INDIANAPOLIS - The Indy Fuel (33-32-2-2) closed out a season-long five game homestand in the loss column, falling 5-2 to the Kansas City Mavericks (34-30-3-2) Sunday afternoon at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Fuel posted a 3-2 record during their extend stay on home ice, and head into the final week of the ECHL regular season trailing the Kalamazoo Wings by five points for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division.
Mathew Thompson scored a goal and an assist for Indy to stretch a point streak to seven games, but the Mavericks used five different goal scorers and a 30-save performance from goaltender Nick Schneider to hand the Fuel their second straight setback in Indianapolis. Indy three games remaining on their 2018-19 regular season schedule, including the club's home finale Friday against the Fort Wayne Komets.
With both teams playing for the third time in under 48 hours, Kansas City struck first 5:47 into the first period courtesy of a fortunate bounce. Defenseman Nikolas Koberstein took a shot from a sharp angle, which caromed off a Fuel defender in front and behind goaltender Chase Marchand.
Thompson evened the score midway through the opening frame, steering a pinpoint feed from Radovan Bondra past Schneider for his 20th goal of the season. The rookie forward has now registered at least a point in 11 of his last 12 outings since March 8, racking up eight goals and 10 assists during that span.
The Mavericks regained the lead before the end of the first period, when Jared VanWormer found a loose puck in the crease behind Marchand at 17:18.
Second-period goals from C.J. Eick and Willie Raskob extended Kansas City's lead to 4-1. Eick capped off an odd-man-rush with linemates Joey Sides and Loren Ulett to make it 3-1 at 7:49 of the middle frame, before defenseman Willie Raskob cashed in on a 5-on-3 power play at 18:41.
Indy briefly pulled back within a pair late in the third period when rookie forward Jack Ramsey notched his first professional goal at 17:46. Making his ECHL debut, Ramsey picked up a cross-ice feed from Thompson before beating Schneider to the glove side. The Mavericks answered less than a minute later with a goal from David Dziurzynski.
Schneider was solid throughout the afternoon for Kansas City, turning aside 30 of 32 Fuel shots - including 19 of 20 in the second and third periods. Marchand suffered the loss in his first professional start, making 23 saves.
Indy finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Mavericks scored once on three opportunitie.
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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