Game 3: Fuel vs. Kalamazoo

The Indy Fuel’s second home game saw the team battle and battle — rallying from two two-goal deficits to tie the game and send it

The opening faceoff from the Fuel's game Wednesday against Kalamazoo.

The opening faceoff from the Fuel’s game Wednesday against Kalamazoo.

into overtime, but old friend Eric Kattelus scored 1:10 into the extra session to give the Kalamazoo Wings a 5-4 OT win over the Fuel.

Indy is now 0-1-1-1 on the season, having gained a point out of two of its three games. All three have been decided by one goal. Kattelus’ goal was his second of the game, as he opened the scoring with a power play goal 2:38 into the game, shortly after jumping out of the penalty box. The Fuel had to rally often — Rhett Bly scored out of a goalmouth scramble to tie the game at 1-1 at 7:22 of the first, but the tie lasted just 44 seconds, when Kalamazoo’s Lane Scheidl gave the Wings the lead, and Ray Kaunisto made it 3-1 with a PPG late in the first.

The Fuel clawed back in late in the first – Robert Czarnik scored his third of the season. And, after Kalamazoo made it 4-2 in the opening 90 seconds of the second – chasing starter Sean Bonar – Brett Perlini ripped a snipe from the high slot into the top corner of the net. Just 1:03 later, Patrick Cullen fired and scored from the left half-wall to make it a 4-4 game. While eight goals were scored in the opening half of the contest, the two goaltenders — Kalamazoo’s Joel Martin and the Fuel’s Cody Reichard — held the fort the rest of the way. Indy survived an early Kalamazoo push and dominated the second period territorially, outshooting the K-Wings 16-7 in the middle frame. There was no scoring in a third period that featured several end-to-end rushes and saw Reichard come up big twice.

The Fuel had the first shot of OT, but Kattelus was able to score in traffic on Kalamazoo’s first chance.

IndyFuelHockey.com game story
ECHL.com boxscore

Three stars

  1. Brett Perlini (IND) goal, assist
  2. Anders Franzon (IND) 2 assists
  3. Sacha Guimond (KAL) 3 assists

Takeaways

  • While the Fuel have yet to be on the right side of the scoreboard, they’re right there. Three one-goal losses, two tied at the end of regulation, should give fans a lot of optimism.
  • Robert Czarnik has now extended his scoring streak to three games, as he potted the Fuel’s second goal. He was also on the ice for three Fuel goals and was a +3 on the day. Garrett Klotz, Jamie Wise and Anders Franzon were all +2.
  • It’ll be hard to see a more goal-scorer’s dream than Perlini’s snipe that cut the Wings lead to 4-3. After a good cycle by the Fuel, he took a feed from Justin Holl in the high slot, had time, picked his corner and fired it into the high-glove netting.
  • Reichard, making his second regular-season appearance for the Fuel, looked sharp, stopping the first 17 shots he faced in 40 minutes of action, including several at point-blank range late in the third period.
  • Rhett Bly got his first career goal as a pro in the first period. He was strong on the puck in traffic on the rush and had a solid possession game.
  • Patrick Cullen joins the number of Fuel players with multiple goals, firing one from the left half-wall that was perfectly-placed.
  • Wise, Matt White and Brett Perlini each had 5 shots to lead the Fuel, who were outshot 37-34.

Lineup
Mike Duco-Brett Perlini-Pete Massar
Jamie Wise-Rhett Bly-Robert Czarnik
Klarc Wilson/Patrick Cullen-Matt White-Garrett Klotz

Mathieu Brisebois-Anders Franzon
Kirill Gotovets-Justin Holl
Nick Jones-Dillon Fournier

Sean Bonar
Cody Reichard

Next up
The Fuel continue a four-games-in-five-nights stretch Friday when they host the Missouri Mavericks at 7:35 p.m. at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. It’s “Pink in the Rink” night at the Coliseum. Fans are encouraged to wear pink & will receive complimentary pink thundersticks. The Fuel will team up with Susan G. Komen Central Indiana to support breast cancer research. After an 8:15 p.m. Saturday game in Evansville, the Fuel return home Sunday to face the Fort Wayne Komets at 3:05 p.m. All games are broadcast by CBS Sports Radio 1430 AM. All home games are also televised on HTSN-6.2.