Fuel come up short Saturday in Toledo
Quick start lifts Walleye to 4-2 win over Fuel at Huntington CenterDec 1, 2018
TOLEDO, OHIO – The Indy Fuel (9-10-0-0) could not find their way out of a first period deficit as they fell 4-2 Saturday night to the Toledo Walleye (14-2-2-0) at the Huntington Center. Two goals in the first 2:05 of play helped Toledo take early control of the contest, while the Fuel dropped back-to-back games for the first time since late October. With the loss, Indy’s record away from Indiana Farmers Coliseum this season dropped to 2-7-0-0.
The Fuel’s road troubles started soon after the opening face-off on Saturday, as the Walleye struck first just 43 seconds into the game. Forward Ben Storm found his way to the front of the Indy net before redirecting a point shot from defenseman Matt Register (2 assists). Charlie O’Connor put the home team up by two at 2:05, when he took advantage of an Indy defensive zone turnover and flipped a backhand over the glove of netminder Matt Tomkins (25 saves).
After surrendering the two quick goals, the Fuel began to mount some pressure of their own, cutting the Toledo lead to 2-1 at 8:35 with a shorthanded tally from Brett Welychka. The rookie forward began the play when he forced a turnover at the Indy blue line, springing Olivier Labelle on a breakaway. When Labelle’s first shot was poked away by netminder Pat Nagle, Welychka flipped home the rebound for his third goal of the season.
The Walleye restored their two goal lead late in the opening frame, when Trevor Hamilton used a net-front screen to beat Tomkins inside the right post. Despite holding a 10-4 lead in the shot column during the first period of play, the Fuel entered the second trailing by a 3-1 margin.
The lone goal of the middle frame belonged to Toledo, which capitalized on its lone power play chance of the period to stretch the hometown lead to 4-1. Holding the puck on the right half wall, Shane Berschbach found A.J. Jenks for a net-front tip-in at the 6:47 mark of the second.
Kevin Dufour wrapped up the game’s scoring late in the third period, converting a centering feed from Mathew Thompson with 40 seconds left in regulation time.
Each team received only two power play opportunities on Saturday; Indy finished the game 0-for-2, while the Walleye scored once.
Falling below the .500 mark for the first time since the first night of the 2018-19 season, the Fuel look to bounce back on Tuesday as they return to Indiana Farmers Coliseum to take on the Kansas City Mavericks. Following the showdown with Kansas City, Indy heads back on the road for a weekend 3-in-3 tripleheader, with stops in Kalamazoo, Fort Wayne and Wheeling.
Single-game tickets are now on sale for the Fuel’s 5th anniversary season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Lock up your seat for every second of the action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a Fuel Ticket Plan – grab yours by heading to IndyFuelHockey.com or by calling the Fuel front office at 317-925-FUEL. Don’t forget to follow the Fuel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (IndyFuel) for news, updates, contests and much more throughout the 2018-19 season.
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