INDIANAPOLIS - The Indy Fuel's climb into ECHL playoffs' contention continued Thursday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum where they overcame a 3-0 first period deficit to defeat the Quad City Mallards, 8-7.
In registering their 4th victory in their last 5-starts and their second straight in their current 5-games' homestand, the Fuel exploded for 6-second period goals featuring 3-power play goals and 1-shorthanded strike.
Falling behind 3-0 by the 5:29 of the opening stanza due to a Quad City 3-goals' blitz in 3:23, the Fuel began their comeback bid when defenseman Jaynen Rissling, in his Indy debut, fired the first of his club's 4-power play goals followed by a Matt Rupert goal to dwindle the deficit to 3-2. However, the Mallards would return fire and reclaim a 4-2 advantage at the first intermission.
The second period told the tale of the tape for the victors as left wing Darian Dziurzynski connected on his first of 2-middle stanza strikes on the first of 3-power play goals in the Fuel flurry. Both teams continued to trade goals through the 8:25 mark when Triston King's second goal of the night restored the visitors 2-goals lead at 6-4. At that juncture, Head Coach Bernie John lifted starting goaltender Matt Tomkins for “ET” Marcoux and the Fuel responded resoundingly.
Moments later veteran defenseman Zach Miskovic blazed the Fuel goal that seemed to restore order to the contest and fuse a 4-goals' powder keg past the midway point of the period. The Miskovic goal at 11:21 was quickly followed by Dziurzynski's second goal :28 later at 11:49, tying the contest for the men of the Fuel, 6-6.
It stayed that way until the final minute of the middle frame when, enjoying a 5-minute power play due to a Triston Grant boarding major penalty, Indy capitalized with 2-more power play blasts in :27 to climax the 6-goals' barrage and catapult the home team into its initial lead of the night; a lead they did not relinquish. Alex Wideman at 19:12 and Robin Press at 19:39 were the marksmen with the Press goal proving to be the ultimate game winning goal.
Protecting the 8-6 lead in the third period, Marcoux was supreme as he rebuffed 22 of the “Quad Squad's 23-shots, surrendering a late goal with 1:08 remaining in regulation time from Jake Bolton after the Mallards had lifted goaltender C.J. Motte for the 6th attacker.
Quad City outshot the Fuel, 43-37, with Marcoux credited for his 15th victory of the season. The Fuel power play was a season's best 4-8, marking the 11th time this season that Indy has percolated a multiple PPG performance and the 7th time they have produced a multiple PPG period. The Indy power play, ranked #1 in the league, is now 6-10 in the first 2-games of the 5-games' homestand.
The Fuel's 8-goals output represents their best of the season while their 6-second period goals equaled the club- record for most goals in a single stanza. Dziurzynski (2-2-4), Wideman (1-2-3), Rissling (1-2-3), Matt Iacopelli (1-1-2) SHG and Josh Shalla (0-4-4) spurred the Fuel comeback counterattack crescendo.
With the win, the Fuel not only climb over the .500 barrier for the first time this season at 52(25-24-3)53-points but also leapfrogs them over Kansas City into 5th place in the Central Division, inching within 5-points of 4th place Cincinnati and 6-points of third place Kalamazoo.
Moreover, for the first time this season, the Fuel have exceeded the .500 mark against their own divisional rivals at 38(18-17-3), going 22(15-7-0) in the last 22-such decisions. Overall, the Fuel are 5(4-1-0) in their last 5-starts and 9(6-3-0) in the last 9-outings. They are 6(4-2-0) through the first 6-games of this ambitious docket consisting of 8-games in 11-days.
Having won 3-in a row against the “Greenheads,” and 5-in succession at home against Quad City dating back to last season, the Fuel will host the Mallards, again, both Friday and Saturday nights as this 3-games in 3- nights series continues at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum with face-off both nights set for 7:35 pm.
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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