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Fuel outshoot Swamp Rabbits but fall 2-0 in playoff opener

Greenville goaltender Ryan Bednard stopped all 37 Indy shots he faced Tuesday night.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indy Fuel dominated the shot sheet but couldn't find the back of the net, dropping the opening contest of their ECHL playoff series to Greenville Tuesday night.

Playing in front of more than 2,200 fans at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, the Fuel fired 37 shots on Swamp Rabbits goalie Ryan Bednard, but he stopped them all for a 2-0 Greenville win.

Indy outshot Greenville 9-8 in a scoreless first period, but Anthony Rinaldi broke the deadlock with 5:15 remaining in the second period. Shawn Cameron extended the Swamp Rabbits' lead a little less than five minutes into the third period. 

Bednard stopped 17 shots in the third period to protect the victory. 

"He's a good goaltender, that's great, but there's things that you can do to make his life tougher, and we need to do that," said Fuel head coach Doug Christiansen.

Billy Christopoulos stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced for the Fuel.

The teams will now head to Greenville with the Swamp Rabbits holding a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five Eastern Conference semifinal series. Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday night, with Game 3 and, if necessary, Game 4 to follow on Friday and Saturday nights in South Carolina. 

If it's needed, a deciding Game 5 will be played in Indianapolis on Monday, June 14.

"I thought our group worked. We didn't bury (shots), but there's a lot of things we can take that are positives," said Christiansen.

The Fuel was hosting its first playoff game since 2018.