Fuel claim key victory over Mavericks in playoff push
Nelson, Neal and Shalla each score twice as Indy defeats Kansas City 6-3Mar 30, 2018
INDIANAPOLIS – The positive playoff push for the Indy Fuel continued Friday night on home ice at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum as an inspired band of “Fuel-men” defeated the Kansas City Mavericks, 6-3.
With the win, the Fuel climbed into a share of fifth place in the ECHL’s Western Conference Central Division with the Mavericks while staying within striking distance of the fourth and final playoff spot in remaining three points back of the Kalamazoo Wings.
Extending their latest unblemished skein to 5(3-0-2), the Fuel surged into a 2-0 advantage by the 1:12 mark of the second period when center Logan Nelson uncorked his second goal of the night and the first of two team power play goals. Earlier in the contest, Nelson had staked his club to a 1-0 lead at 16:41 of the opening period.
Nelson’s second goal torched a Fuel three-goals’ second period uprising in a game which the Fuel led throughout. In addition to Nelson’s two strikes, Mike Neal and Josh Shalla also scored twice with Neal’s PPG late in the second period at the 19:54 mark not only climaxing the Fuel’s second period assault but also becoming the game winning goal.
In the third period, after the Mavericks had dwindled their deficit for the third time to a scant singleton at 4-3, the Fuel, undaunted and untrammeled, broke the game open with a pair of goals 1:04 apart as Shalla connected on an electrifying coast to coast unassisted singular flight followed by a Neal deflection of a Brandon Anselmini point shot to cement the victory.
Indy outshot Kansas City, 38-28 as goaltender Etienne Marcoux captured his third consecutive victory and his club-best 19th of the season. The Fuel power play, ranked #1 in the league continued its mastery, going 2-3 increasing their league-high total to 58-PPG for the season, 30-more than they produced all last campaign. Meanwhile, the Mavs power play was 2-5 with Jared Van Wormer accounting for both extra man snipes.
For the Fuel, Nelson (2-2-4), Neal (2-2-4) and Shalla (2-1-3) spearheaded their six-goals attack as Indy gained a club record 33rd victory and 18th at home. It was the Fuel’s third straight victory over Kansas City.
Next up for the Fuel will be a Saturday night home affair against archrival Fort Wayne on “Made In America Night” with opening face-off set for 7:35 pm at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Fuel are down to their last 5-games of the 72-games regular season schedule with 4 of those at home and all 5 against their own Central Division.
Single game tickets are available as the Fuel fight for playoff positioning at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! 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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