INDIANAPOLIS - The Indy Fuel quest for their first-ever ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs' berth took another giant step forward Saturday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum where they completed a 3-games in 3-nights homestand sweep of the Quad City Mallards in a 6-4 victory. In the process, Head Coach Bernie John's hard-charging club climbed to within 2-points of Kalamazoo for the coveted fourth and final playoff berth in the ECHL's Western Conference Central Division. Moreover, the Fuel's meteoric rise as catapulted them within 3-points of third place Cincinnati in the same chase.
After a scoreless opening period, Fuel left wing Matt Iacopelli sparked the Fuel 6-goals' assault with the 3-goal “hat trick” as the parent club Chicago Blackhawks 2014 third round draft pick emanated and culminated Indy's 4-goals second period uprising with a pair of strikes with Darian Dzuirzynski delivering a power play goal and Ryan Rupert caging a singleton in the Fuel flurry.
With the Fuel taking a 4-2 lead into the third period, Iacopelli completed his masterpiece with his third goal early in the stanza at 2:39. Johnny McInnis added an unassisted goal late in the contest as the Fuel staved off a Mallards' late 2-goals' third period rally to complete the sweep.
In winning their 5th consecutive game overall against the “Greenheads,” and their 7th straight at home, dating back to last season, the Fuel outshot the visitors, 40-33 with goaltender Matt Tomkins collecting his 9th victory of the season and his 6th in his last 7-decisions. The Fuel power play, ranked #1 in the league continued to percolate, going 1-2 and finishing the 3-games sweep of the Mallards, 6-14; 42.9%. Quad City's power play was 0-2 and 1-10 in the series. Through the first 4-games of the homestand, the Fuel power play is 8-16; 50%.
For the victors as well, Alex Wideman engineered 3-assists while recent acquisition Logan Nelson assisted twice. Wideman pushed his personal point streak to 7-games; 7(3-9-12); Nelson is 3(0-5-5) in his first 3-outings for his new club.
At 54(27-24-3) for 57-points, the Fuel's latest win streak has reached 4-in a row, their longest of the season and equals their longest home win skein of the current campaign. Moreover, the Indy juggernaut has produced the following impressive numbers; last 7-games; 7(6-1-0); last 11(8-3-0); last 21(14-7-0); last 27(18-9-0). In addition, the Fuel have posted a sterling 24(17-7-0) mark in their last 24-games within their own division while clinching their third consecutive winning month through a February record of 13(8-5-0). The Fuel complete a strenuous stretch of 8-games in 11-days with a stellar 8(6-2-0) log.
Next up for the men of the Fuel will be the conclusion of this 5-games homestand on Tuesday night as they cap their February slate with a 7:05 pm showdown against second place Toledo on “All-You-Can-Eat-Night” at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
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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