INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel opened their season with a bang on Friday with a 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Fuel saw goals from two new players in Anthony Beauregard and Alex Wideman (2). They also saw phenomenal goaltending from their goaltender Jake Hildebrand.
The first period was the best period of the night for the Fuel and the worst for the Cyclones. Anthony Beauregard opened the scoring 1:32 into the first period when Matt Rupert made a cross-ice pass to Beauregard’s skate, bouncing off and into the Cincinnati net. That would end up being Beauregard’s first professional goal.
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Cincinnati would respond a few minutes later with a goal from Eric Robinson. Robinson came down the right side of the ice and put a beautiful wrist shot over the left shoulder of Fuel goaltender Jake Hildebrand.
Alex Wideman made sure the Fuel went into the locker room with a lead by putting in two goals of his own after the Robinson goal. The first came from a bouncing puck in front that Wideman jammed at to get past Visentin. The second, a great turnaround shot after a Cincinnati defensive turnover.
The speed game that Head Coach Bernie John talked about in preseason was evident in the first period. The Cyclones seemed to struggle to keep up, although they finished the period with more shots. When Indy got rushes, they were able to get into the offensive zone, create plays, and get shots on net.
The Fuel’s penalty kill was very strong in Friday’s game, going 4-for-4 on the night. The penalty kill was very aggressive, always pressuring Cincinnati. Different from the passive box, and shot blocking penalty kill that was run last season. Indy had one power play on the night so we didn’t really get much of a glimpse of the team’s power play unit.
Several players stuck out Friday, including the line of Wideman-Lynch-Currier. The line had several offensive chances during the game, capitalizing on two of them. Wideman finished the game with two goals, Lynch one assist and Currier two assists. Along with them firing on all cylinders, Indy’s goaltender, Jake Hildebrand played incredibly. He made several key saves in order to keep the Fuel in the lead, one being a great glove save on a 3-on-0. He would stop 33 of 34 Cincinnati shots and be named the first star of the game.
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With that win, Indy moves to 2-0-0-1 in home openers at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Fuel will head to Cincinnati on Saturday to finish up the home-and-home series with the Cyclones.