike Duco for his first goal of the season. The goal came at the 8:17 mark and it gave Indy a 2-1 advantage.
Indy would add to their lead just 55 seconds later with a blast from the point by Justin Holl, his first goal of the season making the count 3-1 and they were not done as the offensive outburst for the Fuel continued with Bly netting his second goal of the season at the 10:30 mark.
Patrick Cullen made the score 5-1 late in the third period as Indy capitalized on another power play chance connecting for the second time in eight chances in the game. It was Cullen's third goal of the season, scored at the 17:18 mark of the third period.
The Fuel outshot the Mavs in the game by a 28-16 count as Reichard earned his first win of the season making 15 saves. Clemente was sharp throughout most of the game stopping 23 shots, but he takes the loss.
The Mavs continue their five-game road trip to start the season in Fort Wayne on Saturday night as they take on the Komets.
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ECHL Stories from October 24, 2014
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