MOLINE, ILL. - A complete team effort was not quite enough to veer the Indy Fuel (2-6-2-1) out of a recent winless skid, as they succumbed 2-1 in overtime to the Quad City Mallards (6-5-0-0) Sunday afternoon at TaxSlayer Center. Mallards forward Sam Warning continued to haunt the Fuel, scoring just 28 seconds into the extra period to lift Quad City to its third consecutive victory over Indy, while handing the Fuel their sixth straight setback (0-4-1-1).
When an Indy shot attempt hit traffic in the Quad City zone, Warning scooped up a loose puck and sprinted 140 feet straight at the Fuel net. The Mallards' leading scorer burned past the lone Indy defender, and beat goaltender Collin Delia on the backhand for his 10th goal of the season - his fourth in three games against the Fuel.
Warning's overtime heroics hampered what was otherwise a strong game for Indy. The visitors rallied from a first period deficit and controlled long stretches of Sunday's contest. However, rookie goaltender Ivan Kulbakov was equal to the task, turning aside 35 of 36 shots faced to backstop Quad City to a weekend sweep of the Fuel.
The Mallards used a first period power play opportunity to strike first for the second night in a row. It took only five seconds for Braydon Low to capitalize on a Reed Seckel slashing minor, giving Quad City a 1-0 lead 8:07 into play. Gaining possession off a clean faceoff win, the Mallards cycled the puck to Justin Kovacs on the right circle, whose shot deflected off Low's stick before eluding Delia to the blocker side.
Zach Miskovic brought the Fuel back to even footing with his second goal of the season at 13:25 of the opening period. The defenseman found a soft spot in the high slot, took a feed from Alex Wideman and wired a shot off the right post and behind Kulbakov to tie the game at one goal apiece.
Neither team could find the net through the remainder of regulation time, though the Fuel held a 36-31 edge in the shot column after 60 minutes of play. Both Kulbakov and Delia had to be sharp throughout the night, as each team had several opportunities to break the 1-1 stalemate before the overtime period. Delia finished with 30 saves, including 15 in the second period.
Indy only was awarded one opportunity on the power play, but was unable to take advantage. On the penalty kill, the Fuel surrendered one goal on three Quad City chances, including an extended power play following a Ryan Rupert major penalty.
The Fuel return to Indiana Farmers Coliseum Tuesday afternoon to host the Toledo Walleye, the first of six straight home games for Indy.
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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