Fuel's playoff push rolls on in 5-1 rout of Fort Wayne
Josh Shalla scores twice; Indy slides within one point of fourth-place KalamazooMar 31, 2018
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel’s remarkable second half of the season resurgence continued Saturday night on home ice at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum where they dispatched their principal archrivals, the Fort Wayne Komets, 5-1. In the process, the high-tech, high-octane Fuel soared within one-point of fourth place Kalamazoo in the duel for the coveted fourth and final playoff berth.
Coming out with a vengeance, the Fuel erupted with three unanswered opening period goals, spurred by a pair of power play goals exactly one-minute apart and climaxed by Josh Shalla’s second goal of the stanza. Matt Rupert (17) and Shalla fired power play strikes before the six-minute mark of the first frame of the game to set the tone and tenor for the contest.
Building an insurmountable 3-0 bulge, Indy increased its advantage to 5-0 after forty minutes when Darian Dziurzynski (25) and Matt Thompson (2) each connected in the middle stanza.
The Komets averted the shutout in the third period when Dan Maggio converted on a centering pass from Justin. Hodgman at the 5:42 mark.
As for Shalla, the goal-scoring artisan delivered his second consecutive two-goals masterpiece in as many nights giving the Oshawa, Ontario product a prolific 9-goals and 12-points in his 7-outings. Against the Fort Wayners, Shalla has been magnificent, amassing 19-goals and 25-points in his last 14-Fuel games against the Komets.
For the rookie price Thompson, the Adrian College pivot authored (1-1-2) for the victors while Alex Wideman registered three assists and former Komet Logan Nelson as well as Robin Press each engineered two assists.
Fort Wayne outshot the Fuel, 34-30 as goaltender “ET” Marcoux posted his fourth straight victory and his 20th of his stellar rookie season.
It was Indy’s second consecutive victory in the span of eight days over the second place Komets and their third triumph in their last 4-games against their Indiana adversaries.
In earning their team record 34th victory of the season, the Fuel climbed within one-point of fourth place Kalamazoo for the fourth and final playoff berth as the Wings bowed Saturday night in Norfolk, 2-1. Indy will commence the last week of the regular season with one-game in hand on the Wings while being even in games played with sixth place Kansas City which trails the Fuel by two points. The Fuel and the Mavericks will collide Tuesday night in Independence, MO in the Fuel’s next action as their hunt for their first-ever playoffs’ berth has four games remaining with three of those here at home.
The playoff- inspired and motivated men of the Fuel will commence the new week riding the crest of a 6-games unblemished skein; 6(4-0-2); they are 10(7-1-2) in the last 10-games; last 18(11-5-2); last 21(13-6-2. Indy’s record within its own division over the last 35-decisions is a supreme 35(24-10-1).
The Fuel’s last three home games of the season will come on consecutive days next weekend; Friday, April 6th against Cincinnati; Saturday, April 7th vs. Toledo; Sunday, April 8th against Kalamazoo at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Single game tickets are available as the Fuel fight for playoff positioning at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! 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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