The Indy Fuel had a perfect finish to their three-game Alaska trip, as Jake Hildebrand stopped 37 shots to post a shutout and backstop a 2-0 victory over the Alaska Aces.
Indy went 2-1-0 on the trip, and has its second two-game win streak of the season. The Fuel are 4-6-1 on the season.
Hildebrand had to survive a third-period onslaught, as Alaska threw 15 shots at his net – many coming with the game still 1-0. It was Hildebrand’s first shutout, the Fuel’s first this season, and the seventh in franchise history.
After a scoreless first period on the large Sullivan Arena sheet, the Fuel broke the ice in the second when Anthony Beauregard took the puck from behind the net and stuffed a wraparound in-between the post and goaltender Michael Gartieg’s leg pad. It was his third goal of the season, and second in as many games.
The score held until Matt Rupert jumped onto a rebound in the slot and trickled it through Gartieg with 4:39 to go to give Indy a critical insurance goal. Anchorage native Tyler Currier took the initial shot from the point and got an assist on the play.
Alaska had the game’s only power play, which the Fuel killed.
Indy now returns home, where it will play four straight games and seven of the next eight in the friendly confines of the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, starting with a game against Wheeling at 7:35 p.m. Friday.
- Jake Hildebrand (Fuel) 37 saves, shutout
- Anthony Beauregard (Fuel) GWG
- Michael Gartieg (AK) 29 saves, 2GA
- So much can come from an early-season road trip – especially from a team that’s still getting to know each other, as the Fuel are doing this early in the season. Much more can come when a team comes away away from the trip with two wins and four points. The Fuel players spent a day of team bonding at Tyler Currier’s cabin earlier in the week, and were able to bond both on and off the ice, which can be key.
- Jake Hildebrand can be spectacular – as we saw in the opening two games when he had two one-goal performances. Saturday marked his first career pro shutout. He is now 4-0-0 when allowing two goals or less, and he has allowed one goal or less three times in his seven starts.
- Hildebrand’s shutout was the Fuel’s first since Jan. 9, 2016 when Shane Owen stopped 32 shots to beat Evansville 3-0.
- Anthony Beauregard was a big scorer in the QMJHL last season, and has shown that on this trip, scoring two goals in back-to-back games. Marek Tvrdon and Matt Stanisz had the assists on the goal.
- Matt Rupert’s goal was his first as a member of the Fuel. He had 11 goals for Orlando last season.
- Tyler Currier was able to have a couple of strong games in his hometown, with two points in the last two games – both assists. He had the assist on Rupert’s third-period insurance goal.
- After playing a lot on the road to start the season – Indy has played seven of its 11 contests away from home – it’ll be time for home cooking around Thanksgiving. The Fuel play seven of their next eight contests at home, including six of seven in a busy 10-day span that begins Friday.
- The game was almost penalty-free – a sharp contrast from a Friday contest that saw eight fighting majors handed out. The only power play was a slashing minor to Matt Rupert in the first period. In the final seconds of the third, Currier and Alaska’s Tim Coffman had a scrap that led to each getting a double roughing minor.
Kevin Lynch-Alex Wideman-Evan Mosey
Marek Tvrdon-Anthony Beauregard-Tyler Currier
Martin Bellus-Patrick D’Amico-Brady Ramsay
Nick Mattson-Jonathan Carlsson
Drew Schiestel-Randy Cure
Matt Stanisz-Chris Williams
BU: Eric Levine
Scratches: Bryn Chyzyk, Cody Sharib, Raphael Corriveau, Paxton Leroux (IR), Zach Miskovic (IR)
Next up: The Fuel host Wheeling at 7:35 p.m. Friday at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, followed by two games against Atlanta at 7:35 p.m. Saturday and at 3:05 p.m. Sunday. It will be the first meeting of the season for the Fuel against both teams.