TOLEDO, OHIO - A strong road effort was not enough Wednesday night as the Indy Fuel (9-15-2-1) suffered a 5-2 setback to the Toledo Walleye (18-8-2-1) in front of a crowd of 7,575 at Huntington Center. A critical two-goal swing in the second period helped shift the momentum toward Toledo, as the Central Division-leading Walleye extended Indy's road winless streak to seven games (0-5-1-1).
Trailing 2-1 late in the second period and on the power play, the Fuel appeared to tie the game when an Anthony Cortese shot triggered the goal light behind Toledo goaltender Pat Nagle. However, play continued, and Walleye forward Erik Bradford struck on the counter-attack to give the home team a two-goal edge. A video review upheld the call on the ice, ruling that Cortese's attempt never crossed the line.
The Fuel battled back in the third period - inching back within a goal with Zach Miskovic's fourth goal of the season at the 12:25 mark - but the Walleye were able to hang on, tacking on a pair of late tallies to stymie Indy's comeback effort. With the Fuel pressing for the equalizer, Davis Vandane beat Indy netminder Étienne Marcoux in transition to restore Toledo's two-goal lead at 17:27. A Tyler Barnes empty-netter less than a minute later sealed the Walleye's fourth consecutive win over the Fuel this season.
In a wide-open game that featured 84 combined shots on goal, Indy struck first halfway through the first period. Alex Wideman pulled off a perfect give-and-go with defensive Jack Burton, beating Nagle on his own rebound to give the Fuel a 1-0 lead 13:42 into play. Wideman's eighth of the season extended a personal point streak to five games (2g, 3a).
Toledo evened the score in the final minute of the opening frame, when Austin Brassard cleaned up a loose puck in front of Marcoux. The Fuel netminder was sensational in the first period, stopping 20 of 21 shots - including an impressive glove save to deny Barnes at point blank range.
Indy carried the pace of play early in the second, but it was the Walleye who broke the 1-1 tie when Shane Berschbach capitalized on a delayed Fuel penalty call at the 6:12 mark.
Both Nagle and Marcoux registered 38 saves at the end of the night, though the former was credited with his league-leading 15th win for his efforts.
The Fuel power play finished 1-for-2 while surrendering a shorthanded goal, while Toledo was held scoreless on its single chance with the man advantage.
Continuing a stretch of four games in five days, Indy will head to Kalamazoo to take on the Wings Thursday night from Wings Event Center. The Fuel will return to Indiana Farmers Coliseum Saturday to take on the Cincinnati Cyclones.
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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