Fresh off about five consecutive solid periods, the Indy Fuel traveled to Evansville to face the IceMen Saturday night in the first-ever regular-season meeting between hockey teams from the two cities. While the Fuel got off to a good start — scoring 42 seconds in — Indy dropped a 4-2 decision to the IceMen to fall to 1-2-1-1 on the season.
The game continued the Fuel’s penchant for playing close games — take out the final-minute empty-netter, and it marked the fourth time in five games the Fuel played a one-goal game.
Patrick Kennedy broke a 2-all tie 38 seconds into the third, and added an empty-netter for the IceMen. Garrett Klotz was credited with his first goal 42 seconds into the game, as a puck deflected off a draw into the Evansville net. The Fuel held that lead until the second, when Evansville’s Kevin Harvey and Danny Hobbs scored to put the IceMen up 2-1. Rhett Bly’s third goal in as many games tied the game going into the third.
The Fuel had numerous third-period chances, but Evansville’s Cal Heeter was able to keep Indy at bay and clinch the win for his team.
Sean Bonar made 25 saves in the Fuel net in his second regular-season start.
- Rhett Bly extended his goal scoring streak to three games with his second-period goal. With three goals, Bly now is tied among ECHL rookies for the top spot in goal scoring. Robert Czarnik (4) and Patrick Cullen (3) had their goal-scoring streaks snapped.
- The Fuel PK was 3-for-3 and has now killed off eight consecutive power plays in the last two nights. Both teams were fairly disciplined, as only five penalties were called on the night.
- The team spread its offensive attack around. Brett Perlini, Mike Duco and Nick Jones led the Fuel with three shots apiece.
- Get used to seeing Evansville. The IceMen and Fuel will play a home-and-home next weekend, with a Halloween game at the Fairgrounds Coliseum and a Saturday-night game in Evansville.
Just one change from Friday’s lineup – Defenseman Dillon Fournier returned to the lineup after leaving Wednesday’s game early with a minor injury, replacing Kirill Gotovets.
Mike Duco-Brett Perlini-Pete Massar
Jamie Wise-Rhett Bly-Robert Czarnik
Patrick Cullen/Johnny McGuire-Matt White-Garrett Klotz
Ildar Telyakov-Anders Franzon
Mathieu Brisebois-Nick Jones
Dillon Fournier-Justin Holl
(B) Cody Reichard
Roster moves: The Fuel made a roster move Saturday prior to the game, activating defenseman Nick Bruneteau from the reserve list and placing defenseman Kirill Gotovets on reserve.
Scoring note: Robert Czarnik became the ECHL’s leading goal scorer after a scoring change credited Czarnik with his fifth goal of the year on the Fuel’s third goal Friday night in the 5-1 win over Missouri. The goal had been originally credited to Justin Holl, who was given an assist on the play.
Next up: The Fuel’s three-games-in-three-days stretch continues Sunday with a 3:05 p.m. game against the Fort Wayne Komets at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. It will be the third meeting on the young season between the Fuel and Komets.