Kestner Extends Point Streak as Walleye Fall at Indy
INDIANAPOLIS - Josh Kestner's second-period goal extended his individual point streak to eight straight games, but the Toledo Walleye were unable to overcome a difficult start in a 4-2 setback to the Indy Fuel on Friday at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Indy (4-4-0-0) needed all of 18 seconds to make its mark on the scoresheet. Brandon Anselmini had his clearing attempt up the middle intercepted in the by Alex Krushelnyski, who subsequently fired a pojnt-blank chance in the slot past Pat Nagle.
The Fuel added to their lead later in the opening period, as Krushelnyski's centering pass from the left corner reached Spencer Watson in the high slot for a wrister that sailed into the top right corner at 13:57. The Walleye (6-2-1-0) then fell further behind when Joe Sullivan scored in his Indy debut with 37 seconds left in the first frame.
Although Toledo showed improvement early in the second stanza, the hosts proceeded to net a fourth goal at the 6:05 mark. netted a fourth goal in the second stanza. Shortly after Karl El-Mir finished serving a high-sticking minor, he stretched a pass to Graham Knott for a successful breakaway attempt between Nagle's pads. However, the Walleye responded just 1:32 later when Josh Winquist and Tyler Spezia combined to set up Kestner on a 3-on-1 that cut the deficit to 4-1.
Tensions reached a boiling point during the final period as T.J. Hensick and Keoni Texeira dropped the mitts at the 4:26 mark. Already tasked with killing a 5-on-3 with a pair of defensemen in the sin bin, Toledo remained shorthanded for a extended period of time after blueliner Steve Oleksy was assessed a match penalty for spearing at 5:50.
Spezia tallied his second goal in as many games to make it a 4-2 contest with 2:04 remaining in regulation, prompting head coach Dan Watson to use his timeout and eventually yank Nagle in favor of the extra attacker. This time, the Walleye could not author another comeback bid as Indy held on for a two-goal win.
Toledo finished a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, but could not convert on a pair of power play opportunities. Charles Williams stopped 32-of-34 shots in a winning cause, while Nagle turned away 27-of-31 in his first regulation defeat in eight starts this season.
The Walleye are set to return to the Huntington Center on Saturday for the first half of a home-and-home series against the Brampton Beast. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
1. Indy - Alex Krushelnyski (goal, assist)
2. Indy - Joe Sullivan (goal)
3. Indy - Spencer Watson (goal)
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