INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – On opening night for the Indy Fuel, a third-period goal was the difference as they fell to the Cincinnati Cyclones within the confines of the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, losing 3-2.
Mat Robson started in net for the Cyclones with Cale Morris between the pipes for the Fuel. The first period ended with no score and the Fuel leading in shots 15-7 and each team going 0-1 on the power play.
The Fuel struck a minute into the second period on a goal from Cedric Lacroix with assists from Spencer Watson and Mike Lee. But seconds later, the Cyclones tied it on a goal from Mason Mitchell with assists by way of Matt McLeod and Louie Caporusso. With 3:08 to go in the second, the Cyclones went up 2-1 on an unassisted goal from Graham Knott. The period ended with Cincinnati leading 2-1, but Indy leading in shots 24-18.
Just like the second period, Indy opened the scoring in the third. Less than a minute in, the Fuel tied it on a goal from Brent Gates with assists from Seamus Malone and Lee. Lee’s assist was his second of the night for two points so far on the season. With 7:50 to go in the third, the puck trickled into the net on a soft shot by Mitchell. The goal was his second of the game for two points on the season so far. Assists came by way of Patrick Polino and Wyatt Ege. Mitchell’s second goal proved to be the winner as the horn sounded for a 3-2 Cincinnati victory.
“I thought we really battled, I think the guys worked, I really liked their game in the first period, I love their jump, I love their intensity, I thought we felt the crowd in the building, they gave us some energy,” Fuel head coach Doug Christiansen said.
The Fuel head coach also touched on how well Cincinnati’s goaltender played in making big saves early which caused it to be a scoreless game after one period. Christiansen also touched on lessons that the team can take away from the game going forward with the rest of the season.
“I think just a couple of the mental mistakes, we had a few where we just didn’t do those small details, bad change, lack of execution on the face-off,” Christiansen said. “But overall if we play like that every night we’re going to have a really good hockey team and proud of the effort, don’t like the result, but right now it’s about finalizing habits and getting yourselves in the right headspace and physical space and we’ll get there.”
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