The Indy Fuel have given the league-leading Missouri Mavericks a handful of punches in their four meetings this season.
But Saturday, a furious Fuel comeback fell just short as Missouri held on for a 5-4 victory. Missouri has now won the first two games of the weekend series, both by one goal, and has won all four meetings between the teams this season, all of which have been in the Mavericks’ home arena.
Michael Colantone had his second straight two-point game with two assists, while Rhett Bly, Dylan Clarke, Peter Schneider and Zach Miskovic all scored for the Fuel.
A four-goal second period gave Missouri a lead, and winger Ross Johnston’s power play tally – his second goal of the game – put the hosts up 5-2 with 7:57 left in the third.
But Indy kept coming, as Schneider wired a shot into the net with 4:47 left off a feed from Colantone for his 13th goal of the season. With 2:53 left, Alex Lavoie fed Miskovic for a blast that cut the Mavericks’ lead to one. Colantone had a prime chance late, but Missouri goaltender Parker Milner was able to make the save and the Mavericks were able to bleed the clock dry.
Indy came out with a lot of jump, and Rhett Bly gave the visitors a first-period lead with his 13th goal of the year. He set up at the right circle, took a feed from Colantone from below the goal line, and waited to pick his spot and rifle the puck past Milner. The Fuel held a 14-6 shot advantage in a feisty first period, with Bly scoring the lone goal.
Missouri turned the tables in the second. Rocco Carzo tied the game 1:23 into the period and Johnston gave his team the lead less than two minutes later. Carzo scored a power play goal with 9:43 left in the second to give the Mavericks a 3-1 edge, but shortly thereafter, Jesse Root took a slashing minor and the Fuel took advantage, as Dylan Clarke beautifully batted a point shot from Miskovic out of the air and into the net to cut the deficit to one.
Missouri pushed its lead back to two when defenseman Chris Owens scored late in the period, one that saw the hosts have a 19-5 shot edge.
Shane Owen made 29 saves in the Fuel net, while Milner stopped 29 of the 33 Fuel shots.
The teams play their third game in as many days at 5:05 p.m. Sunday to close out the weekend set.
- Rocco Carzo (MO), 2G
- Ross Johnston (MO) 2G
- Tanner Fritz (MO) 3A, 6 shots
- When the Fuel score three goals in a game, they’re 18-3-1, but the Fuel’s last three losses have come by scores of 4-3, 4-3 and 5-4. The positive is that the Fuel have been scoring goals at a brisk clip, tallying at least three in five of the last six games and seven of the last nine. Indy is now 5-1-1 when scoring at least four times in regulation.
- The Fuel showed strong resiliency to come back from a three-goal deficit on the road and come within an eyelash of tying the game.
- Defenseman Patrick Koudys finished the day with a +3 rating. The rookie has given Indy strong depth on the blueline, and was on the ice for all three Fuel even-strength goals tonight.
- Michael Colantone has had an outstanding weekend. After a two-goal Friday, he had a two-assist Saturday, setting up Bly’s first goal and getting the lone assist on Schneider’s third-period tally that got Indy back in it. He now has seven goals and five assists in 21 games after his third career two-point game – and second in as many nights.
- Zach Miskovic says offense is a bonus given his responsibilities as a defenseman, but he’s been a big part of the Fuel generating offense from the blueline. Tonight, he had a goal and an assist, and has 17 points on the season. Tonight marked his fourth two-point game of the year.
- Bly and Schneider’s goals each gave them 13 for the season, tying them for the team lead in scoring. Schneider had a team-high six shots and snapped a brief three-game scoreless streak. Bly tallied a point for the eighth time in 11 games.
- Brandon Wong had his first point as a member of the Fuel, getting the second assist on Clarke’s baseball-style deflection in the second period. The other player who came in the trade, defenseman Trevor Campbell, made his Fuel debut and was +1 with one shot.
- Dylan Clarke is Mr. Power Play. His goal was his eighth of the year, but his fifth on the man advantage. He scored his first goal since Dec. 19 – shortly before he missed a month with an injury.
- Both teams had 15 minutes of penalties, but defenseman Nick Petrecki earned seven of them on a first-period bout with Eric Nielson, as both got five for fighting and additional minors for removing their helmets during the fight.
- Missouri was 2-4 on the power play, while Indy was 1-4.
Adam Lapsansky-Alex Lavoie-Daniel Ciampini
Dylan Clarke-Brandon Wong-Peter Schneider
Cody Sharib-Michael Colantone-Rhett Bly
Nick Petrecki-Zach Miskovic
Ben Marshall-Anders Franzon
Patrick Koudys-Trevor Campbell
BU: Keegan Asmundson
Scratches: Matt White (F)
Roster move: Prior to the game, defenseman Nick Mattson was recalled by AHL Rockford. Also, Josh Brittain returned to the Fuel as Tulsa voided that part of an earlier trade. Brittain was placed on 21-day injured reserve.