Game 16: Cincinnati at Fuel

The Indy Fuel had a tough 3-2 loss to the Cincinnati Cyclones on Friday at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. The Fuel had two beautiful goals, the first from Garret Bembridge in the opening period, which gave Indy a 1-0 lead, and the latter from Rhett Bly in the third on the power play, but Cincinnati took advantage of two fortuitous bounces to score the go-ahead and eventual winning goals and come away with the victory.

Bembridge’s goal gave Indy a 1-0 lead on the rush. Justin Holl led the rush and fed to Mike Duco, who carried across the line into the high slot and then fed Bembridge at the corner of the net for the goal. Cincinnati answered when Brian Nugent sniped a one-timer from the faceoff dot less than four minutes later, and that carried to the first intermission. The Cyclones scored off two bounces in the opening minutes of the latter two periods. What appeared to be a centering pass from Zach Budish deflected off a defenseman’s stick and into the net from near the goal line 1:21 into the second. In the third, David Pacan took advantage of a strange bounce off the end boards where the puck careened in front of the net to make it 3-1.

The Fuel were able to rally, after killing off two penalties, they got a PP of their own, and took advantage when Robert Czarnik skated into the zone with speed and fed Bly in front of the net. Bly was able to deke past Cincy goaltender Rob Madore and find an open side to make it 3-2. The Fuel had another power play and a handful of chances, but Madore was able to hold the fort. He made 22 saves in the win. Mac Carruth, recently reassigned from Rockford, stopped 29 in the loss.

The Fuel (3-9-4) next play Saturday at home against Cincinnati.

ECHL boxscore

3 stars

  1. David Pacan (CIN) G, A, GWG
  2. Rob Madore (CIN) 22 saves, 2 GA, win
  3. Brian Nugent (CIN) G, A

Takeaways

  1. The Fuel have tried to emphasize defense, and in two games, allowed really two clean goals. This was a game where bounces went Cincinnati’s way, but the Fuel were able to limit the Cyclones’ chances. Indy was able to generate a lot of chances, especially early.
  2. New faces Dan Ford had a solid game on the blueline. Ford had 4 shots and was a +1.
  3. With the addition of Ford and Adam McKenzie to the defense corps, the Fuel have a lot more balance with L/R shots, allowing Mathieu Brisebois – who had been playing LD – to move to the right side. Both Ford and McKenzie are left shots.
  4. With 9 forwards in the lineup, Kirill Gotovets was again a “flex” player, taking several shifts at RW tonight. He also had a few shifts at defense, especially in special teams situations.
  5. Shots are always hard to come by against a tight-checking Cincinnati team, but Dan Ford and Patrick Cullen led the Fuel with four shots each.

Lineup

The lines changed a lot, but here’s what they looked like to start the game. Kirill Gotovets played both RW and D at different points in the game.

Klotz-Cullen-Bly
Wilson-White-Duco
Chelios-Czarnik-Bembridge
Gotovets

Brisebois-McKenzie
Franzon-Bruneteau
Ford-Holl

Carruth
B: Bonar

Roster moves
The Fuel announced a number of roster moves in the last couple of days. Earlier in the week, they traded for defenseman Dan Ford and saw Mac Carruth reassigned by the Blackhawks from Rockford to the Fuel. At the same time, defenseman Nick Jones was called up to Worcester and Cody Reichard was loaned to AHL Chicago. On Saturday, a few more roster moves came – defenseman Dillon Fournier was reassigned by the Blackhawks to AHL Rockford. The IceHogs also called up forward Jamie Wise. The Fuel signed defenseman Adam McKenzie to a deal. McKenzie is a rookie out of Air Force.

Next up: The Fuel continue their five-game homestand by hosting Cincinnati at 7:35 p.m. Saturday at the Coliseum.