FORT WAYNE, IND. - Twin brothers Matt and Ryan Rupert joined forces for two goals and three assists as the Indy Fuel (20-17-2-0) recorded a critical 3-2 overtime win over the Fort Wayne Komets (19-17-3-0) Friday night at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Matt Rupert's goal at 2:08 of the extra frame helped the Fuel snap a three game winless skid, pulling within two points of the Komets for possession of third place in the Central Division standings.
After linking up to get Indy on the board in the middle stages third period, the Ruperts connected again to end the contest in overtime. Ryan carried the puck from his defensive end to the attacking zone, where he dropped a pass to Matt in the high slot, who hammered a one-timer over the glove of Fort Wayne goaltender Lukas Hafner (26 saves) for his 16th goal of the season.
Rallying from a 1-0 deficit to start the third period, the Fuel were just 14.7 seconds away from leaving Allen County with two points in regulation time, but the Komets forced the bonus period with a goal from Brady Shaw. With an extra skater on the ice, Shaw pounced on a rebound left by J.C. Compagna, tapping the loose puck behind Indy netminder Matt Tomkins (36 saves) to even the score at two.
Trailing after 40 minutes of play, tallies from Ryan Rupert and Logan Nelson spotted Indy a 2-1 lead in the third period. The Fuel snapped Hafner's shutout bid at 7:59 of the frame, when Ryan helped his brother's initial shot across the goal line. Indy pulled in front with 5:09 left in regulation time, once again set up by a shot from Matt Rupert. Rupert's shot hit a Komet defender in the slot, caroming right to Nelson off of the left goal post, who found an open net for his third goal in as many games.
Following a scoreless first period, Fort Wayne opened the game's scoring at 5:45 of the second period when J.C. Campagna beat Tomkins from the slot to cap off an odd-man rush. The Komets had several chances to increase their lead in the middle stanza, but the Indy netminder kept his team in the game with 12 second period stops.
Both teams were held off the board on the power play; Indy finished 0-for-4 while the Komets were scoreless on three chances.
With points in four of their last five games, the Fuel continue a three-in-three weekend with a key home-and-home series with the Central Division-leading Cincinnati Cyclones. The Fuel host the Cyclones Saturday on Blackhawks Night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum - scheduled for a 7:35 p.m. ET puck drop - before the two clubs head to U.S. Bank Arena for a Sunday rematch.
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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