Komets take first leg of doubleheader with Fuel
Josh Shalla fires two goals in his return to Indy lineup; Fuel fall 6-4 to Fort WayneJan 5, 2018
INDIANAPOLIS – The Fort Wayne Komets struck with three unanswered first period goals before staving off an Indy Fuel late rally to come away with a 6-4 victory Friday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
In the opening game of a two-games home-and-home series between the two Indiana archrivals, the Fuel fought to the final horn, striking with a pair of goals in the second and third periods respectively in seeing their season’s best 3-game winning streak halted by the visiting Fort Wayners.
Entering the second period trailing 3-0, the Fuel bounced back as Darian Dziurzynski (6) and Josh Shalla (1) uncorked cannons with Shalla marking his return to the Indy lineup after launching the current campaign playing overseas in the EIHL with the Nottingham Panthers.
The Fuel’s premiere cannoneer last season with 32-goals, Shalla electrified the Fuel crowd with a bedazzling coast-to coast singular flight in the third period in connecting on his second goal of the night unassisted. For the 6-year pro, he extended his personal goal-scoring streak to an amazing 9-consecutive games against the Komets dating back to last season. In that span the high-flying left wing has connected on 13-goals and 4-assists for 17-points. Shalla was named the game’s #2 Star.
Ryan Lowney sparked the victors attack with (1-2-3) while Bobby Shea notched the game winning goal and Gabriel Desjardins earned 3-assists and a brilliant +4 rating.
In a duel between December ECHL Goaltender of the Month Mike Houser and ECHL Rookie of the Month, the Fuel’s Etienne Marcoux, it was Houser reigning supreme, making 24-saves as Fort Wayne chased Marcoux at the 2:08 mark of the third frame after Ryan Culkin had fired the Komets 6th goal of the night. Greg Dodds, recently signed from the Macon Mayhem of the SPHL made his ECHL debut, replacing Marcoux.
Fort Wayne outshot the Fuel 44-28. The Fuel were 1-4 on the power play; the Komets were 1-3. For the Fuel, in addition to Shalla’s 2-goals, Mike Neal (11) added (1-1-2) on a power play with a stellar +3 rating.
The Fuel are now 4(0-4-0) against their chief rivals this season and 3(0-3-0) at home. Indy is 13(1-9-3) in the last 13-clashes against the Komets dating back to last season.
The same two teams rekindle hostilities Saturday night in Fort Wayne where the Fuel are 8(0-7-1) in their last 8-dates. The broadcast Saturday night from Fort Wayne at 7:00 pm on WFNI-AM 1070thefan.com.
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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