RECAP: Ryan Rupert scores two, Fuel defeat first-place Cyclones 5-2


INDIANAPOLIS — The Indy Fuel (16-13-0-0) took on the ECHL leading Cincinnati Cyclones (20-6-2-2) on Friday in the second game of a three-game homestand. Matt Tomkins got the start once again for the Fuel. He entered the game with an 11-9-0-0 record with a 3.27 goals-against-average and .903 save percentage.

Jonas Johansson got the start at the other end for the Cyclones. Johansson came into the game red-hot, leading the Cincinnati club to points in his last six starts. He boasted a 10-3-1-2 record to go with two shutouts coming into Friday’s match. He also had a 2.53 goals-against-average and a .913 save percentage.


Matt Rupert-Ryan Rupert-Logan Nelson

Neil Manning-Alex Brooks

Matt Tomkins

A fast-paced first period got started early as former Indy Fuel forward Alex Wideman got the scoring started for the Cyclones 8:30 in. He took a drop pass from defenseman Arvin Atwal and sniped it over Tomkins’ right shoulder to give Cincinnati an early 1-0 lead.

Less than four minutes later, Quentin Shore sniped one bar down on a pass from Brett Welychka to tie the game at one for Indy.

A minute and a half later, Radovan Bondra dangled around a Cincinnati defender and fed a pass to Matt Rupert where he shot his 12th goal of the season over the shoulder of Johansson to give the Fuel a one-goal lead.

Just over two minutes in, Welychka was able to sneak past the Cyclones defense and slip the puck through Johansson’s pads on a breakaway to give the Fuel a two-goal lead.

Jesse Schultz’s ninth of the season came 7:05 into the period on a feed from Wideman to cut the Fuel lead back down to 3-2.

Ryan Rupert added two goals himself in the third period to seal a 5-2 victory for the Fuel over the league-leading Cyclones.


Welychka on the Fuel’s three-game winning streak and momentum moving forward: “Any time you put a couple wins together, it’s definitely huge, especially in the locker room. The mentality and morale in the room changes completely. Any individual and athlete will tell you that. I think our leaders and our core group do a good job of not letting us get too antsy and just try to keep humble and chip away at it.”

Fuel head coach Bernie John on trying to finish the homestand 3-0: “Obviously, it’s big. The crowds have been phenomenal the last two nights and I know it’s going to be phenomenal again tomorrow. It’d be nice to be able to give them some smiles to go home with. We know it’s going to be hard work. We know Brampton’s got a good offensive hockey team, they’ve got some skill and they’re going to be hungry. They suffered a loss in Toledo the other night, so they’re going to be ready to go. We’ve got to play the same way and not change anything. I liked our depth tonight. The Thompson line doesn’t score but then the Shore line scores a couple and Rupert’s line scored a couple. That’s how we’re going to win, everybody’s got to contribute.”

By The Numbers

5 – Number of consecutive five-goal outings for the Fuel

26 – Point totals of Kevin Dufour, Olivier Labelle, and Josh Shalla; all three are tied for the team lead in points

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