Fuel break through for 2-1 win in Fort Wayne
Garrett Clarke tallies go-ahead goal as Indy picks up third straight road victoryJan 6, 2018
FORT WAYNE, IND. – The Indy Fuel (13-16-2-1) continued their strong play away from home ice Saturday, as they defeated the Fort Wayne Komets (21-10-2-0) 2-1 at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The victory salvaged a weekend split with the Komets, as the Fuel picked up their first win in five tries this season against the Hoosier State rival.
Defenseman Garrett Clarke tallied the go-ahead goal just 24 seconds into the third period, propelling Indy to its third straight road victory, improving the club’s record to 5-2-0 over the last seven games. Matt Rupert began the game-deciding play as he entered the Komets zone with speed, dropping a pass to brother Ryan Rupert in the high slot. Ryan’s shot found enough of a redirection from Clarke’s stick in front to evade Fort Wayne goaltender Michael Houser – giving the blueliner his first goal of the season.
With their first lead of the night in hand early in the third, a gritty defensive effort from the Fuel helped secure it. Indy limited Fort Wayne’s high-powered offense to only a handful of chances until the last two minutes of the game, where the Fuel weathered a furious late push from the hometown Komets. Netminder Étienne Marcoux was flawless down the stretch, stopping 13 of 13 shots in the final frame, all part of a 34-save performance.
Clarke’s quick strike completed a comeback effort for the Fuel, who fell into a 1-0 hole in the first period. A fortuitous bounce put the Komets on the board 5:01 into the game, when a Ryan Lowney point shot caromed off Daniel Maggio in front of the net and arched over Marcoux’s shoulder.
After being outshot 16-8 in the opening 20 minutes, Indy responded with a dominant second period. The Fuel peppered Houser with 18 shots in the middle frame, finally solving December’s ECHL Goaltender of the Month with less than two minutes to play. Forward Cam Reid got a stick on a Riley Sweeney centering pass, lofting a puck over Houser’s glove to even the score at the 18:20 mark. Houser finished with 36 saves, with the Fuel holding a 38-36 edge in the shot column.
Neither team was able to find the net with the man advantage; Indy finished 0-for-5 on the power play while the Fuel penalty kill held Fort Wayne scoreless over four chances.
Indy will continue a three game road trip next weekend with a Friday-Saturday doubleheader in Moline, Ill. against the Quad City Mallards.
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.
-- INDYFUELHOCKEY.COM --