Game 48: Fuel at Cincinnati

The Indy Fuel hit the two-thirds point of their inaugural season Friday night, and continued what has been an amazing run since mid-January.

Mike Duco scored a power play goal 2:44 into overtime to give the Fuel a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones Friday in the U.S. Bank Arena.

Indy is now 13-1-1 in its last 15 games and has won five straight. The Fuel have won seven straight road games and have gone nine road games without a regulation loss. The teams meet again Saturday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

The Fuel are now tied with Kalamazoo for fifth place in the ECHL’s North Division with 45 points, and are one point back of Wheeling for a playoff spot, and two back of third-place Cincinnati.

Kyle Stroh had the primary assist on the game-winner, and Pete Massar added his second assist of the night on the GWG.

Shane Owen stopped 28 shots in the Fuel net to earn the win.

Cincinnati led 1-0 after a period late in its third power play, as David Pacan scored with 1:42 left in the first. Indy rallied to tie the game at 1-1 on Nicklas Lindberg’s second-period power play goal at 11:48. Rhett Bly gave the Fuel a 2-1 lead with 12:59 left in the game when he tipped a missive from Anders Franzon into the net, but the Cyclones knotted the game up with 3:18 to go on a goal by Chris Reed.

Cincinnati outshot the Fuel 30-18. Indy was 2-for-4 on the PP, while Cincy was 1-for-5. Rob Madore had 15 saves in the loss for Cincinnati.

Indy is now 19-22-7 on the season.

ECHL boxscore
IndyFuelHockey.com story

3 stars

  1. Mike Duco (Fuel) GWG, 3 shots
  2. Shane Owen (Fuel) 28 saves, win
  3. David Pacan (CIN) G, A, 3 shots

Takeaways

  1. Another solid game for the Fuel, especially in their own end. Getting timely goaltending leads to victories. This victory marked the 11th time in the last 13 games the Fuel have allowed two or fewer goals.
  2. The PP got going, clicking twice in four opportunities. It was the first time in eight games the Fuel scored twice on the PP.
  3. Easy to like Owen’s play. He’s 4-2-1 with a 1.84 GAA in seven appearances with the Fuel. Both he and Mac Carruth have posted sub-2.00 GAAs since mid-January.
  4. Overtimes weren’t kind to the Fuel early in the year, but that has turned around. The Fuel have now won five straight games that have gone past regulation, including getting an OT winner in the last four.
  5. Pete Massar was the team’s one multi-point performer tonight, with two assists. In his last eight games, Massar has tallied a point in six, with a goal and six assists. Tonight marked his first multi-point game since a three-point outing Dec. 13 against Florida.
  6. With an assist, Evan Vossen extended his scoring streak to four games. He now has a goal and six assists in that four-game stretch.
  7. Kyle Stroh’s assist on the game-winner put him on the scoresheet for the 12th time in 14 games. He has a 9-9-18 line in those contests.
  8. Nicklas Lindberg has eight points in 16 games with the Fuel, but five of those eight have come in the last four contests.
  9. The Fuel’s defense corps went from eight players to five very quickly due to AHL callups to Kirill Gotovets, Dillon Fournier and Nick Jones, but Adam McKenzie rejoined the team to fill out the blueline and posted a +1 in his first game since December.

Lineup
As usual with road games, lines are based off the gamesheet

Dean Chelios-Kyle Stroh-Garett Bembridge
Mike Duco-Nicklas Lindberg-Pete Massar
Evan Vossen-Matt White-Rhett Bly
Johnny McGuire

Sam Posa-Nick Bruneteau
Dan Ford-Justin Holl
Adam McKenzie-Anders Franzon

Shane Owen
BU: Mac Carruth

Scratches: Garrett Klotz, Vincent Arseneau

Roster moves: With the Fuel having two defensemen called up to the AHL within days – Nick Jones back to Worcester, Kirill Gotovets to Rockford – the team signed Adam McKenzie on Friday. McKenzie is a graduate of the Air Force Academy who is fulfilling his military commitment in the Air Force, and is also a graduate student at Purdue, who joined the Fuel for several games earlier this season.

Next up: The rematch between the Fuel and Cyclones is Saturday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. After that, the Fuel get another week’s break before heading to Elmira for games Feb. 20-21.