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Fuel Clinch 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs Despite Loss in Wheeling

April 7, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Indy Fuel News Release

Indy Fuel battle the Wheeling Nailers
Indy Fuel battle the Wheeling Nailers
(Indy Fuel)

WHEELING - The Fuel headed to Wheeling on Sunday to finish their weekend against the Nailers. While a win or overtime/shootout loss would clinch the Fuel a playoff berth, they clinched before the game even ended as Kalamazoo fell to Fort Wayne earlier in the day. Still, the Fuel tried for a win but could not mount a third period comeback and fell 5-3 to the Nailers.


Indy got on the board first with a goal by Andrew Bellant at 4:36, picking up where he left off on Wednesday night against Wheeling with the overtime winner in that game. Andrew Perrott and Bryan Lemos claimed assists on that goal.

At 9:02, Chris Cameron took the game's first penalty for cross checking which gave Wheeling a power play opportunity that they were able to capitalize on. Isaac Belliveau scored to tie the game, 1-1.

Indy's Victor Hadfield took a hooking penalty at 14:27 and just five seconds into the penalty, Wheeling took the lead with a goal by Jordan Martel.

At 17:41 Justin Addamo took Wheeling's first penalty of the game which was a hooking call, however the Nailers killed the penalty before time expired on the first period.


The second period was a lot calmer as it wasn't until 15:17 that Lemos got on the board with a goal assisted by Bellant and Perrott to make it 2-2.

The period ended soon after with Wheeling outshooting Indy 21-17 through two.


At 6:57, Jared Westcott scored to give Wheeling the 3-2 lead. He followed that up with a power play goal to make it 4-2 after Ross MacDougall headed to the box for a delay of game at 9:46.

With just over three minutes to go in regulation, the Fuel pulled Mitchell Weeks from the net in favor of the extra skater and it paid off as MacDougall scored with a tip in front to make it 4-3.

The Fuel stuck with the man advantage, keeping Weeks out of the net which paid off for Wheeling as Tanner Laderoute scored on the empty net at 19:05 to give Wheeling a 5-3 lead.

The Nailers were able to drain the clock, giving them the regulation 5-3 win. Regardless of the loss, the Fuel still officially clinched the 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs today.

The Indy Fuel are back in action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Saturday, April 13 for Fan Appreciation Night against the Kalamazoo Wings. Tickets are available.

Images from this story

Indy Fuel battle the Wheeling Nailers
Indy Fuel battle the Wheeling Nailers


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