The Indy Fuel opened up the Coliseum doors Sunday and gave fans a preview of what’s been happening behind them.
The first hockey game in the newly-renovated Fairgrounds Coliseum was a success. So was the Fuel’s final tune-up for the 2014-15 season, as they blanked Evansville 3-0 Sunday, giving the Fuel a 3-0-0 mark for the three preseason games.
The Fuel showed fans the same thing they showed in two wins in Alaska — a strong defense, good goaltending and scoring depth. Rhett Bly scored his third goal in as many games while veteran Garrett Klotz and rookie Klarc Wilson also had first-period goals and assists. Sean Bonar and Cody Reichard combined on a 30-save shutout.
Klotz opened the scoring at 4:30 of the first period, assisted by Wilson and Nick Jones. Wilson made the score 2-0 at 14:16 of the first, with Klotz and Ildar Telyakov on the assists. Bly added an insurance goal at 6:34 of the third, assisted by Johnny McGuire.
Bonar, a goaltender from Princeton on a tryout contract, made 23 saves and has allowed just one goal in five periods of play. Reichard, who was acquired in a deal with Orlando earlier in the weekend, stopped all seven third-period shots.
The Fuel regular season opens Friday when the team meets Fort Wayne at the Coliseum. The two teams head to Fort Wayne for a Saturday game.
- Garrett Klotz (IND), G, A, 3 shots, GWG
- Klarc Wilson (IND) G, A, 4 shots
- Sean Bonar (IND) 23 saves, 0 GA, win
- The Fuel finished the preseason outscoring their foes 9-2 in the three games – an impressive scoring total. Three different goaltenders — Bonar, Reichard and Mac Carruth – each shared in the nets. Bonar finishes with a 0.60 GAA, Carruth a 1.00 GAA and Reichard stopped all seven shots he faced. That also indicates a strong blueline and that’s where the Fuel have a lot of depth.
- Klotz inaugurated the Coliseum with a Gordie Howe hat trick. In addition to his first period goal and assist, he received a fighting major at the end of the game for a scrap with Evansville’s Loren Barron.
- Statistically, four Fuel players (Wilson, Klotz and defensemen Telyakov and Kirill Gotovets) had +2 days. Bly led the team with five shots on goal. Wilson and Gotovets had four shots each. The Fuel, as a team, launched 37 shots on goal.
- Sunday’s game was a reunion of five former Indiana Ice players. The Fuel dressed three players who called the Coliseum home in a different era – forwards Bryon Paulazzo and Patrick Cullen and goaltender Cody Reichard. Evansville had Loren Barron and Max Cook among those who played their junior hockey in Indy.
- The Fuel were 5-for-5 on the PK.
The Fuel host Fort Wayne in their first-ever regular season game at 7:35 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17. The Fuel then travel to Fort Wayne for a 7:35 p.m. game Oct. 18. Friday’s game will be televised on RTV-6. Both games will be broadcast via radio on WXNT-1430/cbssports1430.com
The Fuel made two roster moves on Sunday, releasing defenseman Adam McKenzie and forward Corrado Mancini from their tryout agreements. The 21-man regular season roster is due on Wednesday.Monday update:
The Fuel released Bryon Paulazzo from his tryout agreement, and waived defenseman Kyle Follmer.