The Indy Fuel and Evansville IceMen are getting to be pretty familiar with each other this early in the season.
They met for the third time this year – and the second time in three days – in Evansville Friday night, but this time, the host IceMen skated away with a 4-2 victory.
Evansville took the lead with two goals 38 seconds apart in the second period, turning a 2-1 Indy advantage into a 3-2 lead for the team from the Pocket City. Old friend Alex Wideman then scored 22 seconds into the third to give the IceMen a 4-2 advantage.
Indy fell to 4-3-1 heading into Saturday’s home game against Quad City.
The Fuel fell behind early on a goal by Evansville’s Troy Rutkowski, but answered quickly. Dylan Clarke scored on the game’s first power play, burying a rebound in tight. It marked his team-leading fifth goal of the season – and his fourth on the PP.
Ben Marshall, who assisted on Clarke’s goal, then scored his first career professional goal, burying a one-timer set up by Daniel Ciampini with 2:22 left in the first to give the Fuel a 2-1 lead. Nick Mattson, who returned to the Fuel this week after a stint in the AHL with Rockford, also assisted on the goal for his first professional point.
Evansville’s Tyson Fawcett tied the game on a feed from teammate Ryan Penny at 9:53 of the second period, and Daultan Levielle gave the IceMen a lead 38 seconds later.
The Fuel outshot the IceMen 31-27, but Christoffer Bengtsberg stopped 29 shots, including all 13 in the second period and five in the third. Mac Carruth stopped 23 of the 27 Evansville shots, making his second straight start in net.
- Christoffer Bengtsberg (EVV) 29 saves
- Sebastian Strandberg (EVV) 2 primary assists, +2
- Ben Marshall (Fuel) G, A
- Is there a hotter stick than Ben Marshall right now? He tallied his third straight two-point game – this time with a goal and an assist. He had the second assist on Clarke’s goal before ripping his first pro goal himself. Marshall is the first player in Fuel history to pot three straight multi-point game.s
- Answering the question above, if there is anyone hotter in a Fuel sweater, it’s Dylan Clarke, who has proved to gas up the Fuel’s power play. He has scored in four of the last five games, and all of them have come with the man advantage. Clarke has scored four of the Fuel’s six PPGs this season.
- Nick Mattson’s assist on Marshall’s goal was his first professional point. It was an all-rookie goal, as Daniel Ciampini had the other assist.
- Evansville’s win was the first regulation loss by the Fuel to the IceMen since Oct. 25, 2014. Indy is now 2-1-0 against the IceMen.
- Not only have six of the Fuel’s first eight games been on the road, six of the first eight have been against teams from Indiana, as they’ve played Evansville and Fort Wayne thrice each – with five of those games coming on the road. The Fuel have crossed the state line just once this year – last Tuesday to go to Kalamazoo. They won’t leave the state again until Nov. 20, when they cross the Ohio line (barely) to go to Cincinnati.
- Ciampini was the one player for the Fuel who had a positive +/-, as he finished +1.
- As is often the case, Garett Bembridge was getting the puck on net tonight. He finished with a team-high six shots. Kyle Stroh and Ben Marshall had four each.
- Two players who were teammates in the Circle City as juniors – Mattson and Evansville’s Alex Wideman – picked up their first professional points. Wideman was assigned to Evansville from AHL Binghamton earlier this week, and had Evansville’s fourth goal tonight. The duo played with the Ice from 2009-11, before going to college – Mattson to North Dakota, Wideman to Miami.
Based on the gamesheet
Daniel Ciampini-Josh Brittain-Rhett Bly
Dylan Clarke-Kyle Stroh-Peter Schneider
Alex Lavoie-Matt White-Garett Bembridge
Nick Mattson-Ben Marshall
Kevin Quick-Anders Franzon
Dillon Fournier-Zach Miskovic
BU: Shane Owen
Scratches: Cody Sharib, Reed Seckel (res), Patrick Koudys (res), David Pszenyczny (IR)
Next up: The Fuel play the first of three straight home games Saturday at 7:35 p.m. against Quad City at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Alaska then visits Nov. 13-14 for a pair of 7:35 p.m. games. The Stanley Cup will be in the house for the Nov. 13 game.