The Indy Fuel opened the home season Friday night in a five-way tie for first in the Central Division, facing Division rivals Cincinnati in a game that, while early in the season was an important one with a rematch coming the following night.
This year’s Fuel squad showed signs of a completely different team than last year’s. Friday night saw the Fuel playing with more confidence, more control, more aggression and overall with more control than in previous years.
While the 1st Period saw a 0-0 tie at the end, the Fuel didn’t waste time in the 2nd, scoring a quick goal and following it up later on with another, entering the 3rd Period with a 2-0 lead.
The always-rabid and loyal Fuel fanbase was intense as ever, booing the refs every time they broke up a fight but also cheering louder than ever when the Fuel and Cyclones finally did get a brawl in toward the end of the period.
The intensity spilled over into the 3rd where the Cyclones started to get angry and that got the best of them. They started missing the puck on shots, making unnecessary hits and just losing their grip on the game while Indy was the opposite- playing with complete composure and showing they knew they had the game in the bag and put a nail in the Cincy coffin with a last-minute empty net goal, which led to a near-fight at the end of the game, setting the stage for a must-watch game Saturday when the two teams match up again.