Fuel fetch a weekend split with 4-3 victory over Cyclones
Kevin Dufour tallies three points as Indy takes down Cincinnati on Pucks & Paws nightNov 10, 2018
INDIANAPOLIS – The largest crowd of the season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum was treated to a thrilling win for the home team, as the Indy Fuel (6-5-0-0) defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones 4-3 on Saturday night. With 6,187 fans – and their dogs – in attendance for the Fuel’s annual Pucks & Paws night, forward Kevin Dufour retrieved a goal and two assists to help Indy improve to 5-2 on home ice while salvaging a weekend split with the Cyclones.
Playing for the second time in as many nights, the Fuel and Cyclones matched each other shot-for-shot over the first two periods before Josh McArdle provided the eventual game-winner with his first professional goal. The rookie defenseman took a feed from Dufour and hammered a slap shot past goaltender Michael Houser (23 saves) to put Indy up 4-3 with 13:34 left in regulation time. After seeing the Cyclones rally three separate times from one-goal deficits, the Fuel hung tight down the stretch to snap Cincinnati’s three-game winning streak.
McArdle wasn’t the only Fuel player who recorded his first ECHL goal on Saturday, as forward Jordy Stallard opened the scoring halfway through the opening period with his first pro marker. In what was his Fuel debut, Stallard battled to the front of the Cincinnati net and redirected a Dufour shot to give Indy an early 1-0 lead on the power play.
The Cyclones found an equalizer just under two minutes later when Myles Powell scored his third goal of the weekend series. Taking a drop pass at the blue line from former Indy standout Alex Wideman, Powell drove to the net and beat Fuel goaltender Kevin Lankinen through a screen.
Ryan Rupert put Indy back on top at the 15:02 mark of the second period with a great individual effort on the forecheck. The forward stole the puck from a Cyclones defender behind the cage, stepped to the near goal post and flipped a backhand over Houser’s glove for his third goal of the season.
The lead was again short lived, as Pascal Aquin capitalized on a power play to even the score at two at 17:25 of the second. Devante Stephens’ initial shot hit a body in front and bounced right to Aquin, who snapped his sixth of the season past Lankinen.
The two teams traded goals one last time in the early stages of the third period, with Indy taking a 3-2 lead on a Kevin Dufour tally 3:25 into the frame. Mathew Thompson registered the first of his two assists in the final stanza when he slid a centering pass to Dufour to cap off a 3-on-2 rush. But once again Cincinnati had a quick answer, when Brady Vail threaded picked a corner in transition at 5:14.
Lankinen improved to 3-0 in net for the Fuel with a 27-save effort, his biggest stop of the night coming moments after McArdle’s go-ahead goal. Myles Powell was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down on a breakaway, but Lankinen shut the door one-on-one with a right pad save.
Both teams found the net once with the man advantage; the Fuel finished 1-for-2 while holding the Cyclones to one goal on four chances.
Indy now heads on their longest geographical road trip of the season, heading to West Valley City, Utah for a three-game set with the Utah Grizzlies. The Fuel and Grizzlies will play Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night at Maverik Center, all three contests slated for a 9:05 p.m. ET puck drop.
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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