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Fuel Open Weekend Series with 5-4 Shootout Win

Photo by James Cocherell - ISR
Photo by James Cocherell – ISR

INDIANAPOLIS – On the road in their first of three games in three nights, the Indy Fuel survived an Evansville IceMen rally en route to a 5-4 shootout victory.

With the victory, Indy is now 24-23-8 and above .500 for the first time this season. Indy remains one point behind the Kalamazoo Wings with both teams having played 55 games.

The eighth shooter for Fuel coach Scott Hillman, forward Pete Massar bested IceMen goaltender Chris Driedger in the decisive round of the shootout. Center Nicklas Lindberg scored as Indy’s third shooter, while winger Garett Bembridge kept the Fuel in contention with his goal in the fifth round of the skills competition.

Fuel starter Shane Owen earned the 41-save victory, but was peppered by 45 shots in regulation and overtime. Once again skating 11 forwards and only five defensemen, Indy started strong with a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes but faltered to the lowly IceMen as the game wore on.

Kyle Stroh opened the scoring for Indy 7:31 into the game with assists from Chris DeSousa and the newly reassigned Justin Holl. Defenseman Nick Jones potted his third of the year minutes later and center Matt White followed up with a goal assisted by Evan Vossen and Garrett Klotz.

Fuel captain Mike Duco continued the onslaught with eventually chased Evansville starter Branden Komm after just one period.

Indy was 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-1 on their lone penalty kill of the night. Fuel forwards DeSousa and Dean Chelios both captured their first fighting majors of the ECHL season during the game’s second period.

Notes & Transactions

  • The Fuel scratched enforcer Johnny McGuire, but top line left wing Vincent Arseneau was missing from the lineup as well. Whether it is an injury or part of an upcoming transaction (The AHL trade deadline is March 9th and the recall/deadline assignment is March 11th at 11:59 local time.
  • Reassigned from the Rockford IceHogs, center Jamie Wise did not report to Evansville for yesterday’s game. Unless anything unexpected occurs, he will skate with the Fuel tonight against the Wheeling Nailers.
  • In his first game with Indy since being recalled to the AHL, Justin Holl registered an assist and two shots on goal.
  • The Fuel continues to experiment with Evan Vossen (Assist, -1 rating & 2 SOG yesterday) as a defenseman, but have given up a SOG total each time. After a 45 SOG total to the offensively challenged IceMen and Wise entering the Fuel lineup once again, Dan Ford may be activated prior to tonight’s game.

Michael Guzman is the Indy Fuel Beat Writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Follow him and ISR on Twitter. 

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