The Indy Fuel had a solid start and a big boost from their newest face, but Fort Wayne came roaring back with five consecutive goals to beat the Fuel 5-2 Saturday night at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
The game clinched the Midwest Division title for the Komets, and are getting players back from both the AHL and injuries at the right time. The Fuel were hoping to play spoiler after being eliminated from the playoffs Friday night, and will try to do so again Sunday in Quad City.
The Fuel had a solid start, outshooting the Komets 8-2 through the first 12 minutes and scoring the first goal.
The lead came off the stick of Colin Murray, who skated into the slot and cashed in a Dylan Clarke feed from behind the net 11:32 into the game. It came on the Fuel’s eighth shot – and the third for Murray, who joined the Fuel from Brampton earlier in the week. Saturday was his Fuel debut.
Fort Wayne evened the game on a breakaway goal by Garrett Meurs later in the period, and took a 3-1 lead in the second on goals by Leo Thomas and Kyle Thomas in the latter half of the frame. In the third, Shawn Szydlowski scored a power play goal and Paul Crowder added a later tally to give the hosts a 5-1 lead before Nick Petrecki scored his fourth goal of the year on the power play in the closing minutes.
Terry Shafer made 29 saves in his first career start for the Fuel. Spencer Martin stopped 29 of the 31 Indy starts in the Fort Wayne net. He had recently been reassigned to the Komets after winning AHL Goaltender of the Week honors last week with San Antonio.
The Fuel are back in action Sunday at Quad City. They have two games remaining with Fort Wayne, including the home finale Friday at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
- Garrett Meurs (FW) G, A
- Paul Crwoder (FW) G, A
- Spencer Martin (FW) 29 saves
- Nick Petrecki’s third-period goal gave him a career-high for goals in a season with four. He had three goals in 2010-11 with the AHL’s Worcester Sharks. He now has 12 career goals in seven seasons.
- Dylan Clarke assisted on both Fuel goals, his seventh multi-point game of the season.
- With the loss, the Fuel are now 3-5-1 against Fort Wayne this season, making the Komets the only Midwest Division team to win the season series with the Fuel this year. Indy is 24-13-3 against division foes. The teams have two games remaining against each other.
- Terry Shafer was impressive during the third period on Friday and earned his first pro start. He was solid through the first half of the game, allowing only a breakaway goal, and made 29 saves against one of the league’s top offenses.
- Fort Wayne was 1-3 on the PP. The Fuel converted on their only power play of the night – coming late in the game.
- Fort Wayne clinched the Midwest Division title with the win, which will likely earn it the No. 2 seed in the ECHL’s Western Conference playoffs.
Daniel Ciampini-Alex Lavoie-Peter Schneider
Dylan Clarke-Brandon Wong-Colin Murray
Cody Sharib-Matt White-Rhett Bly
Nick Petrecki-Anders Franzon
Kevin Clare-Ben Marshall
Sam Jardine-Trevor Campbell
BU: Keegan Asmundson
Scratches: Rob De Fulviis, Patrick Koudys, Justin Hussar, Mike Seidel (IR)
Roster moves: On Friday, Daniel Ciampini was returned from AHL Rockford. The Fuel also signed forward Justin Hussar on Saturday and announced the team has released forward Malcolm Gould.
Next up: The Fuel travel to Quad City on Sunday for a 5 p.m. faceoff.