Fuel shut down Walleye for second straight victory
Matt Tomkins records second shutout of the season as Indy blanks Toledo 4-0 on home iceMar 10, 2019
INDIANAPOLIS – Led by 29 saves from goaltender Matt Tomkins, and a complete 60-minute performance throughout their lineup, the Indy Fuel (29-28-2-1) skated to a decisive 4-0 shutout victory over the Toledo Walleye (33-18-5-3) Sunday afternoon at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Fuel close out a three-in-three weekend with back-to-back wins, pulling to within one point of the fifth-place Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL’s Central Division standings.
Indy grabbed the lead 20 seconds into regulation and never looked back, picking up goals in all three periods to hand the Walleye their third straight loss. Radovan Bondra, Josh Shalla and Mathew Thompson all notched a goal and an assist, while defenseman Eric Schurhamer chipped in a third period goal to cap off a dominant home performance on home ice. For Tomkins, the spotless performance marked his second shutout and 24th victory of the season.
Bondra got the Fuel on the board during the game’s first shift, picking up a neutral zone feed from Dmitry Osipov before snapping a wrist shot over the glove of Toledo netminder Pat Nagle (41 saves) from the right circle. A clean face-off win from Logan Nelson led to a 2-0 advantage at 12:41 of the opening frame, as Josh Shalla beat Nagle with a quick shot from the high slot for his team-leading 26th goal of the season. Indy closed the first period with a 16-9 edge in the shot column.
A late power play opportunity in the second period helped the Fuel extend their lead to 3-0. Ryan Rupert threaded a pass through the slot to Mathew Thompson, who tapped in his 13th of the year just off of the right goal post.
Schurhamer rounded out the game’s scoring at 6:25 of the third period, tallying his first goal in a Fuel uniform. With puck possession behind the Walleye net, Shalla slid a pass to the third-year blueliner, who took a step and threaded a wrist shot through Nagle. Schurhamer’s marker continued the trend of offense stemming from Indy’s back end; Fuel defensemen have combined for five goals over the club’s last three games.
Indy outshot Toledo by a total count of 45-29, while finishing the game 1-for-3 on the power play. The Walleye were held off the board on three opportunities with the extra skater.
Still five points out of a playoff spot in the Central, Indy wraps up a stretch of four games in five days Tuesday morning as they head to Wheeling for a school day game against the Nailers. Puck drop from WesBanco Arena is set for 10:45 a.m.
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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