Komets wins season opener in shootout at Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS – In front of a capacity crowd of 6,477 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum, the Indy Fuel were edged 5-4 in a dramatic shootout loss on Friday by the Fort Wayne Komets in the Fuel’s inaugural game as a member of the ECHL. With the loss, the Fuel fell to 0-0-0-1 on the season and with one point sit alone in second place in the ECHL’s North Division standings.

Inspired by a memorable rendition of the Star Spangled Banner delivered by Chicago Blackhawks’ national anthem singer Jim Cornelison, the Fuel started briskly on Friday, rattling off back-to-back first period goals at 10:18 and 17:42 of the frame courtesy of Mathieu Brisebois and Pete Massar, respectively. In the second period, a give-and-go power-play tally by Robert Czarnik at 6:47 of the middle frame, assisted by Rhett Bly and Nick Jones, pushed the Indy lead to its largest point at 3-0 entering the third.

Fort Wayne came to life in the final period, however, as Matthew Pistilli, Paul Crowder, Kaleigh Schrock and James Martin tallied four unanswered Komets goals, but a Patrick Cullen deflection with just one minute remaining in regulation, assisted by Brisebois and Massar, lifted the Fuel into a 4-4 tie and the team’s first overtime period in franchise history.

After a scoreless extra session, the Fuel and Komets engaged in a shootout that lasted nine full rounds. Despite Indy shootout scores from Brett Perlini and Brisebois, an Eric Faille score for Fort Wayne delivered the Komets a 5-4 shootout win in the first of 11 head-to-head meetings between the two teams this year.

Next up for the Fuel, it’s a Saturday rematch with the Komets set for 7:30 pm at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne. Full coverage of Saturday’s game begins at 7:15 pm on the CBS Sports 1430 live stream on www.cbssports1430.com with Fuel broadcaster Tony Brown providing the play-by-play. The Fuel drop the puck on their next home game at 7:05 pm on Wednesday, October 22nd vs. the Kalamazoo Wings at the Fairgrounds Coliseum on “College Night.” All ticket holders that present a valid college I.D. will receive a $5 concessions voucher.

In 2014-15, the Indy Fuel, the proud “AA” affiliate of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, drop the puck on their first season in the ECHL. Season ticket packages for the Fuel’s inaugural campaign are available now starting at just under $12 per game! To reserve your seats, contact the Fuel today at (317) 925-FUEL or visit www.indyfuelhockey.com for more information. Be sure to follow the Fuel on Twitter @IndyFuel and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Indy Fuel” fan page on Facebook.

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