Recap: Fuel Fall in Shootout to Central Division-Leading Cyclones


INDIANAPOLIS — The Indy Fuel (20-17-2-1) took on the Cincinnati Cyclones (26-7-3-3) for the sixth time and the fifth time at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Saturday.

Matt Tomkins got the starting call for the Fuel. Tomkins entered the matchup with a 16-11-2 record along with a 3.08 goals-against-average and a .907 save percentage.

At the other end, Michael Houser got the start for the Cyclones. Houser stepped onto the Indiana Farmers Coliseum ice with a 13-2-3 record alongside an astounding 1.78 goals-against-average and a .936 save percentage.


Radovan Bondra-Quentin Shore-Kevin Dufour

Robert Powers-Alex Brooks

Matt Tomkins

An eventful first period got started with a Cyclones goal by former Fuel forward Alex Wideman. He wired one past Tomkins on the first shot of the game to give Cincinnati an early 1-0 lead.

A mere 34 seconds later, Matt Rupert tipped home his team-leading 17th of the season on the power play.

A minute and a half after the Matt Rupert goal, Justin Vaive roofed a shot in close on Tomkins on Cincinnati’s second shot of the game. His 15th of the season re-took a one-goal lead for the Cyclones.

Spencer Dorowicz was the next goal scorer for the Cincinnati club. His fifth of the season put the Cyclones up 3-1 in the first period.

Logan Nelson continued a four-game goal streak with a puck that deflected off his torso and into the net for the Fuel’s second power play goal of the night. That was the lone strike of the second period.

Ryan Rupert tied the game for the Fuel in the third period, scoring while sliding into the net. Matt Rupert and Nelson got the assists on the tying tally.

The game wasn’t solved in 65 minutes, so it was taken to a shootout, where Mike Marnell scored for Cincinnati. All three Fuel shooters were stopped, and the Cyclones won 4-3 in Indy.


Matt Rupert on his line clicking: “I think it’s a little bit of luck. A lot of hard work in practice. A little bit of both, really. We work hard every game and sometimes the puck doesn’t come to us but this whole weekend it showed. The puck’s been coming our way and we’ve been getting good bounces.”

Bernie John on coming back from 3-1 down: “I thought we played well the whole game. Maybe we deserved a little bit better. Overall, it was a good performance. This is the top team in the league. They’ve got 12 guys under [AHL] contracts. Our guys battled. A bit of injuries and we’ve got some SPHL guys but they’re all playing the right way. We’re getting pucks north and putting some pressure on them and we’ve got to find a way to go win more.”

By The Numbers

17 – Number of goals for Matt Rupert and Kevin Dufour (team-lead)

3 – Number of overtime games in the past five games

Injury Report

Forward Olivier Labelle is expected to be out for an extended period with a neck injury suffered on Dec. 27 against Wheeling. He is continuing to be evaluated by doctors.

I have not yet received word on defenseman Miles Liberati.

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