Fuel rally falls short in 4-3 loss to Toledo
Matt Rupert scores twice as Indy’s four-game winning streak comes to an endFeb 27, 2018
INDIANAPOLIS – Despite a gallant, spirited rally, the Indy Fuel saw their season’s best 4-game win streak brought to a halt as the first place Toledo Walleye escaped with a late 4-3 victory Tuesday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Falling behind early in the contest at 2-0, Indy was forced to battle back all night long, never attaining the lead. Left wing Matt Rupert did connect on his first of a pair of goals just past midway point of the opening stanza to temporarily dwindle the deficit to 2-1. However, before the opening 20-minutes session was concluded, the visiting Walleye produced their second power play in as many advantages when Dylan Sadowy delivered to restore the Toledoans 2-goals’ bulge at, 3-1.
In the second period, for the second time of the night, Matt Rupert brought the Fuel within striking distance in backhanding home his 14th goal of the season late in the frame at 17:05. As on Matt Rupert’s first goal of this game, Johnny McInnis and Robin Press each earned assists.
Sustaining the momentum which they had generated on their late second period goal, Indy completed its comeback early in the third period when McInnis, himself, pulled the trigger at the crease for his 16th goal of the year and his 5th on the power play. His goal at 3:58 equalized the affair at 3-3.
However, the Fuel strong comeback effort was thwarted when Kyle Bonis redirected a point shot behind goaltender Matt Tomkins with only 4:50 remaining in regulation time to regain the lead for the Walleye and lay claim to their 4th consecutive victory and their 6th in as many meetings this season against the Fuel.
The Walleye outshot the Fuel, 36-30 as goaltender Pat Nagle set a Toledo club record by posting his 9th consecutive victory while Indy goaltender Matt Tomkins suffered only his second setback in his last 8-decisions. The Fuel power play continued to percolate, going, 1-2, while the Walleye for a second straight game were a perfect 2-2. The Fuel power play, ranked #1 in the ECHL, was a prolific 9-18 during this 5-games’ homestand in which Indy registered a 4-1 mark.
In addition to Matt Rupert’s 2-goals’ performance, Johnny McInnis was (1-2-3) and Robin Press, honored in per-game ceremonies as the Fuel Player of the Month for February, assisted on all 3-goals. In the process, Press pushed his personal point streak to a team’s season’s best 10-games with 10(4-9-13); last 16(7-12-19). In addition, with his helper on the McInnis PPG, Alex Wideman swelled his scoring streak to 8-games; 8(3-10-13).
Next up for the Fuel is a date with the Cyclones in Cincinnati on Friday night with playoff implications attached as Indy trails the third place “Queen City” squadron by 3-points and fourth place Kalamazoo by only 2-points with 17-games remaining as the Indy playoff push goes on.
Next home games for the Fuel will be this Saturday night at 7:35 pm on “Racing Night” and Sunday afternoon at 3:05 pm on “Family Fun Day” with both games against the Utah Grizzlies at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
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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