INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel finished off their preseason with a 5-2 loss against the Fort Wayne Komets. In a 4-3 win on Friday night, the Fuel saw goals from new signings Alex Wideman and Randy Cure as well as two goals from returning forward Cody Sharib. Saturday night was a different story, as the Fuel came out very sluggish and dropped the second half of the home-and-home with Fort Wayne.
The first period was a rough one for Indy as they came out to a fired-up Fort Wayne team. The Komets put 15 shots on goaltender Eric Levine, he weathered all but one shot from Mason Baptista from behind the net that banked off an Indy defenseman. Turnovers in the neutral zone were a problem for the Fuel, the team had trouble stringing together multiple passes.
The second period could have gone better for Indy as the Komets put up three more goals to take a 4-1 lead. The first was an early back-door tap-in by David Friedmann. Levine continued to look solid in net but didn’t get much help from his defense.
Kyle Thomas put in the third goal for Fort Wayne, fighting off two defenders and putting a shot past Levine. Less than a minute later, Indy’s Martin Bellus would score on a two-on-one to give the Fuel their first goal of the game. Kevin Lynch decided to drop the gloves with Curtis Leonard to gain momentum for Indy but it backfired when Baptista scored on the power play from Lynch’s additional penalty.
Indy came out hard in the third period and looked strong to start. They were able to capitalize on that early momentum when Raphael Corriveau made a great spin-around pass to Marek Tvrdon who had an easy tap-in. Although Indy was much better in the third, turnovers continued to be a problem. Cody Sol put the game away for Fort Wayne after he buried one from the slot over Levine’s right shoulder.
Because of a very sluggish start, Indy fell 5-2. Throughout the game, the team had a lot of trouble stringing multiple passes together as well as several turnovers in the neutral zone. Eric Levine played excellently in his first game for the Fuel. He stopped 35 of 40 shots as well as a breakaway during the practice overtime.
Indy begins it’s season on Friday with a home-and-home match up with the Cincinnati Cyclones. After that, the team will head to Tulsa and Missouri for their second weekend of games.