The Indy Fuel are going to feel what it’s like to be a baseball team – playing a three-game weekend series in the same venue against the same team.
They started a weekend series Friday against the Missouri Mavericks in Independence, but the hosts benefited from a borderline call at second base, which led to the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on Friday night.
Or, in hockey terms, a disputed interference penalty giving the Mavericks a power play in a tie game, which Matt Finn cashed in on, wiring a shot through traffic and into the net with 4:57 left in the third. It gave host Missouri a 4-3 victory over the Fuel in a game that featured a lot of physicality and snarl from both teams, and was the first of three games in three days between the two squads.
The tally was the first power play goal given up by the Fuel since Jan. 17 – a franchise-record span of 28 consecutive penalty kills – and sent Indy to its third straight road loss, a streak that’s interspersed with an also-active seven-game home winning streak.
Michael Colantone had a big night for Indy, tallying two goals as the Fuel responded quickly to each of the Mavericks’ first three goals. Old friend Reed Seckel – who began the year with the Fuel – countered with two goals and an assist for Missouri.
For the first half of the game, Missouri punched, and Indy responded. Bryce Aneloski gave the hosts a lead just 2:23 into the game, and the Fuel responded 67 seconds later when Colantone slipped the puck through a defenseman up the right side and then blasted a slapshot through Missouri goaltender Josh Robinson to tie the game at 1-1. Seckel made it 2-1 with 7:30 left in the first, but then sent the Fuel to a power play with a tripping call. On the ensuing man advantage, the Fuel worked the puck low to Daniel Ciampini along the goal line, who found Adam Lapsansky in front. Robinson stopped his initial shot, but Colantone pounced on the weak-side rebound and buried it into the open side to tie the game at 2-2 after a period.
Indy dominated the opening frame in terms of chances – outshooting the hosts 17-5. Missouri turned the tables in the second with a 10-6 shot edge, but just like the opening period, it ended up even. Again, Seckel opened the second with an early goal, and Lapsansky answered 72 seconds later to tie the game at 3-3 just 3:44 into the third. Lapsansky took a feed from Anders Franzon in the high slot and blasted a slapshot through traffic and into the net for his sixth goal in 15 games with Indy.
Robinson and the Fuel’s Shane Owen dominated the third. Indy had a power play midway through the period come up empty, and a disputed interference call on Patrick Koudys set up Missouri for its final chance, which Finn cashed in on.
Owen stopped 18 shots in the Fuel net, playing in his eighth consecutive game. Robinson, who has yet to lose a game in regulation this season, made 30 saves in the Mavericks’ net.
The two teams meet again at 8:05 p.m. Saturday night in Independence, and close out the series at 5:05 p.m. Sunday afternoon., after which the Fuel will head to Orlando for a three-game set.
- Matt Finn (MO) GWG
- Reed Seckel (MO) 2G, A, +3
- Ross Johnston (MO) 3A, +3, 6 SOG
- Missouri is the top team in the league for a reason, and one of those is the play of Josh Robinson, While the Fuel solved him three times, he’s now 25-0-1 in the Mavericks’ net and has won 20 straight starts. He made a couple of incredible saves in the third to keep it tied, and later, keep his team in the lead.
- Michael Colantone is a versatile player for the Fuel, and showed it tonight with two goals, one with a nifty move and another by cleaning things up in front on the power play. He also had seven shots on goal to lead the Fuel. He tallied his first career two-goal game, and his second two-point game, and now has seven goals in 20 games.
- When Adam Lapsansky scores, he scores in bunches. In the 15 games he’s played in North America, the veteran winger has scored in eight. Tonight marked his fourth multi-point game.
- Daniel Ciampini has had a hot stick. He tallied his second straight two-point game with two assists and his third straight game with a point. The rookie winger has tallied points in five of his last seven games, with four multi-point games in that stretch. Rhett Bly had an assist to give him points in seven of his last 10 games, also wielding a hot stick of late.
- Lapsansky and Ciampini both had multi-point games on the Fuel’s top scoring line, but the threat of secondary scoring from all three lines makes the Fuel a dangerous team. The Fuel have tallied three goals or more in six of their last eight games, going 4-2-0 in those games and 5-3-0 overall in that stretch.
- Anders Franzon also had an assist for the second straight game.
- Both teams were 1-4 on the power play.
- Indy is 0-3 against Missouri this season, with all three games in Independence. Two were by 4-2 scores, one by a 4-3 score.
- It’s rare when the Fuel score thrice in regulation and lose – they’re now 18-2-1 when scoring at least three – but both of their last two losses have been by 4-3 scores.
- Cincinnati beat Fort Wayne on Friday, so the Fuel fell to third place by one point in the standings – Cincy has 51 points, the Fuel 50 with a 24-23-2 record. The Fuel are currently in eighth place in the Western Conference standings, two points ahead of ninth-place Colorado.
Adam Lapsansky-Alex Lavoie-Daniel Ciampini
Dylan Clarke-Brandon Wong-Peter Schneider
Cody Sharib-Michael Colantone-Rhett Bly
Nick Petrecki-Zach Miskovic
Nick Mattson-Anders Franzon
Patrick Koudys-Ben Marshall
BU: Keegan Asmundson
Scratches: Andrew Johnston (F), Trevor Campbell (D)