The Indy Fuel are headed back home with a lot of new faces and a two-game winning streak.
The Fuel scored three goals in a 2:17 span of the second period Friday night, and then staved off a quick-strike rally by Quad City to beat the Mallards 6-3 at the iWireless Center in Moline.
The victory allowed the Fuel to split the four-game roadtrip at 2-2-0. They return home Saturday to face Tulsa, beginning a stretch of 10 straight games where they won’t venture more than a few miles out of Indiana.
Six different players found the net for the Fuel, with Alex Guptill tallying a goal and two assists. Josh Shalla had a goal and an assist and Alex Wideman two assists. Jake Hildebrand made 39 saves to backstop the victory. Newcomer Paul Zanette scored in his first game with the Fuel.
With the game tied 1-1, the Fuel seized control of the game in the opening moments of the second period. Shalla scored on a wraparound 58 seconds in. Eighteen seconds later, Guptill cashed in a centering feed from Wideman to put the Fuel up two. Two newcomers combined for the eventual game-winner, as Adam Phillips had the assist on Paul Zanette’s goal 3:15 into the second, giving the Fuel a 4-1 edge.
Quad City had a push, with Andrew Panzarella and Pavel Jenys scoring 22 seconds apart to cut the lead to 4-3 with 13:24 left in the second. The Fuel penalty kill had to defend the one-goal lead twice – once late in the second, once in the opening minutes of the third. After an effective kill – and a breakaway save by Hildebrand on Justin Kovacs – the Fuel got the critical insurance goal by Patrick D’Amico midway through the third. The unassisted goal gave Indy a two-goal cushion, and Matt Rupert’s empty-netter sealed it. Hildebrand made 16 saves in the third to preserve the victory.
In the first, Bryn Chyzyk gave the Fuel a lead 2:08 in. Alex Petan tied the contest for Quad Citiy at 15:37.
- Alex Guptill (Fuel) G/2A
- Josh Shalla (Fuel) G/A
- Alex Wideman (Fuel) 2A
- The Fuel are on their third winning streak of the season. They won back-to-back games to start the year, then followed with a six-game streak in November before beating Wichita and Quad City on this roadtrip. The two games had much different characters – the Wichita game was a 1-0 nailbiter that was decided on a third-period goal, this one a nine-goal shootout that saw several flurries of goals. The Fuel could have more – this streak was preceded by a tremendous effort in Allen that fell short on a late PPG.
- It’s going to be home sweet home for the Fuel. Between now and Feb. 12, the Fuel will play 11 games, and only venture outside Indiana twice – to play at Cincinnati Feb. 3 and at Kalamazoo Feb. 11. The Fuel will play 13 games in that stretch, nine of them at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
- Indy has found offense – the Fuel have now scored six goals five times this year, and three goals in a period nine times this season. In their last 10 games, the Fuel are averaging 3.3 goals per game.
- Six different players scored and 11 different skaters found their way onto the scoresheet with points.
- Zanette and Phillips were acquired in separate trades Thursday – Zanette from Greenville and Phillips from Norfolk. They both got on the scoresheet on teh game-winning goal. Phillips had two shots and was +2. Nick Mattson also returned to the lineup after missing three Fuel games due to a callup to the AHL.
- Alex Wideman added two assists to his team-leading total of 30 points with teh Fuel. He he five assists in his last three games. He had the primary assist on both of the early second-period goals, which came :18 apart. Those were the fastest two goals of the Fuel’s season.
- Alex Guptill had his first three-point game of the season with a goal and two assists. In the last five games, he has three goals and three assists, having tallied points in four of them. Over the last 10 games, he has five goals and five assists. He now has been a point-a-game player with the Fuel, with 13 points in 14 games in Indy.
- Josh Shalla is another player who has had a recnent hot stick. He tallied his third multi-point game as a member of the Fuel, and has two goals and three assists in his last four games. He has 10 points in 12 games in Indy.
- Since Christmas, Matt Rupert has produced for the Fuel, tallying four goals and three assists in the nine games. He was rewarded with the empty-netter in this contest, his ninth of the year and fourth in the last five games.
- Kevin Lynch (6 shots) and Patrick D’Amico (5 shots) were getting pucks to the net.. D’Amico’s goal was his second in three games.
- The Fuel are now 1-2-2 against Quad City, and 1-0-2 in Moline. The two teams meet five more times – four of them in Indy. The next meetings are Jan. 28-29 in the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
- Indy has nine forwards and eight defensemen on the active roster at the moment, so Chris Williams moved up front and took shifts at right wing.
Bryn Chyzyk-Kevin Lynch-Josh Shalla
Paul Zanette-Alex Wideman-Alex Guptill
Matt Rupert-Patrick D’Amico-Chris Williams
Nick Mattson-Jonathan Carlsson
Brandon Martell-Robin Press
Adam Phillips-Zach Miskovic
BU: Eric Levine
Scratches: Matt Stanisz, Brady Ramsay (res), Raphael Corriveau (IR), Cody Sharib (IR)
Next up: The Fuel host Tulsa at 7:35 p.m. Saturday, then travel to Fort Wayne at 5 p.m. Sunday.