INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel began a six-game homestand on Friday looking to get back on the winning track after having a three-game win streak snapped by the Fort Wayne Komets. Friday night, Indy began their second weekend in a row with three games in three nights.
Weekend Review: Indy’s first game after the ECHL All-Star break was a Friday night matchup with the Toledo Walleye. 16 seconds into the game, the Fuel found themselves on a familiar track, down 1-0. Coming into the game, Indy was rolling with eight forwards due to an injury to Paul Zanette and assistant captain Kevin Lynch being loaned to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. Captain and normally defenseman, Zach Miskovic started at forward along with defenseman Chris Williams.
The Fuel gave up two more goals in the second period and was only able to put up one of their own from the team leading scorer, Alex Wideman. A fourth and final goal in the third period put the Fuel away and handed them their second loss in a row. Goaltender Jake Hildebrand stopped 37 shots on Friday and kept the Fuel from being down even more to the ECHL’s first place team.
The Cincinnati Cyclones visited on Saturday for a back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Indy’s performance on Saturday night in front of just over five thousand fans was one of their best all season. The line of Ryan Keller, Bryn Chyzyk and Josh Shalla had two of the three Indy goals along with Chris Williams scoring the third goal of the
game. Williams would drop the gloves with Arvin Atwal, giving him two-thirds of a Gordie Howe hat-trick. Jake Hildebrand stopped all 46 shots from the Cyclones, picking up his third shutout of the season.
Sunday afternoon was a totally different story compared to Saturday’s shutout victory. The Cyclones came out with a vengeance on Sunday, tallying three goals in the opening period. Again, Indy was playing their third game in three days with a short roster. Although the Fuel outshot the Cyclones in the second and third period 30-19, Indy was unable to get anything past Mark Visentin.
Standout Players: Goaltender Jake Hildebrand made 114 saves this weekend in three games and picked up his third shutout of the season on Saturday. Although he was shutout on Sunday afternoon, Josh Shalla has ten points (3g, 7a) in his last seven games. Shalla who has tallied 98 goals and 99 assists in his career is two goals and one assist away from 100 in each category.
A Look Ahead: Indy will continue their six-game homestand on Friday night when the Rapid City Rush come to town. The Rush sit just six points ahead of Indy in Western Conference standings. Saturday, the Quad City Mallards will come to Indy for a back-to-back at the Coliseum.