WHEELING, W.V. - The Indy Fuel (19-20-2-1) could not contain the Wheeling Nailers' (25-17-4-0) high-powered offense Friday night in a 7-3 setback at WesBanco Arena. Troy Josephs netted a hat trick for the Nailers, who snapped Indy's three-game road winning streak from last weekend.
Six different Nailers players recorded multiple points, as Wheeling outscored the Fuel in all three stanzas. Darian Dziurzynski found the net twice for Indy, who finished the 2017-18 season series against the Nailers with a 2-3 record.
A pair of first period strikes from the league's top-ranked power play unit set the tone, with Wheeling grabbing a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. Chris Francis opened the scoring on the man advantage at the 5:42 mark, squeaking a one-timer between the pads of Indy netminder Adam Carlson.
Johnny McInnis' 12th goal of the season brought Indy back to even footing at 8:17 of the period, but two a pair of late Nailers goals swung the game back in favor of the home team. Kevin Schulze blasted a point shot through on the power play at 16:46, before Josephs finished a rebound for the first of his three tallies just 67 seconds later.
Dziurzynski pulled the Fuel back to within one at the 12:00 mark of the middle frame, swatting a backhand over the shoulder of Wheeling goaltender Adam Morrison. But it only took 38 seconds for the Nailers to issue a rebuttal, when Josephs won a battle in front and beat Carlson from the slot. Wheeling extended its lead to 5-2 at 18:47, as Francis picked up his second of the evening.
Greg Dodds replaced Carlson in the Fuel cage to start the third period, but suffered a similar fate when Freddy Tiffels stretched the Nailers advantage to four just 3:11 into the final frame. Indy cut the deficit to 6-3 when Dziurzynski beat Morrison off of an offensive zone draw at 14:08 - the forward's 12th goal of the season and fourth in five games.
Wheeling rounded out the scoring in the final minute of regulation when Josephs converted on a breakaway to complete the three-goal performance.
In net, Carlson stopped 20 of 25 shots through two periods of work, suffering the loss in his Fuel debut. Dodds stopped 13 of 15 shots in relief, as the Nailers finished with a 40-29 edge in the shot column. Morrison turned aside 26 of 29 shots for his 10th win of the campaign.
Wheeling finished 2-for-5 with the extra man, while Indy was scoreless on four power play opportunities.
After finishing their four-game road swing with a 3-1 record, the Fuel return to Indiana Farmers Coliseum Saturday to take on the Toledo Walleye during the club's annual Blackhawks Night. Puck drop is at 7:35 p.m.
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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