The Indy Fuel are hitting their stride.
The Fuel put together another complete performance Tuesday in a 5-1 road victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones.
The win gave Indy three straight victories, wins in four of their last five games, as well as three straight road wins and four straight victories in games against division rivals.
In each of the four wins, Mac Carruth has allowed just one goal, as he again was brilliant, making 22 saves in the victory.
Five different players scored for Indy, while Derek Roehl, Peter Schneider and Cody Sharib each had two-point nights and Michael Colantone tallied his first professional point.
Much like Sunday’s win over Quad City, the Fuel struck quickly. This time, it was by benefit of two Cincinnati penalties – Zach Budish took a slashing penalty 51 seconds in, and Nick Huard joined him later after a cross-checking penalty, giving Indy 62 seconds of a 5-on-3. They only needed 16, as Garett Bembridge cycled to the left point, took a cross-ice feed from Roehl and ripped a shot past Brandon Whitney to give the Fuel an early lead just 125 seconds into the game.
The goal made Bembridge the first Fuel player to tally double-digit goals this season, as he scored his 10th.
Cincinnati’s Jack Downing answered with a power play goal midway through the period on the Cyclones’ first power play. Cincy came in with the league’s second-best PP, but only had three opportunities with it during the game, as the Fuel lived up to being the ECHL’s least-penalized team.
Indy scored multiple goals in a period for the fifth straight game, taking a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Roehl again made the play, firing a shot from the center point through traffic. Whitney made the initial save, but the rebound kicked to White, who buried it into the open side with 2:12 left in the period.
Just 53 seconds into the second, Sharib scored his ninth to make it a 3-1 Fuel lead. Colantone – playing his second professional game – collected a loose puck in the low slot, drew a defender, and slipped the puck across the front of the net to Sharib for the goal.
The lead stayed 3-1 through two, despite the Fuel again having an extended 49-second 5-on-3 that bridged the second intermission. Indy then had to kill off both an early penalty in the third, and a double-minor to Schneider midway through the period, and did so allowing just six shots in the third.
Shortly after the four-minute kill, the Fuel put the game away, with Alex Lavoie and Ben Marshall scoring 36 seconds apart. Anders Franzon fired a shot that Whitney saved, and Lavoie potted the rebound for his ninth goal of the year with eight minutes left. Marshall followed to make it a 5-1 game.
Indy continues a six-games-in-eight-days stretch Thursday with a New Year’s Eve trip to Fort Wayne, with the rematch coming Friday in the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
- Mac Carruth (Fuel) 22 saves
- Cody Sharib (Fuel) G, A, +2
- Jack Downing (CIN) G, 5 shots
- In three games together, the Derek Roehl-Matt White-Peter Schneider line has been clicking. The trio has combined for 10 points and 26 shots in those three contests and are a combined +10. White (2G/1A) and Schneider (2G/3A) each have three-game scoring streaks going. They had nine of the Fuel’s 25 shots Tuesday, and combined for five points.
- Coach Scott Hillman said after Sunday’s game that he was hoping to ride the hot hand in net, and Carruth started his third straight game, and allowed one goal for his fourth straight start. In his last four starts, he has a 1.01 GAA and .966 save percentage. The Fuel have allowed one goal or fewer seven times this season. Tuesday was Carruth’s sixth start allowing one or fewer goals.
- It was milestone time. Colantone had the primary assist on Sharib’s goal for his first professional point, coming in his second pro game. Also, Roehl’s two assists were his first two points in a North American regular season pro game. He had played two-plus seasons in Europe before joining the Fuel two weeks ago.
- White has goals in back-to-back games for the third time in his career, and the first since Feb. 6-7.
- Schneider’s three-game point streak is a career long. He now has 15 points, six of which have come in the seven games since returning from injury on Dec. 16.
- Defenseman Ben Marshall continues to have a hot stick, scoring a goal for the second straight game. He has tallied a point in seven of his last 10 games, and is among the ECHL leaders in rookie assists with 14. He has 18 points.
- You knew goals would come for Bembridge, and he had a snipe on the power play to get things started. He’s been getting off high-quality shots with his quick release and heavy shot, but his goal today snapped a seven-game streak without a goal – tying his longest in his two years with the Fuel. Bembridge scored his 35th goal as a Fuel member with his tally.
- Lavoie became the first member of the Fuel to hit 25 points this season with his third-period goal, snapping a six-game streak without a goal.
- It was a game where all lines contributed – 14 of the Fuel’s 16 skaters had a positive +/- on the evening – Anders Franzon, Peter Schneider, Cody Sharib, Michael Colantone, Ben Marshall and Garett Bembridge were all +2.
- The five goals scored tied a season-high – marking the third time the Fuel have tallied five. The four-goal win margin was also a season-high.
- Why is that a big deal? Cincinnati is now 9-2-3 at home. Both regulation losses are to the Fuel.
- It’s also a big deal because the Fuel’s win moved them into a second-place tie in the Midwest Division with 30 points. They, Cincinnati and Fort Wayne all have 30, and are three points back of leader Quad City, whom the Fuel swept in a home-and-home this past weekend. Indy is now 14-15-2 overall.
Alex Lavoie-Kyle Stroh-Rhett Bly
Derek Roehl-Matt White-Peter Schneider
Michael Colantone-Cody Sharib-Garett Bembridge
Nick Mattson-Zach Miskovic
Kevin Quick-Ben Marshall
Sam Jardine-Anders Franzon
BU: Shane Owen
Scratches: Josh Brittain, Dylan Clarke (res), Dillon Fournier (IR)
Next up: Thursday at Fort Wayne, with the return trip Friday against the Komets at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.