Fuel complete two-game sweep over Mavericks
Matt Tomkins stops 46 as Indy downs Kansas City 4-3 in a shootout; Fuel pull within three points of fifth placeFeb 18, 2018
INDEPENDENCE, MO. – The Indy Fuel (23-23-2-1) inched even closer to playoff positioning Saturday, as they defeated the Kansas City Mavericks 4-3 in a shootout at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. Alex Wideman marked the only goal in the game-deciding breakaway competition and goaltender Matt Tomkins turned in a 46-save performance to help Indy sweep the weekend doubleheader in Kansas City.
Improving to 4-2 through six games of a season-long road trip, the Fuel are now within three points of the Mavericks for possession of fifth place in the ECHL’s Central Division standings. With the fourth-place Kalamazoo Wings falling to the Toledo Walleye Saturday, Indy (49 points) is now just seven points back from a berth in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. e Kalamazoo Wings falling to the Toledo Walleye Saturday, Indy (49 points) is now just seven points back from a berth in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
The Fuel could have pulled to within two points of Kansas City in the standings had it not been for a late Mavericks rally. After Garrett Clarke scored 59 seconds into the third period to give Indy a 3-1 lead, Kansas City struck twice, forcing overtime. Jared VanWormer beat Tomkins on a net-front redirection at 8:54, before Jordan Kwas converted on a power play with just over five minutes to play to tie the game.
After neither team found the back of the net in the extra session, Wideman beat Mavericks netminder Adam Carlson to the blocker side in the first round of the shootout. In the other end, Tomkins put an exclamation point on another brilliant outing with three saves on three shots, starting with a dramatic sprawling glove save on Kwas. Despite facing a 49-28 shot deficit, the rookie goaltender picked up his third victory in four starts since being reassigned from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.
Indy struck first in the late stages of the first period, when Josh Shalla finished off a beautiful odd-man rush with Wideman at 14:15. Shalla’s 13th goal of the season extended a personal point streak to seven games (4g, 5a).
The Mavericks outshot the Fuel 19-5 in the second period, but the visitors found a way to carry their one-goal lead into the final stanza. Kansas City forward John Schiavo tied the game at one at 14:46 of the second period, but a Johnny McInnis tally put the Fuel right back on top just over two minutes later.
Indy’s shorthanded unit was instrumental in the victory, holding the Mavericks to one goal on six chances. The Fuel killed off two separate 5-on-3 opportunities, and an extended Kansas City power play stemming from a first-period boarding major from Michael Neal. With the power play, Indy finished 0-for-2.
Carlson was saddled with the shootout loss for the Mavericks, stopping 24 shots in his first start since being reassigned from the Fuel to Kansas City.
Indy wraps up its seven-game road swing Sunday afternoon with a showdown with the Tulsa Oilers. Face-off from the BOK Center is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. ET. (Photo courtesy of John Howe / Howe Creative Photography)
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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