Fuel Explode for Six First-Period Goals; Hang on for 8-7 Win over Mallards
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indy Fuel erupted for a club record 6-unanswered first period goals before withstanding a furious come-from-behind rally from the visiting Quad City Mallards to capture an 8-7 triumph Sunday afternoon at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Matt Rupert's 17th goal of the season at 4:30 of the first frame of the game ignited the Indy powder keg as the Fuel chased Quad City starting goaltender C.J. Motte for cover under a hail of pucks on the impetus of a 4-goal blitz in 4:46 with the first 2-strikes stoked :24 apart, representing the Fuel's second fastest 2-goals of the campaign.
Following the Rupert FG, Jake Marchment, Josh Shalla and Paul Zanette fired bullseyes 4:22 apart before Kenny Ryan climaxed the 6-goal crescendo with a pair of snipes in :32 at 18:31 and 19:03 respectively.
Seemingly undaunted and unfazed, the Quad Citians embarked on the comeback trail with a trio of unanswered thrusts in the middle stanza to half their deficit to 6-3 entering the third period.
After the Mallards Guillaume Gelinas made connection on his second goal of the game at the 4:07 mark to dwindle the Indy lead to 6-4, the Fuel finally riposted when Nick Bligh redirected a Nick Mattson point shot to rebuild the lead to 7-4. However, Quad City remained relentless as Sam Warning completed the 3-goal "hat trick," followed by Chase Lang's goal from the crease and the Fuel lead had, once again, dwindled dangerously to 7-6
That set the stage for the Ryan goal-scoring heroics as the swift center found the empty net at 18:35 of the final stanza, completing his "hat trick" performance. The Mallards stayed on task when Justin Kovacs scored with :19 remaining before the Fuel could exhale relief and claim victory.
Quad City outshot Indy, 33-31 with both teams going 0-1 on the power play. It was the Fuel's first win in 5-tries on home ice this season against the "Quad Squad" with their 8-goal output being their best of the season.
With the win, the Fuel elevated their record to 6(3-2-1) for 7-points over the last 6-games and 8(3-3-2) through their first 8-dates in March. Indy vaults over idle Wichita into sole possession of 6th place in the ECHL's Western Conference Central Division standings on a record of 63(18-39-6) 42-points.
The Fuel will play their next 4-games on the road including a 3-games in 3-days road trip next weekend to South Carolina where they will be hosted by Greenville on Friday and Saturday nights and the South Carolina Stingrays in North Charleston next Sunday afternoon.
Next home game for the Fuel will be Saturday, April 1st at 7:35pm from the Farmers Coliseum against their principal arch-rivals, the Fort Wayne Komets.
Next Home Game: Saturday, April 1 vs. Fort Wayne - 7:35 p.m. (Made in America): While hockey's roots may come from that country up north, the Fuel are saluting the Stars and Stripes on Made In America Night. Meet special guests, while we celebrate the Red, White and Blue!
Single-game tickets are now available for the third season of Fuel hockey in Indianapolis at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office or at all Ticketmaster locations. Ticket Plans of all sizes are also available, from Full-Season Plans to six and three-game packages, in addition to Group Ticket options. Learn more by visiting IndyFuelHockey.com or calling 317-925-FUEL. Stay up to date throughout the offseason by following the Fuel on Twitter and Instagram (@IndyFuel) and don't forget to 'Like' the Fuel on Facebook
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