As the players carried their equipment to board the bus for Quad City Saturday night, coach Bernie John promised more hard work – and also potentially a few new wrinkles – and hoped for some more offense in a must-win game.
All three came to fruition as the Indy Fuel scored three times in the second period to defeat the Quad City Mallards 3-1 Sunday at the iWireless Center in Moline, Ill.
The victory continued the Fuel’s mastery over their fowl foes – the Fuel have won seven of the nine meetings between the two teams with one game remaining, April 3 in Moline.
The effort was strong, and there were a few twists to the lineup – after seeing a few shifts at left wing Saturday night against Brampton, Patrick Koudys moved up from his blueline spot and played wing.
Indy surrendered the first goal, as Jordan Knackstedt scored in the opening minutes for the Mallards, but the Fuel dominated the middle 20 minutes, and used that domination to carry it to a victory.
Dylan Clarke tied things up 3:56 into the second by taking advantage of a turnover. He intercepted an attempted clearing pass and tucked the puck into the vacated net to tie the game at 1-1.
Ben Marshall made it 2-1 with Tanner Eberle in the box midway through the period. A Fuel power play with a lot of puck control and movement found Marshall at the right point. The league’s highest-scoring rookie blueliner skated in and ripped his 10th goal of the season at 11:20 of the second.
Matt White made it 3-1 by driving the center lane and converting a feed from defenseman Anders Franzon in the final minute of the second, a period in which the Fuel outshot their hosts 12-5 and carried the play.
In the third, Keegan Asmundson came up big, stopping all 16 shots he faced to notch his third victory in a Fuel sweater. The Fuel had to kill off one power play i the period – which they did successfully. Asmundson stopped 27 shots in the game.
Cody Sharib also had two assists to help pace the Fuel attack.
The Fuel moved to within seven points of a playoff spot – the final spot being held by Quad City – with seven games now to play. All of the Fuel’s remaining games will be against Midwest Division foes. They’ll play the next three against Cincinnati, then finish up with three games against Fort Wayne sandwiched around at trip to Quad City.
- Keegan Asmundson (Fuel) 27 saves
- Dylan Clarke (Fuel) G
- Cody Sharib (Fuel) 2A
- The Fuel continue to dominate their division, and are now 22-11-3 against foes from the Midwest Division (including 7-1-1 against the Mallards).
- Keegan Asmundson had a solid start. He now In his three victories, he has allowed just four goals. He is now 3-4-0 with a .919 save percentage and 2.38 GAA with the Fuel this season.
- It was great to see Dylan Clarke find the back of the net. The big forward has been playing great hockey in the last couple of weeks. He tallied his first goal since Feb. 13, and it was a big one, tying the game up.
- With two assists, Cody Sharib had a solid weekend, as he also had a goal in Saturday’s game. He now has 14 goals and 13 assists on the year with a three-point weekend.
- Ben Marshall became the sixth active Fuel player – and first defenseman – to hit double-digits in goals this season. He has 10 goals and 31 points. He also has a three-game point streak going, with two goals and an assist in the last three contests.
- The Fuel’s power play has now connected for three straight games. The Fuel were 1-for-2 with the man advantage, with Marshall’s goal making them 3-for-8 in the last three games.
- The PK had to start a new streak after having a run of 17 straight kills dating back to March 5 snapped Saturday night. The Fuel were 3-for-3, and have now killed off six straight. Indy is 23 for its last 24 on the PK.
- Even with two relatively-familiar foes and the same referee as Saturday night’s penalty-filled game against Brampton – Chris Pontes called both games – Sunday’s game was relatively tame. One night after the Fuel played a game that saw six skirmishes that saw either roughing minors or fighting majors dished out – five minor penalties were called total between the teams.
- The first day of the week has been good to the Fuel. Since Christmas, they’re 6-2-0 in Sunday games.
- The Fuel made one roster move over the weekend, as Jeromy Stemtner signed as the team’s backup goaltender. The Chicago native played 23 games in the FHL this season for the Brewster Bulldogs.
Patrick Koudys-Alex Lavoie-Daniel Ciampini
Dylan Clarke-Brandon Wong-Peter Schneider
Cody Sharib-Matt White-Rhett Bly
Nick Mattson-Zach Miskovic
Nick Petrecki-Anders Franzon
Sam Jardine-Ben Marshall
BU: Jeromy Stemtner
Scratches: Casey Thrush, Michael Colantone, Trevor Campbell, Mike Seidel (IR)
Next up: The Fuel host the Cincinnati Cyclones in games Thursday and Friday at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.