Fuel fall flat in road trip finale against Wheeling
Nick Saracino tallies five points as Nailers cruise to 5-1 win over IndyDec 9, 2018
WHEELING, W.V. – A three-game road weekend for the Indy Fuel (11-12-0-0) ended with a thud on Sunday afternoon as they fall by a 5-1 score to the Wheeling Nailers at WesBanco Arena. Forward Nick Saracino had a hand in all five Wheeling tallies with two goals and three assists, as the Nailers won their second straight game against the Fuel. Indy ends a four-game week with a 2-2-0-0 record, finishing with two points from the weekend 3-in-3 tripleheader.
Saracino kicked off his monster outing when he opened the scoring for Wheeling at 8:00 of the first period. The forward converted a centering pass from linemate Cam Brown, who finished Sunday’s game with four assists. Michael Phillips made it 2-0 just under four minutes later, hammering a one-timer from Brown behind Fuel goaltender Kevin Lankinen (25 saves) on the power play.
The Nailers put the game out of reach by tacking on three more goals in the second period, starting when Yushiroh Hirano found the net just 32 seconds into the frame. Craig Skudalski made it 4-0 at the 8:18 mark, flipping a back-door feed from Saracino over a sprawling Lankinen for his first goal of the season. After picking up his third assist on Skudalski’s tally, Saracino completed his five-point performance with a power play goal at 17:22 of the middle stanza. After a wide-angle shot from Brown hit traffic in front, Saracino was in position to slide a backhand into the net, giving Wheeling a 5-0 lead after two periods of play.
Indy finally found the net in the third period, when Zach Miskovic stepped into a slap shot from the blue line at 11:44, spoiling the shutout bid of Nailers goaltender Jordan Ruby (29 saves). The Fuel captain’s second goal of the season was assisted by defenseman Miles Liberati and forward Avery Peterson.
The Fuel finished the afternoon 0-for-4 on the power play, while Wheeling converted on two of its four chances.
Coming out of a stretch that saw the club play eight of its 12 games on the road, Indy now turns to one of the most home-friendly stretches of its 2018-19 schedule. Starting Friday and Saturday with a two-game set against the Tulsa Oilers, the Fuel play 10 of their next 13 games at Indiana Farmers Coliseum through Jan. 11.
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.