INDIANAPOLIS - The Indy Fuel (10-10-0-0) pulled out of a two-game slide Tuesday night with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Kansas City Mavericks at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Goaltender Matt Tomkins stopped 32 shots, and forward Kevin Dufour supplied goals in both regulation and the shootout to help the Fuel pick up an important two points, after the Mavericks staged a third-period rally to force overtime.
Dufour converted a beautiful forehand-backhand move to supply the only goal in the breakaway competition, while Tomkins turned aside five shots in the 3-on-3 overtime session and all three Kansas City shootout attempts to secure the victory for the Fuel. Zach Miskovic and Matt Rupert also chipped in power play tallies for Indy, which improved to 8-3 on home ice this season.
Kansas City pushed the game past regulation with two unanswered goals in the third period, erasing a 3-1 Indy lead. A power play goal from Jordan Ernst pulled the Mavericks to within one at the 4:56 mark of the final frame. Ernst picked up a loose puck behind the Fuel net, stepped out to the slot and beat Tomkins over the shoulder unassisted. In his first game back at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, 2017-18 Indy forward Darian Dziurzynski provided the equalizer at 10:27, forcing a Fuel turnover before snapping a wrist shot under the crossbar from the slot.
After going scoreless for seven consecutive games, Indy's power play connected on its first opportunity on Tuesday to put the home team on the board early in the first period. With puck possession off of an offensive zone draw, Miskovic took a feed from fellow defenseman Miles Liberati and threaded a shot past Mavericks goaltender Mason McDonald (38 saves). The Fuel captain's first goal of the season gave his team a 1-0 lead at the 3:50 mark of the game.
Indy's lead doubled at 8:47, when Dufour found the net with a move strikingly similar to his eventual shootout-winner. The second-year forward took a centering feed from Olivier Labelle, froze McDonald with a quick deke and deposited his ninth goal of the season - tying Josh Shalla for the team lead.
The Mavericks cut the Fuel advantage to 2-1 at the 10:53 mark of the opening frame, when C.J. Eick flipped a backhand over Tomkins' blocker to cap off a 3-on-2 rush.
The Fuel regained their two-goal edge just 47 seconds into the second period, when the Rupert twins connected for the team's second power play strike of the night. With McDonald caught in a net-front scramble, Ryan found Matt alone off of the right post, who tossed his eighth goal of the season into an open net.
Indy finished the night 2-for-5 with the man advantage, while Kansas City scored once on four attempts.
Next up for the Fuel is a key three game Central Division road swing, starting Friday night in Kalamazoo. Puck drop from Wings Event Center is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Single-game tickets are now on sale for the Fuel's 5th anniversary season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Lock up your seat for every second of the action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a Fuel Ticket Plan - grab yours by heading to IndyFuelHockey.com or by calling the Fuel front office at 317-925-FUEL. Don't forget to follow the Fuel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (IndyFuel) for news, updates, contests and much more throughout the 2018-19 season.
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