The 2020 ECHL season came to an abrupt halt in March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, canceling the rest of the season, as well as the Kelly Cup Playoffs, which the Indy Fuel were likely going to book a spot in. After clinching a playoff berth for just the second time in franchise history, the Fuel faced off in the first of a best-of-five series at Indiana Farmers Coliseum against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The series opener took place after the Swamp Rabbits elected a 1-3-1 format. The Fuel went 4-1 in regular season action when facing off against Greenville.
Swamp Rabbits Score Two Unanswered Goals In Game One Victory
Looking for their first-ever playoff victory, the Fuel hosted the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in the first game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
It was a very exciting opening period, with both teams going back and forth and trading lots of chances, however, both goaltenders were standing strong on either side. Despite the Fuel getting a chance on the man advantage early on, they wouldn’t be able to find the back of the net. Midway through the period, Indy would kill off a Cliff Watson penalty and find themselves shorthanded yet again at the 1:50 mark when Terry Broadhurst would be called for charging.
The home team would go on to kill the rest of the Broadhurst penalty to start the second period. Midway through the frame, the Fuel would be handed another power play, with Garrett Thompson in the box for holding. The Fuel would soon find themselves with a two-man advantage for 1:06, as Liam Pecararo joined his teammate following a cross-checking call. Despite driving to the net, Indy would come up empty on the five-on-three advantage. Finally, with just over five minutes remaining, someone was able to get on the scoresheet. Unfortunately for the Fuel, it was Greenville who struck first when Anthony Rinaldi beat Billy Christopoulos. That would allow the visitors to head to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes into the third frame, the Swamp Rabbits would double their lead, as winger Shawn Cameron got out on a breakaway. Both teams would take a turn on the power play, however, neither side had anything to show for it. That saw Christopolous head to the bench for the extra attacker with only three minutes left. Despite firing 17 shots in the third and outshooting Greenville 37-22, Indy couldn’t get the job done and dropped game one of the series by a 2-0 final.
The Fuel will now travel to Greenville and look to knot up the series at one apiece on Thursday night. They will also be looking to earn their first playoff victory, with puck drop scheduled for 7:05pmET. All ECHL playoff games are available via stream using FloSports online.