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Fuel edge Wings 6-5

Forward Michael Neal tallies three goals   

Photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Wings

KALAMAZOO  – After a weekend in which the Indy Fuel (17-38-3-3) picked up three points, the Fuel tallied an additional pair after a 6-5 win over the Kalamazoo Wings Friday evening at Wings Event Center. Friday night’s game marked the front end of a home-and-home with Kalamazoo and the first of a three-game weekend for the Fuel. Indy now leads the season series with the Wings 2-1-0-0 with the conclusion to come Saturday evening for Pink in the Rink night at Indiana Famers Coliseum. The Fuel will also host a Sunday matinee against the Quad City Mallards on home ice.

Indy forward Michael Neal would tally a hat-trick, the third in Indy Fuel history, before time would expire. Neal fittingly scored the first and last goals in regulation with the first coming around the midpoint of the first period. Forward Shawn Hulshof, signed to an amateur tryout agreement, recorded his first professional career point on an assist to Neal. The clubs would trade the next three scores with Indy’s Matt Rupert converting on his 16th goal of the season. Rupert’s goal was followed by a Wings power play goal, the first of two back-to-back power play scores for Kalamazoo. Indy would head into the locker room tied with the Wings 2-2.

The Fuel and the Wings would combine for five second period goals – three from Kalamazoo and two from Indy. Notably, Fuel forward Josh Shalla scored his ninth point and fifth goal against the Wings after the second Kalamazoo power play goal. Neal netted his second puck of the night before Kalamazoo would close out the period scoring with two goals within 24 seconds of each other. The Fuel trailed Kalamazoo 5-4 heading into intermission.

Kalamazoo would not score again. Forward Jake Marchment tallied his first goal in a Fuel uniform in his fourth game with Indy after spending the majority of the season in Allen. Neal scored the game-winner with just over 2:00 in regulation on an assist from forward Brady Ramsay, who finished the night with two assists. Indy goaltender Jake Hildebrand contributed 40 saves, while Kalamazoo’s Nick Riopel would tally 28. Three different Wings players would record three points for the night: Peter Schneider (1g, 2a), Cameron Darcy (1g, 2a) and Lane Scheidl.

Next Home Game: Saturday, March 18 vs. Kalamazoo – 7:35 p.m. (Pink in the Rink): The Fuel swap out their red and black for pink during their third-annual breast cancer awareness game, benefitting the Pink Ribbon Connection, Susan G. Komen of Central Indiana and the I.W.I.N. Foundation.Indy’s game-worn pink sweaters will be auctioned off at the end of the night, with all net proceeds going toward participating charities. Single-game tickets are now available for the third season of Fuel hockey in Indianapolis at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office or at all Ticketmaster locations. Ticket Plans of all sizes are also available, from Full-Season Plans to six and three-game packages, in addition to Group Ticket options. Learn more by visiting IndyFuelHockey.com or calling 317-925-FUEL. Stay up to date throughout the offseason by following the Fuel on Twitter and Instagram (@IndyFuel) and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the Fuel on Facebook.

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