Indy Completes Weekend Sweep with Victory in Toledo
TOLEDO, OHIO. - The Indy Fuel (30-28-2-1) put themselves right back on the precipice of a playoff spot with a decisive 7-4 road victory over the ECHL-leading Toledo Walleye (42-15-4-2) Sunday afternoon at Huntington Center. Picking up all six points from their three-game weekend slate, the Fuel pulled within one point of the Kalamazoo Wings and Kansas City Mavericks for a share of fourth place in the Central Division standings, with 11 games remaining on their regular season schedule.
Indy ignited for six goals before the halfway point of the second period Sunday, snapping Toledo's nine-game unbeaten streak and handing the Walleye their first home regulation setback since Jan. 5. Five different Fuel skaters finished with multiple points on the afternoon, led by a four-point night from Michael Neal (1g, 3a). Forwards Darian Dziurzynski (1g, 2a) and Reed Seckel (3a) each picked up three points, while Indy defensemen contributed a total of six points (3g, 3a).
Logan Nelson and Dziurzynski found the net in the first period to give the visitors a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, before the Fuel broke the game wide open with four goals in the first 9:17 of the second period. The offensive deluge, led by three goals from defensemen, helped the Fuel build leads of 4-0 and 6-2 in the middle frame. The Walleye also chipped in three goals in the second, in a frantic period that saw seven goals scored on 23 shots.
Indy doubled their first-period lead in the early stages of the second when Jaynen Rissling and Zach Miskovic each beat Toledo goaltender Angus Redmond from the right point in a span of 30 seconds. Toledo staged a pushback following Miskovic's strike, cutting the Fuel advantage in half with the first of Tyler Barnes' two second period goals and a power play marker from Zach Nastasiuk. But Indy quickly reclaimed momentum and a four-goal cushion thanks to a Michael Neal redirect and Rissling's second of the night. Barnes solved Fuel netminder Colton Phinney for a second time just past the halfway point to round out the second period scoring.
Starting the third period with a 6-3 cushion, Indy had a chance to bolster its lead during an extended 5-on-3 advantage, but goaltender Pat Nagle (who replaced Redmond after Indy's fifth goal) and the Walleye penalty kill held the ECHL's top power play unit at bay. Shortly after returning to full strength, Toledo climbed back within two at 12:24 when Christian Hilbrich capped off an odd man rush.
Even with holding 18-12 shot advantage in the third, the Walleye would come no closer. Johnny McInnis tacked on an empty net goal in the final 15 seconds of regulation and Phinney logged 17 third-period saves to secure the win in his Fuel debut. The rookie goaltender was steady throughout the game, stopping a career-high 42 shots to stymie the Walleye, who finished with a 46-37 shot advantage.
Redmond suffered the loss, stopping 14 shots over 26 minutes of action. Nagle stopped 16 of 17 shots in his relief appearance.
Next up for Indy is a trip to U.S. Bank Arena next Friday to take on the Cincinnati Cyclones, before returning to Indiana Farmers Coliseum Saturday for a rematch with the Walleye.
Single game tickets are now available for the entire 2017-18 Fuel season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Fans can also take advantage of a wide variety of ticket plans by calling 317-925-FUEL or visiting IndyFuelHockey.com. Don't miss a second of the action during the 2017-18 season - follow the Fuel on Twitter and Instagram (@IndyFuel) and 'Like' the Fuel on Facebook.
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