(By Terry Ficorelli)
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indy Fuel captured their first victory of the season in their 2017-18 home opener Saturday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, prevailing over the visiting Tulsa Oilers in the overtime shootout, 3-2.
Left wing Alex Wideman delivered the lone goal of the shootout showdown on the first shot following a scoreless 5-minutes 3-on-3 overtime period. In his pro debut, goaltender Matt Tomkins took it the rest of the way for the victors, repelling all 3-Oilers attempts in earning the game's #1 Star.
The two teams battled throughout regulation play with each team gaining then losing leads. Indy tied the game at 1-1 late in the second period at 18:58 while skating with the two-man advantage on the power play as Geoff Walker fired his second PPG of the early season before Ryan Rupert uncorked a cannon early in the third period at the :12 mark to cap the Fuel's 2-PPG comeback attack in the span of 1:14 to vault Indy into a 2-1 advantage. However, the lead was short-lived when Joey Sides converted on rebound at the crease at 2:18 of the same frame.
The Fuel special teams continued its masterful early season success with the power play accounting for both strikes in regulation, marking the second time in the first three games that the power play has produced a pair of goals. It is now 5-18 for the season, operating at a superb 27.8%. Meanwhile, the penalty-killing unit remains perfect through the first three games as Tulsa was 0-6, advancing the Fuel's PK prowess to a flawless 13-13; 100%.
Defenseman Nolan Descoteaux authored assists on both Indy goals, earning the game's #2 Star. The Fuel outshot the Oilers, 44-31.
Playing 6 of their first 7-games on the road, the Fuel 3(1-1-1) will now embark on a 4-games' road junket, beginning with a 3-games' series in Florida against the 4-0 Everblades on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights with all the games broadcast live on 1070thefan.com.
With the win, the Fuel remain undefeated in their ECHL history in their home openers, accruing 7 of a possible 8-points through a record of 4(3-0-1) with the 3-victories coming consecutively.
Single-Game tickets are now available for the entire 2017-18 Fuel season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Fans can also take advantage of a wide variety of Ticket Plans by calling 317-925-FUEL or visiting IndyFuelHockey.com. Don't miss a second of the action during the 2017-18 season - follow the Fuel on Twitter and Instagram (@IndyFuel) and ‘Like' the Fuel on Facebook.
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