Moments after Friday’s game, the Indy Fuel were already loading up for a six-game roadtrip building off a strong third period and finish.
Saturday night, the Fuel picked up where it left off Friday, with a strong effort on the road against one of the ECHL’s best teams. However, Toledo scored twice in the final 8:15 and then added an empty-netter to stymie a very strong Fuel effort and collect a 4-2 win over Indy.
Garett Bembridge had a goal and an assist for the Fuel, who outshot the Walleye in all three periods.
Toledo’s Kyle Rogers put the Walleye up 1-0 4:30 into the game, and things stayed that way for the rest of the first period and nearly all of the second – despite a 10-4 shot advantage for Indy in the second period. The Fuel also killed off a 47-second 5-on-3 against the ECHL’s top power play in the period.
The Fuel broke through with a minute to go in the second, as Bembridge tied the game with his 12th goal of the season. Indy continued to press in the third, and broke through when Mike Duco scored his eighth of the year on the power play to put the Fuel up 2-1 with 9:55 left.
Toledo answered, with a goal by Anthony Luciani to tie the game with 8:15 to go after Mac Carruth made a number of in-tight saves, and then Kyle Bonis scored on a sharp-angle shot on a counterrush after Toledo goaltender Jeff Lerg denied a Fuel scoring chance with 6:29 to go. That goal turned out to be the game-winner, putting the Walleye up 3-2.
Indy had a strong chance in the final five minutes, as Matt White was one-on-one with Lerg, but the Toledo goaltender made a strong save to keep the Walleye ahead. Toledo added an empty-netter to seal the game.
Indy was 1-for-3 on the PP. Toledo was 0-for-5.
The Fuel (6-21-6) are back in action Sunday at Wheeling.
IndyFuelHockey.com game story
- Anthony Luciani (TOL) G, A, +2
- Kyle Bonis (TOL) GWG
- Kyle Rogers (TOL) G
- The Fuel had one of their best 60-minute efforts of the season, and likely deserved better than a regulation loss after outshooting the ECHL’s best team (or what I’ve seen as the best team) … especially when the Fuel traveled the night before and Toledo did not play (the Walleye’s scheduled game Friday with Kalamazoo was postponed).
- With leading scorer Robert Czarnik out of the lineup, Garett Bembridge generated a lot of offense, with six shots, a goal and an assist.
- Justin Holl has been a strong performer on the Fuel blueline of late, and he pounded five shots on goal and also had the first assist on Bembridge’s goal.
- To hold Toledo’s PP without a goal in five chances, especially with 47 seconds of 5-on-3, is a real feather in the cap for the Fuel.
- If the third period last night and tonight’s effort are any indication, there’s quite a bit to be excited about going forward.
As best as can be figured from the gamesheet. Garett Bembridge took Robert Czarnik’s spot with Duco and Lindberg. Kirill Gotovets moved back to defense after playing several games up front. Gotovets started the game with Fournier, but he was paired with Franzon on several shifts.
Mike Duco-Nicklas Lindberg-Garett Bembridge
Rhett Bly-Kyle Stroh-Pete Massar
Dean Chelios-Matt White-Mathieu Brisebois
Kirill Gotovets-Anders Franzon
Dillon Fournier-Justin Holl
Sam Posa-Nick Bruneteau
BU: Shane Owen
Scratches: Robert Czarnik (F), Dan Ford (D)
Roster move: Johnny McGuire was placed on reserve, and Dean Chelios activated from reserve and in the lineup Friday.
Next up: The Fuel travel to Wheeling for a Sunday game. Puck drops at 4:05 p.m. Broadcast on WXNT-1430.