INDIANAPOLIS - The Fuel hosted the Fort Wayne Komets on Saturday night to finish their weekend. With a chance to clinch the Playoffs with a regulation win and a regulation loss for Wheeling, just an hour after the Norfolk Admirals secured the win over Wheeling, the Indy Fuel secured the 5-2 win to send the Fuel to the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Chad Yetman opened the scoring for the Fuel just 36 seconds into the game with the help of Alex Wideman.
Fort Wayne’s Oliver Cooper took the game’s first penalty with a hooking call at 7:48. About a minute later, the Fuel got a 5-on-3 opportunity when Tristan Pelletier joined Cooper in the box to serve a delay of game penalty on Fort Wayne.
There were breakaway chances for both teams but the goalies stood strong. At 15:20, Bryan Lemos was called for tripping, giving Fort Wayne their first power play of the game.
It appeared they scored on the power play, however after a review, the goal was overturned due to goaltender interference.
At 18:57, Colin Bilek extended Indy’s lead to 2-0 with an even strength goal assisted by Wideman and Yetman.
With less than a minute to go in the first frame, Fort Wayne’s Daniel Maggio took a roughing penalty after attempting to drop the gloves with Koletrane Wilson who did not give in, but ended up with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as well.
Just 25 seconds into the period, Alex Wideman scored to make it 3-0 Fuel and collected his third point of the game.
About five minutes into the second frame, a hit on the boards resulted in a team-wide scuffle. Tristan Pelletier and Colin Bilek dropped the gloves at center ice and each received offsetting majors for fighting.
Fort Wayne’s Scott Allan scored less than a minute later to make it 3-1 despite another goal review. Chase Lang took a delayed holding minor just fifteen seconds after that.
At 10:52, Luc Brown scored for the Fuel with an amazing passing sequence from Andrew Bellant to make it 4-1. Less than a minute later, Fort Wayne answered back with a goal from Adam Brubacher to make it 4-2.
The penalty box saw a lot of action after that as six penalties were handed out after the eleven minute mark of the period between both teams.
The first fifteen minutes of the third period did not see any more goals but as expected, it did see a few more penalties. Three were given to Fort Wayne after Indy’s Matt Watson took one for slashing.
With less than two minutes to go, Fort Wayne took a timeout and pulled their goaltender in favor of the extra skater. It did not work for them as Logan Nijhoff scored an empty net goal to put the Fuel up 5-2 and secure the win and officially send the Fuel to the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
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The Indy Fuel, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks and the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs, have returned to Indiana Farmers Coliseum for their ninth season. Check out all the Fuel’s promotions, theme nights and get your tickets now HERE.