Grizzlies Blank Fuel in Rubber Match at Maverik Center
WEST VALLEY CITY, UTAH - A 30-save shutout from goaltender Joe Cannata and two points from forward Caleb Herbert helped the Utah Grizzlies (9-2-3-0) to a 4-0 victory over the Indy Fuel (7-7-0-0) Saturday night at Maverick Center. Indy wraps up the three game set in Utah with one victory, as the two teams finished their four-game season series with two wins apiece. The Fuel return to Central Indiana next week for a three-game homestand at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, beginning Wednesday night against the division-leading Toledo Walleye.
Following a 3-2 Fuel win on Friday night, Cannata and the Grizzlies defense locked things down on Saturday, issuing Indy the club's first shutout since April 8, 2017 - the final game of the 2016-17 regular season. Four different skaters found the net for Utah, which scored twice in both the second and third periods to swing the rubber match in favor of the home team.
After a scoreless opening period, Austin Carroll opened the scoring for the Grizzlies at 7:37 on a delayed Fuel penalty. Despite being tripped up in front of the Indy net, Carroll was able to get enough of a shot off to beat Fuel netminder Jason Pawloski (20 saves) under the arm.
Utah doubled its lead at 13:14 of the second while shorthanded, with Herbert netting his ECHL-leading 13th goal of the campaign. The Grizzlies' top scorer pounced on a turnover at the Fuel blue line before racing in alone and beating Pawloski on the backhand.
Indy entered the third period determined to climb back into the game, but could not find a way to solve Cannata in the Utah net. Despite carrying the majority of the play in the final frame, an unfortunate bounce gave the Grizzlies a 3-0 advantage at the 12:02 mark. A centering pass from forward Teigan Zahn hit the stick of Fuel defenseman Miles Liberati and caromed over Pawloski's shoulder. Less than a minute later, Herbert found Matt Berry for a net-mouth tap-in to complete the scoring for Utah.
The Fuel outshot Utah by a 10-3 margin in the third period, and 30-24 overall, but were limited to only a handful of quality scoring opportunities. Both teams were spectacular on the penalty kill on a game that featured 13 combined power plays. Indy was blanked on six chances with the extra skater, while the Fuel held the Grizzlies' top-ranked power play scoreless on seven opportunities - including an early five-minute major.
Single-game tickets are now on sale for the Fuel's 5th anniversary season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Lock up your seat for every second of the action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a Fuel Ticket Plan - grab yours by heading to IndyFuelHockey.com or by calling the Fuel front office at 317-925-FUEL. Don't forget to follow the Fuel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (IndyFuel) for news, updates, contests and much more throughout the 2018-19 season.
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