INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel snapped a seven-game point streak with a loss to the Missouri Mavericks. For the first time this season, the two met at Indiana Farmers Coliseum and Missouri got the scoring started early with a goal less than three minutes into the game.
After scoring early, the Mavericks never let up and kept pouring the pressure and shots on to Fuel goaltender Eric Levine. Levine did what he could to keep pucks out of the net but it seemed the Indy defense had no answer for the Missouri offense.
Missouri’s Dan Correale started the scoring early by picking up a loose puck after a Levine save. Correale tucked the puck in on his backhand and gave Missouri a 1-0 lead. Lukas Lofquist doubled the Missouri lead about halfway through the first period by getting loose in the front of the net and tapping home a pass from Kyle Schempp.
“We don’t want to make excuses as far as being lazy or tired,” Fuel coach Bernie John said. “There’s teams that have been in that situation against us. To us, it’s not an excuse. We weren’t prepared, we weren’t ready, however you want to draw that up, we had mismanagement with the puck. We were dropping the puck when we could shoot it, we weren’t getting shots when we should have. It was one of those games all over the ice.”
Missouri came into the game well rested while Indy was playing their third game in four days. The Mavericks had not played a game since Tuesday when they faced the Orlando Solar Bears.
Missouri did not struggle to pour the shots on throughout the game, scoring two goals in each period. Goaltender Eric Levine was pulled and Jake Hildebrand started the third period but also gave up two of his own goals.
“We’ve just got to do a better job,” said Head Coach Bernie John. “Our goaltenders make the first save, no matter if they catch it, swarm it, hold onto it, we’ve got to do a better job of clearing the front of the net and not being able to do that.”
The only goal of the game for the Fuel came from defenseman Matt Stanisz, one-timing home a cross-ice pass from Anthony Beauregard.
Indy couldn’t seem to get anything going throughout the entire game. Players were trying to make drop passes when they should have shot and put shots into the shins of Missouri players instead of passing at times.
Although giving up a few rebounds Eric Levine did all he could to fend off the Missouri offense. Levine stopped 19 shots before being pulled to start the third period. Jake Hildebrand took over and made 16 saves of his own in the final stanza.
Alex Wideman had his five multi-point game streak snapped last night, but, Beauregard had a point in his second straight game, picking up the assist on the Stanisz goal.
“Watching the tape, there won’t be much on there, we’ve got to come with a little bit better focus, a little bit better effort,” John said after the game. “Even though we’re playing at home, we’ve got to simplify the game. We’ve got some guys with tired legs, some guys are staying out a little too long. You can’t do that when you play seven in 10 with no extra bodies. We’ve got a lot of bodies here, but a lot of injured bodies. We’ve got to make sure we shorten our shifts, play the pucks in safe areas. We’ve got to play it like a road game and play it simple.”
Indy will face the Mavericks again in the second half of a back-to-back this afternoon at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. After that, Indy will wait until next Friday when they host the Cincinnati Cyclones in their only game of the weekend.
Quotes courtesy of #FuelTV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekWbLl-ot10