CINCINNATI - Led by a 30-save performance from goaltender Jonas Johansson, the Cincinnati Cyclones (33-9-3-3) rolled to a 5-0 shutout victory over the Indy Fuel (23-24-2-1) Wednesday night at U.S. Bank Arena. With the setback, the Fuel's losing streak extended to a season-long five games.
Five different players found the net for the Western Conference-leading Cyclones, who scored twice in the first period and three times in the first 11 minutes of the second to improve to 5-3 over Indy this season. Forwards Mike Marnell (1g, 1a) and Ben Johnson (2a) each tallied multi-point nights, while Johansson recorded his third shutout of the season.
The Fuel carried the bulk of the play in the first period, outshooting Cincinnati by a 12-7 margin, but goals from Judd Peterson and Mitch Jones gave the home team a 2-0 cushion after 20 minutes of play. Peterson opened the scoring at 2:54 when found a soft spot in the slot, snapping a one-timer from Tobie Bisson under the crossbar and behind Indy starting netminder Matt Tomkins (15 saves).
Johansson denied a series of Fuel scoring opportunities in the middle of the opening frame, including a sprawling toe save on an Olivier Labelle breakaway. The Cyclones rewarded the goaltender late in the period with a two-goal lead, when Jones crept from the blue line to the slot to slam home a loose puck on the power play.
Cincinnati put the game out of reach with three goals in a span of 3:39 in the middle of the second period. Marnell picked up an unassisted marker at 7:45 to make it 3-0, forcing a turnover in the Fuel defensive end before beating Tomkins to the five-hole. The Cyclones struck again on the power play at 10:08, with defenseman Eric Knodel threading a point shot through traffic and into the net. Nate Mitton wrapped up the scoring at 11:24, bringing an early end to Tomkins' night.
Tomkins suffered the loss in net, falling to 19-15-3 on the season, while back-up goaltender Gordon Defiel was stellar in his relief appearance. The rookie stopped all 17 shots he faced in nearly 29 minutes of work, making several point-blank saves to keep the deficit at five.
Indy finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play, while Cincinnati scored twice on four opportunities.
With Wednesday's loss and the Wheeling Nailers' win over the Reading Royals, the Fuel drop to sixth place in the Central Division standings with 22 games to play. Indy continues its season-long five-game road trip with a pair of games against the Wichita Thunder, beginning Saturday night at INTRUST Bank Arena.
Single-game tickets are now on sale for the Fuel's 5th anniversary season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Lock up your seat for every second of the action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a Fuel Ticket Plan - grab yours by heading to IndyFuelHockey.com or by calling the Fuel front office at 317-925-FUEL. Don't forget to follow the Fuel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (IndyFuel) for news, updates, contests and much more throughout the 2018-19 season.
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