INDIANAPOLIS – After picking up a win against Toledo on Friday night and falling to Fort Wayne in a shootout on Saturday night, the Indy Fuel looked to get back on the winning track against the Cincinnati Cyclones Sunday afternoon.
Although the shot chart says differently, the first period between Indy and Cincy was rather uneventful. Cincinnati scored a late goal in the first when Brandon McNally beat Eric Levine over the shoulder with a beautiful wrist shot.
Because of McNally’s goal, the Cyclones took the lead into the second period. A trend that has stayed with the Fuel all weekend was resiliency, that trend continued on Sunday afternoon. Michael Neal extended his point streak to five, scoring the first Fuel goal of the game on a tic-tac-toe play.
Kenny Ryan gave the Fuel the lead, scoring on a backdoor feed from Nick Bligh. An offensive zone turnover led to Indy losing their lead late in the second period.
Other than a fight, the third and final period was another uneventful period. Both teams trading chances and both goaltenders keeping pucks out of the back of their nets led to the Fuel’s second overtime period of the weekend.
Overtime saw many chances, mainly coming from the Cincinnati side. Indy was unable to get anything going but Eric Levine stopped everything that came at him, including an overtime breakaway.
For the second night in a row, the Fuel were headed to a shootout. This time, it ended in the Fuel’s favor. Levine stopped all three Cyclone shots while Alex Wideman beat Michael Houser with a quick wrist shot.
Indy’s play this last weekend shows a team that is relaxed and clearly enjoying playing together. The wins are coming and although it won’t put them in a playoff spot, the team continues to rack up the points.
Eric Levine and Jake Hildebrand also continue to play well and step up when there are defensive zone breakdowns. Levine’s confidence continues to show, the goaltender picked up both of this weekend’s wins over teams either already in the playoffs or fighting for a spot.
The Fuel will host the Quad City Mallards on Tuesday afternoon then finish up the season with a home-and-home against the Toledo Walleye on Friday and Saturday.