FORT WAYNE, IN – The Indy Fuel began their weekend of three games in three days, starting with a date with the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday night. Prior to the match-up with the Komets, the Fuel were on a four-game losing streak. Their last loss came to the Komets at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis. Indy looked to snap that losing streak inside Fort Wayne’s Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Prior to Friday’s game, Jonathan Carlsson was recalled and released from his AHL contract with the Rockford IceHogs. Because of that move, the Fuel signed Fishers, IN native Brad Denney, who has appeared in 18 games with the Federal Hockey League’s Danville Dashers this season, tallying one goal and nine assists.
The first five minutes of the game was about the only thing that went well for the Fuel on Friday night. Josh Shalla opened the scoring just 2:30 into the game with an unassisted goal, his second goal in as many games and fourth point in three games.
Alex Wideman continued the scoring less than a minute later and behind him was Tyler Barnes, who was recently assigned from the IceHogs along with fan favorite Chris DeSousa. Barnes now has ten points (4g, 6a) in seven games for the Fuel.
After the Fuel scored their first three goals, it was pretty much all downhill from there. The Komets took control of the game and put up 19 shots in the first period on Fuel goaltender, Jake Hildebrand. The 19 shots on goal came with the help of four Komets power plays in the first period as well.
The Komets were able to consistently put shots on goal throughout the entire game, leading to bombarding 59 shots on Hildebrand. Indy held on to a 4-3 lead until late in the third period when a wrist shot from Trevor Cheek beat Hildebrand. The goal forced overtime and a turnover in overtime led to the Komets beating Hildebrand and taking the win.
Fort Wayne put up nearly 60 shots in the contest against the Fuel. If that doesn’t scream “there’s a problem with the defense”, then I’m not sure what does. Yes, the Fuel were playing with four ECHL defenseman and one regular FHL defenseman but regardless, 60 shots is a normal shot count for two games.
It took the entire game for Indy to put up 26 shots, Fort Wayne did it in a period and a half. Another reason for the shots count was the fact that Indy gave up 10 power play opportunities to the Komets.
Indy has a major problem with giving up shots. Luckily, they have an AHL caliber goaltender in net in Hildebrand. Without him, Indy would be losing games by much larger deficits.
The Fuel will continue their weekend against the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday and the Brampton Beast on Sunday afternoon.