INDIANAPOLIS – After winning both of their games last weekend and falling to the Wheeling Nailers on Tuesday, the Indy Fuel were looking to get back on the winning track in their first of three games in three nights. The Quad City Mallards were in town on Thursday night for the fifth game of an 11 game series throughout the season.
It took a while for the game to get going. Throughout the first half of the opening period, both teams traded low percentage chances until the Fuel opened the scoring just under halfway through. After combining for five goals and seven assists over Indy’s last six games, the Rupert twins were at it again. Ryan Rupert forced the Quad City defense to turn over the puck at their blue line, giving the puck to Johnny McInnis, who centered the puck to Matt Rupert for the opening goal.
Indy came out in the second period looking to hold on to their one-goal lead. Similar to the first period, the Fuel and Mallards traded chances throughout the stanza. Alex Wideman nearly doubled the Indy lead, deflecting a Troy Vance wrist shot from the point but Quad City goaltender C.J. Motte was able to fend off the Indy attack for the time being. Michael Neal would later double the lead, beating Motte over the shoulder with a point-blank wrist shot.
Different from their normal game plan, Indy came out in the third period looking to protect their two-goal lead. It took Quad City 12 minutes to cut the Indy lead in half. A turnover on a Fuel breakout led to a bouncing puck coming to Chris Francis, whose wrist shot squeaked through Etienne Marcoux’s arm.
Indy sat back the rest of the period, allowing a barrage of shots from the Mallards but Marcoux stood strong, fighting off shots and smothering up rebounds when given the chance. In the third period alone, the Mallards outshot Indy 12-6, but Indy got the last laugh with the 2-1 win.
- With Thursday night’s win over Quad City, the Fuel have won four straight games at Indiana Farmers Coliseum and four of their last six games. Indy sits three points behind Kalamazoo for fifth place in the Central Division.
- The Rupert twins have combined for six goals and eight assists over Indy’s last seven games. Matt Rupert extended his scoring streak to three-straight while his twin brother Ryan has tallied five assists in his last three games.
- Etienne Marcoux made 37 saves on the night and was easily the best player for the Fuel on Thursday night. Marcoux was positionally sound all night and smothered every rebound. One of his biggest saves came against Kenney Morrison on a breakaway in the second period to hold the two-goal lead.
- Thursday’s game was the first of three games in three nights for the Fuel. Friday and Saturday night will be a home-and-home matchup with Central Division rival Fort Wayne Komets.