INDIANAPOLIS – Equaling their single game season-high of 6-goals, the Indy Fuel defeated their principal arch-rivals, the Fort Wayne Komets, 6-5, Friday night in game one of a two-games series at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
After claiming a 2-1 lead at the first intermission on opening stanza strikes stoked by Josh Shalla (26) and Mike Neal (3), the Fuel fused a 4-goal second period explosion, featuring 2-power play goals to attain an ostensibly comfortable 6-2 lead. Team captain Zach Miskovic triggered the second period torrent with his second goal of the campaign, playing in his 399th pro career game. Adam Phillips (3) PPG, Kenton Helgesen (4) and Brady Ramsay (3) PPG also made connection with the Ramsay goal becoming the ultimate game winning goal for the victors.
The 4-goal second period outburst represented the Fuel’s best single period output of the season while their 2-PPG marked the fourth time this campaign that Indy has produced a pair of power play strikes in one game and the first time they have notched 2-extra man goals in one period.
Indy maintained the 4-goal bulge until the latter stages of the third stanza when the always-powerful Komets erupted for 3-late goals in a lightning-like sequence of 2:29 beginning at the 16:09 mark of the frame. The latter 2-Fort Wayne goals were scored with the extra attacker after goaltender Pat Nagle was lifted for the 6th attacker. Fort Wayne outshot the Fuel in the final frame, 15-1 and for the game, 40-26.
Goaltender Jake Hildebrand halted a personal 8-game winless spell in posting the victory with a 35-saves’ performance. It was the Fuel’s first win in 7-meetings against the K’s this season as Indy ended a 5-game winless streak overall and a 6-game winless spell a home. For the Fuel, it was their first victory since February 18th and their first home win since January 27th.
Shalla spurred the Fuel attack with (1-3-4) while Ramsay (1-1-2) and Neal (1-1-2) each engineered 2-point nights. Matt Rupert and Alex Wideman each assisted twice.
The same two teams will tangle Saturday night at 7:35 pm at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on the third annual “Racing Night.”
Fuel is a three-in-three weekend at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, beginning Friday and Saturday against the Fort Wayne Komets.
Next Home Game: Saturday, March 11 vs. Fort Wayne – 7:35 p.m. (Racing Night): Make a pit stop to Indiana Farmers Coliseum for the third-annual Racing Night! Get a behind-the-scenes look at the sport of auto racing and its proud history in the Circle City as the Fuel run circles around the Komets. Meet drivers and get up-close and personal with their cars during a pregame event in Grand Hall. The U.S. Army will also be on hand with a number of interactive activities both inside and outside of Indiana Farmers Coliseum