The Indy Fuel welcomed two familiar faces back to the lineup in Peter Schneider and Daniel Ciampini on Wednesday.
Schneider scored a first-period goal, but the Fuel again ran into a top goaltender playing at the top of his game in a 5-1 loss to the homesteading Walleye in an afternoon “school day” game.
The Fuel’s three-game roadtrip continues with Friday and Saturday games in Evansville, before a return engagement with Toledo at 3:05 p.m. Sunday at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Toledo’s Zach Nastasiuk and Kyle Bushee scored 35 seconds apart late in the second period to break a 1-all tie in the final six minutes of second. Nastasiuk then fed Alden Hirschfeld for an insurance goal early in the third, and scored a late empty-netter to complete a three-point day.
Scott Czarnowczan scored midway through the first to give Toledo a lead, but Indy answered when defenseman Ben Marshall held the puck at the right point and fired a perfect cross-ice pass to Schneider at the left side of the net, which the forward fired into a wide-open side to tie the game at 1-1 with 4:10 to go in the first, coming one second after a penalty expired.
The Fuel went 0-for-4 with the man advantage, and surrendered just one power play to the host Walleye. Indy had three first-period power plays and another midway through the third, a period in which the Fuel outshot the Walleye 11-5.
Mac Carruth stopped 21 shots in the Fuel net. Toledo’s Jeff Lerg stopped 29 of the 30 Fuel shots.
- Zach Nastasiuk (TOL) 2G, A, +3
- Alden Hirschfeld (TOL) G, A, +4
- Jeff Lerg (TOL) 29 saves, 1 GA
- Wins continue to be hard to come by for the Fuel, who are now 1-10-1 in their last 12 games against a number of the ECHL’s top teams. They have scored one goal five times and two goals six times in this stretch of games.
- Having Schneider and Ciampini back in the lineup will be a big boost to the offense, which now boasts three lines with players who have 20-goal potential. Ciampini had three shots. Schneider, who had missed eight games with an injury and last played Nov. 27, immediately chipped in with a goal, his fifth in 17 games. Schneider was also the only player to finish with a plus for the day, with a +1.
- Ben Marshall’s assist gives him 12 for the year, second on the team to Alex Lavoie. He has a point in three of his last four games.
- The Fuel generated a lot of offense from the points – Zach Miskovic (5) and Anders Franzon (3) were among the shots on goal leaders as Indy held a 30-26 shot edge. Josh Brittain (4), Kyle Stroh (3) and Daniel Ciampini (3) were also among the leaders.
- Toledo snapped a string of four games where the Fuel allowed three or fewer goals. The Walleye were also the last team to score 4+ on the Fuel on Dec. 4.
- This was the fourth of seven meetings between the Fuel and Toledo this season. Indy is 1-3-0 in the series. The fifth meeting is Sunday back in Indy, and the two teams will also meet once in February, and once in March. Seven of the Fuel’s 17 games against the Eastern Conference will be against the Walleye.
The Fuel welcomed both Daniel Ciampini – who was assigned by Rockford – and Peter Schnieder back to the lineup.
Lines based on the gamesheet
Daniel Ciampini-Alex Lavoie-Garett Bembridge
Dylan Clarke-Josh Brittain-Peter Schneider
Cody Sharib-Kyle Stroh-Rhett Bly
Nick Mattson-Zach Miskovic
Kevin Quick-Sam Jardine
Ben Marshall-Anders Franzon
BU: Shane Owen
Scratches: Matt White, Patrick Koudys (res), Dillon Fournier (IR)
Next up: The Fuel are in Evansville for games Friday and Saturday night before welcoming Toledo to the Indiana Farmers Coliseum for a 3:05 p.m. Sunday tilt.