KALAMAZOO, MICH. - Three-point performances from forwards Darian Dziurzynski and Stephen Collins led a comeback effort for the Indy Fuel (10-15-2-1), who rallied for a critical 5-3 victory over the Kalamazoo Wings (13-10-2-1) Thursday night at Wings Event Center. The visiting Fuel battled back from two one-goal deficits in the second period to earn their first road victory since Oct. 27 - snapping a seven-game winless skid away from home ice. The victory pulls Indy within six points of the Wings for possession of fifth place in the ECHL Central Division standings.
Collins' first professional marker early in the third period proved to be the game-winner, as the Fuel scored the only two goals in the final 20 minutes to break a 3-3 tie. The rookie rounded out his three-point night with a pair of assists to Dziurzynski, who finished with two goals and an assist. Ryan Rupert and Michael Neal also chipped in two assists for Indy, which took a 2-1 lead in the 2017-18 season series with Kalamazoo.
Before they could do so, the Fuel had to rebound from a first period that saw the Wings claim a 2-1 lead. For the second time in as many nights, forward Alex Wideman spotted Indy a 1-0 lead in the first period. A Ryan Rupert shot attempt caromed off a Kalamazoo defender and found the waiting stick of Wideman, who snapped home his ninth goal of the season at 5:38, extending a point streak to six games.
The Wings answered quick with two goals in just under three minutes to gain control of the contest. Justin Taylor tied the game with a power play strike at 8:05, followed closely by a Scott Henegar marker at 11:02 of the opening frame.
Dziurzynski evened the score at two 3:16 into second period when he picked up the first of the Fuel's two power play goals on the night. With the puck on the right half wall, Collins found Dziurzynski off of the near side post, who made a quick move to spin and beat Kalamazoo netminder Michael Garteig.
Wings defenseman Aaron Irving put the home team back on top at 6:39 of the middle frame, beating Indy netminder Étienne Marcoux through the five hole.
Kalamazoo's 3-2 lead lasted until the late stages of the second period, when the resilient Fuel club again found an equalizer. After causing a turnover at the blue line, Johnny McInnis slid a pass to Ryan Rupert, who closed in alongside Reed Seckel on a 2-on-1 rush. Rupert's precise cross-ice pass set up Seckel's third goal of the season, sending the game into the third period at a 3-3 stalemate.
It took only 1:06 into the final frame for Collins to put Indy on top for good. With Kalamazoo down a man, the Fuel forward took a feed from Neal, skated to the right circle and beat Garteig over the blocker with a snap shot. Dziurzynski was able to add an insurance marker at 12:54 of the third, converting a drop pass from Collins to cap off an odd-man rush.
The Fuel held a 43-33 edge in the shot column, with Marcoux registering 30 saves for his fifth win of the season. Garteig suffered the loss, turning aside 38 shots.
Indy returns to Indiana Farmers Coliseum Saturday night to take on the Cincinnati Cyclones, before closing out the 2017 portion of the schedule with a New Year's Eve showdown against the Wheeling Nailers at WesBanco Arena.
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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