Fuel suffer overtime loss in wild affair with Komets
Anthony Petruzzelli’s game-winner lifts Fort Wayne to 3-2 win over IndyJan 11, 2019
INDIANAPOLIS – Andrew Petruzzelli scored 10 seconds into overtime to give the Fort Wayne Komets (20-14-0-1) a 3-2 victory over the Indy Fuel (19-16-1-0) Friday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Fuel’s first loss beyond regulation time this season was the club’s third straight setback to the Komets, falling to 1-4-1-0 in six games against the Hoosier State rival.
After gaining puck possession to begin 3-on-3 overtime, Fort Wayne defenseman Jason Binkley was able to evade a Fuel attacker in the neutral zone, attacking 2-on-1 with Petruzzelli. Binkley slid a cross-ice pass to the forward, who pulled a backhand around Indy goaltender Matt Tomkins (25 saves) to give the visiting Komets the extra point in the Central Division clash.
Josh Shalla and Matt Rupert scored power play goals for Indy, which rallied from a 2-1 second-period deficit to force the game into overtime. The hometown crowd of 4,860 on hand witnessed an intense physical affair featuring 62 combined minutes in penalties, including 30 assessed during an altercation in the early stages of the third period.
Neither team could find the net in a tightly-contested first period, with Tomkins and Fort Wayne’s Lukas Hafner each trading stops to keep the game scoreless. Tomkins was tested early, as a Radovan Bondra boarding major gave the Komets a five-minute power play just 22 seconds into the game. The Fuel penalty kill held firm, limiting Fort Wayne to only a couple of opportunities on the extended man advantage.
Indy took a 1-0 lead with a power play goal in the late stages of the second period. Quentin Shore fed forward Josh Shalla at the point, who ripped his 14th goal of the season through Hafner at 14:49 of the middle frame. The Komets answered with two 4-on-4 tallies just 44 seconds apart to grab a one-goal lead of their own. Binkley tied the game at 17:21, picking up an area pass from Matthew Weis before snapping a wrist shot over Tomkins’ blocker from the right face-off dot. Moments later, Shawn Szydlowski fired a shot through a screen from the high slot to give Fort Wayne a 2-1 edge heading into the third period.
The Fuel began the third with over a minute of carry-over power play time, making the most of it when Matt Rupert tallied the equalizer just 54 seconds into the frame. A wrap-around attempt from Brett Welychka handcuffed Hafner, giving Ryan Rupert enough time to poke a loose puck to his twin brother, who had an open cage for his 15th goal of the season.
Indy had several chances to retake the lead as the third period progressed, but Hafner saved his best work for late in the game. The Fuel outshot Fort Wayne 20-3 in the third, finishing the game with a 37-28 advantage in the shot column.
In another strong outing for Indy in the special teams category, the Fuel finished 2-for-6 on the power play while keeping the Komets scoreless on four chances.
Indy now hits the road to continue a three-game weekend with a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader with the Wheeling Nailers at WesBanco Arena. Puck drop on Saturday night is set for 7:05 p.m., with Sunday’s rematch slated for an early 3:05 p.m. start.
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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