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2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs

Fuel stave off sweep, hold off Swamp Rabbits

Fuel stave off sweep, hold off Swamp Rabbits

MACON, Ga. – Put that broom handle down, because the Indy Fuel are not yet ready to go away quietly.

With their playoff lives on the line, needing a win to avoid being swept, the Fuel flipped the script on the Swamp Rabbits on Friday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, making a first-period lead standup before holding on to win 3-2 in the third game of the best-of-five ECHL Kelly Cup Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The win forces a fourth game in the series on Saturday in Greenville. A win by the Fuel on Saturday would send the series back to Indy for a winner-take-all fifth game on Monday night.

Greenville, of course, can avoid that by winning on Saturday, a matchup set up by Indy’s strong start on Friday night.

After coming up dry in the first two games of the series on the power play, Indy picked an opportune time to snap out of the doldrums, scoring twice on the power play within the first 11 minutes, quickly snatching the game’s momentum. Spencer Watson got it all started, needing only 5:21 to give the Fuel a 1-0 lead.

The Swamp Rabbits, however, punched right back. Shawn Cameron, getting an assist from Joey Haddad, knotted it up at 1-1 just 1:45 later. The tie, however, would be short-lived. At 10:07, David Broll went off for interference, and the Swamp Rabbits would pay dearly. Indy’s Terry Broadhurst fed the puck to Willie Raskob, and Greenville goalie Ryan Bednard could do nothing to stop it. Just like that, Indy retook the lead, 2-1. Bednard had 30 saves on Friday.

The Fuel’s desperation showed outside of special teams, as well. In the first period alone, Indy held a 16-4 shots on goal advantage.

After a back and forth second period, Raskob helped Indy extend the lead, getting the puck to Peter Krieger on a 2-on-1 15:35 into the second.

Greenville fought back by way of Joey Haddad’s goal 8:35 into the second with Liam Pecaro and Ben Finkelstein assisting, trimmed the Fuel lead to 3-2, but Indy and goalie Billy Christopoulos kept the Swamp Rabbits off the board the rest of the way, having 25 saves.

The series resumes on Saturday night in Greenville. Catch the action live on The Sin Bin app.


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    Brad Harrison covers the Macon Mayhem for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHMayhem.

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