Spirited effort falls just short in WheelingDec 13, 2017
WHEELING, W.V. – Center Troy Josephs’ goal at the 6:29 mark of the third period snapped a 2-2 deadlock and vaulted the home standing Wheeling Nailers into a 3-2 triumph over the Indy Fuel Tuesday night at the WesBanco Arena.
The Fuel had forged the 2-2 tie with two late second period goals 1:05 apart to erase a previous 2-0 deficit. Matt Rupert (5) and Jack Burton (1) fired strikes at 18:14 and 19:19 respectively with Matt Rupert’s goal being a shorthanded goal and Burton’s tying goal being his first-ever in his professional career. Ryan Rupert was the playmaker extraordinaire, earning assists on both come-from-behind snipes.
The shorthanded goal was Indy’s 5th of the season, ranking tied for third most in the ECHL and eclipsing all of last season’s grand total of 4-SHG.
With the setback, the Fuel saw their modest 2-game win streak brought to a halt while their winless spell on the road reached 6-consecutive outings at 6(0-4-2). The Fuel’s last and lone road win of the campaign was posted back on October 27th in Florida where they derailed the league-leading Everblades, 5-2.
The Fuel outshot the Nailers, 37-33, including a hefty 13-4 advantage in the third period. Reigning ECHL Goaltender of the Week, Matt Tomkins absorbed his first defeat of the season after 3-consecutive victories.
The Fuel are now 5(3-2-0) through the first 5-games of December, surrendering only 10-GA in that span. They are 3(2-1-0) in this daunting slate consisting of 6-games in 9-nights.
Indy’s next action will be Thursday night when they return home to the Indiana Farmers Coliseum to host division rival Quad City at 7:05 pm. The Fuel and the Mallards are currently tied for 6th place with both teams having 17-points.
The Fuel will close the week with a home-and-home series against their principal archrivals, the Fort Wayne Komets. Indy will be in Fort Wayne Friday night at 8:00 pm before coming home to host the Komets Saturday night at 7:35 pm.