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Fuel Win First Home Playoff Game Over Nailers, 5-2

April 19, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Indy Fuel News Release

INDIANAPOLIS - The Fuel hosted the Wheeling Nailers for the first game of the playoffs on Friday night and after a breakout second period, the Fuel defeated the Nailers 5-2 in their first home playoff win in franchise history.


At just 3:57, Brett Bulmer and Wheeling's Justin Lee set the tone with a fight after a series of hits along the boards. They each received five minutes for fighting.

As those penalties expired, Andrew Perrott took a roughing penalty while Wheeling's Peter Laviolette took a double minor penalty for roughing after another scuffle along the boards.

At 9:30, just three seconds before the Fuel's power play expired, Kyle Maksimovich scored the first goal of the playoffs with the help of Zach Jordan and Ross MacDougall on the power play.

Chase Lang took the game's next penalty at 15:11 for slashing, however Dillon Hamaliuk took a cross checking penalty at 16:18 after a cross check to Santino Centorame in front of the Fuel's net.

At the end of the first period, the Fuel were outshooting Wheeling 16-4.


At 1:21, Davis Bunz scored to put Wheeling on the board with their first goal.

Less than four minutes later, the Fuel took the lead again with an unassisted goal by Bryan Lemos to make it 2-1. A minute after that, Maksimovich got his second goal of the game to put Indy up 3-1. Colin Bilek and Centorame claimed assists on that goal.

At 12:23, Andrew Bellant caught the puck with a small breakaway in the offensive zone and scored to give the Fuel a 4-1 lead. Lemos and Seamus Malone had the assists on that goal.

Wheeling held possession for longer in that period, however the Fuel still outshot them 11-9 in the second frame.


The first half of the period went by quickly as both teams had a few chances with few stoppages. At 10:15, Tanner Laderoute and Chase Lang got offsetting penalties for high sticking and slashing respectively.

At 11:34, Matt Cairns took a tripping penalty to put the Nailers on a 4-on-3 power play which they quickly capitalized on with a goal by Hamaliuk at 11:55 to make it 4-2.

Perrott took a double roughing minor at 13:44 while Laviolette took a two minute roughing minor but left the ice after an injury in the fight.

At 16:03, Kale Howarth scored to make it 5-2 with the help of Maksimovich who collected his third point of the night with the assist.

Time expired soon after and the Fuel claimed the 5-2 victory to take game one of the series.

The Indy Fuel are back in action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum tomorrow on Saturday, April 20 against the Wheeling Nailers for Military Appreciation Night in the playoffs.

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