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2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs

Shutout Gives Swamp Rabbits 1-0 Series Lead

Shutout Gives Swamp Rabbits 1-0 Series Lead

INDIANAPOLIS, In. – If you need a stark reminder that regular-season results fly out the back window when the postseason arrives, the latest exhibit revealed itself on Tuesday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

The Indy Fuel won four of the five regular-season meetings between themselves and Greenville, but none of that amounted to much in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs.

A scoreless tie was finally broken by the Swamp Rabbits Anthony Rinaldi with just more than five minutes to go in the second period, and Shawn Cameron added an insurance goal to hand Greenville a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series in a 2-0 victory.

Neither team had much success putting the puck in the back of the net. The Swamp Rabbits Ryan Bednard was peppered with 37 shots, and he turned away each and every one of them. His counterpart on the other end was hardly a pushover in his own right. Billy Christopoulos had 20 saves.

Twice, however, Greenville broke through, first on Rinaldi’s score to break the stalemate with Matt Bradley and Anthony Wyse assisting. The other goal for The Upstate Gang came as a result of pure speed, as Cameron gathered a loose puck near the left of the neutral zone, raced toward the goal, and shot the puck off the middle crossbar to beat Christopoulos for the insurance marker with Alec Rauhauser assisting.

The Swamp Rabbits didn’t just maximize their scoring chances against the Fuel. They excelled when it came to special teams, as well. Indy had five power-play chances, coming away empty on each occasion. Most damaging for the Fuel? A 5-on-3 in the second period where Greenville killed off the scoring chance – followed by the game’s first goal.

The Fuel also had a chance to draw within a goal in the final six minutes via a power play, coming away empty-handed there as well.

The series resumes on Thursday with the two teams playing in Greenville at 7:05 pm Eastern. The game’s audio broadcast will be available on The Sin Bin App.

Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2021 season!

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

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