Game 3: Fuel at Tulsa

For the first time since they both joined the ECHL, the Indy-Tulsa rivalry was renewed Friday night.

It probably doesn’t come to the forefront of the city’s great rivalries like the epic Indy-Fort Wayne or Indy-Cincinnati matchups, but it conjures up memories of Yvan Corbin and Chris MacKenzie against Dougie Lawrence, or going back farther, Jon Vanbiesbrouck and Kelly Hrudey dueling in the net.

Friday night, Tulsa got the upper hand in the renewal, beating the Fuel 6-1 behind two goals each from Adam Pleskach and Darcy Murphy.

The game matched teams that went unbeaten last weekend – Tulsa won its opener, while the Fuel swept Cincinnati – in Tulsa’s home opener.

The game started with quick fireworks, with Pleskach scoring just 70 seconds in, but the Fuel’s highly-productive top line struck again just 64 seconds later, when Tyler Currier buried Kevin Lynch’s rebound to tie the game. Nick Mattson started the play with a cross-ice back-door feed, which Tulsa’s Jamie Phillips stopped, but the rebound came to Currier in the slot, who beat two Oilers to the puck and fired it into the net.

Tulsa broke things open in the second period with three goals in 5:58, including two power play goals from Darcy Murphy and an unassisted shorthanded goal from Dan DeSalvo. Pleskach added an insurance goal early in the third and Shawn Bates scored late in the period to extend the Oilers’ lead in what was a penalty-filled game. Indy had a five-minute power play when Tulsa’s Emerson Clark was sent off for a fighting major and an instigating minor when he engaged Indy’s Martin Bellus – who received a roughing minor in the altercation – but was unable to cash in.

Indy was 0-for-6 with the man advantage. Tulsa was 2-for-6 and added a shorthanded goal.

Jake Hildebrand made 25 saves in the Indy net. Phillips stopped 21 of 22 shots for Tulsa.

Boxscore

3 stars

  1. Darcy Murphy (TUL) 2G
  2. Wes Cunningham (TUL) 2A, 4 shots
  3. Adam Pleskach (TUL) 2G, 6 shots

Takeaways

  1. Special teams were clearly key for Tulsa, which scored all three of its second-period goals on them. Tulsa was 2-for-6 with the PP, a perfect 6-for-6 on the PK and had a shorthanded goal. Indy is looking for its first PPG this season in 10 attempts, while the Fuel PK had been perfect on the year entering Friday night. It is now 11-for-13.
  2. The Fuel’s line of Kevin Lynch, Alex Wideman and Tyler Currier continues to produce. They’ve scored five of the team’s six goals this season and collectively have 11 points, with Wideman scoring three, Currier now tallying two goals and two assists, and Lynch adding three assists.
  3. Murphy is having a heck of a start to the season – back-to-back 2-goal games for the rookie. He has four goals and five points.
  4. New acquisition Paxton Leroux wasted little time making friends. Leroux fought Tulsa’s Reid Halabi 9:56 into the game, each drawing seven minutes in penalties. It wasn’t the game’s only altercation – Halabi would draw a roughing minor later in the game, and Tulsa’s Emerson Clark would instigate a fight with Martin Bellus in the third. Tulsa had 46 penalty minutes, Indy 21 in the game.

Lineup
Lines approximated from the gamesheet

Tyler Currier-Alex Wideman-Kevin Lynch
Marek Tvrdon-Anthony Beauregard-Martin Bellus
Matt Rupert-Patrick D’Amico-Brady Ramsay
Paxton Leroux

Nick Mattson-Matt Stanisz
Drew Schiestel-Zach Miskovic
Randy Cure-Jonathan Carlsson

Jake Hildebrand
BU: Eric Levine

Scratches: Kyle Shapiro, Cody Sharib, Raphael Corriveau, Dillon Fournier

Next up: Indy is in Missouri for a Saturday tilt to conclude a three-game road swing. The Fuel return to Indy next weekend to face Tulsa and Allen.