CINCINNATI, OH – The Cincinnati Cyclones and Indy Fuel faced each other for the fourth time this season at US Bank Arena. Both teams came into the night on a winless streak. The Fuel, winless in their last seven games and Cincinnati, three. One way or another, one team was going to end their winless streak on Thursday night.
The first period didn’t start the way the Fuel wanted to. It only took the Cyclones three minutes to open the scoring when Andrew Yogan made a great give-and-go play with Peter Leblanc. Yogan sped past the Fuel defender and made a nifty move to beat goaltender Eric Levine.
After the Cyclones opened the scoring, they took control of the next few minutes. Indy couldn’t get the puck out of their own defensive zone. It took several minutes until a strong Fuel penalty kill got the team on the right track. Cyclones could have had two or three more goals than they did in the first but Levine and his defense were able to clear any pucks in front of the net.
The second period was more of the same story from the Cyclones. It only took two 1:25 for the Cyclones to double their lead. Andrew Yogan picked up his second point of the game by making a wraparound pass to a wide open Justin Kirkland. All Kirkland had to do was tap the puck in for a 2-0 Cyclones lead.
Indy was given two power plays in the second period. The first, Indy couldn’t get much going but Indy was able to get several chances but Cincinnati Michael Houser was able to keep the puck out of the net. Cincinnati controlled most of the period as well as had the better chances.
The third period was a bit different for the Fuel. The Cyclones controlled the beginning of the period and got the majority of chances until newly signed forward Alex Guptill beat Houser with a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle, his first in a Fuel uniform. After Guptill’s goal, Indy took control of play and had several chances to tie the game.
The Cyclones nearly put the game away with minutes left in the game but the goal was called off for goaltender interference. After the goal, the Fuel continued to surge but Houser fought off anything that the Fuel threw on net.
Eric Levine was in net for the Fuel on Thursday night and stopped 28 of 30 shots from the Cyclones. Levine controlled his rebounds well and kept the Fuel in a game that they could have easily given up four or five goals. Alex Guptill scored his first goal in a Fuel uniform on Thursday night. He was one Fuel player that really stood out on Thursday night.
Indy’s play throughout the third period was strong. By far, the best game of the month for Indy.
Both Indy and Cincinnati will play the second half of the back-to-back on Friday night before Indy heads home to host the Quad City Mallards for their second annual Teddy Bear Toss.