The Fuel Tank: Indy goes winless on Valentines Day weekend

  

The Fuel entered this weekend’s slate of games riding high. The team had rattled off five straight wins and moved up to third in the Central Division. The results were an entirely different story for the Fuel this time around.

Friday, February 14th, Fuel 3, Fort Wayne 5

On Valentine’s Day, The Fuel once again jumped out to a lead, forcing an early defensive turnover. The puck found Bobby MacIntrye who turned on the afterburners en route to the game’s first goal.

MacIntrye was not done scoring in the first period, though. He found Derian Plouffe for the easy tap in goal to increase the Fuel lead to 2—0.

In the second period, Spencer Watson weaseled himself some space on the right circle and blasted a wrister for the 3—0 lead. That was the last lead of the game for the Fuel. Indy had been playing with fire whole game and they finally got burned in the third period.

The flood gates did not open until 7:37 gone by in the third period. The Komets’ Olivier Galipeau snuck in a shot from the point for their first goal. Less than a minute later the onslaught continued as Max Gottlieb blasted a shot in from the blue for the Komets second goal. With the momentum firmly in their corner, Shawn Szydlowski smacked a one-timer from the left circle, mid-way through the third period.

After the Fuel committed a penalty, Anthony Petruzzell delivered the back breaker from the left circle to give the Komets their first lead. The Komets did not relinquish the lead and tacked on an empty-net goal for good measure, outshooting the Fuel 43—19 in the contest.

The Fuel collapse was reminiscent of the Chicago Blackhawks’ collapse against the St. Louis Blues. on December 14th, 2019. Both teams blew three-goal leads in their respective games.

Saturday, February 15th, Fuel 2, Cincinnati 5

After suffering through their own version of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the Fuel looked to rebound against the Cyclones.  To quote Aerosmith, ” It’s the same old story, same old song, and dance, my friend”. After a scoreless first period, the Fuel had two power-play opportunities to break open the scoring haze, unfortunately, Indy came up empty.

After failing to score, Cincinnati seized an opportunity and took a 1—0 lead. Luckily for the Fuel, the Cyclones went back to the penalty box two more times in the second period and on both occasions Indy made them pay.

The Fuel’s first goal was scored by Alex Krushelnyski on juicy rebound surrendered by the Cyclones. After drawing another penalty, the Fuel once again capitalized on a juicy rebound, this time it was Derian Plouffe.

Sadly the Fuel lead did not last long as the Cyclones’ Cody Milan got a pass in the deep slot and buried to tie the game. With the game tied, Cincy’s Jesse Schultz capitalized on an Indy turnover for the game-winner. Cincy tapped in another late empty-net goal to finish off the Fuel 5—3.

Sunday, February 16th, Fuel 5, Cincinnati 6

An Indy comeback was thwarted due to the lack of time, in their final contest of the weekend as they once again took on the Cincinnati Cyclones. After falling to the Cyclones 5—3 in the previous contest, the Fuel looked to get off to a good start. That good start came courtesy of Joe Sullivan. Sullivan received a pass from  Ryan Van Stralen deep in the creased and slammed it home for the game’s first goal.

The lead was later extended by Cliff Watson. Watson fired a puck from just inside the blue line for the Fuel’s second goal of the game.

Cincy answered the Watson goal with one of their own from defenseman Tobie Bisson. Bisson slapped a shot from the high slot past Indy goaltender Charles Williams. The first period ended with the Fuel up 2—1.

Unfortunately, the second period was a different story for the Fuel, as Cincinnati exploded for three goals in a little over five minutes. Mason Mitchell fired the puck past Williams for the second Cincy goal. The third Cincy goal was scored by Nate Mitton after corralling a wrap-around pass from Brady Vail. The fourth Cyclones goal in the period came from Pascal Aquin. He snuck a shot past Williams for a two-goal lead. Bobby MacIntrye brought the Fuel somewhat closer with a top-shelf goal of his own, but Brady Vail racked up his second point of the game with another goal.

With the lead at 5—3, the Cyclones looked to be close to snuffing out the Fuel but Indy wasn’t done just yet and attempted to mount a comeback.

First, Spencer Watson tipped in his 27th goal of the season with ten minutes to play to cut the lead to just one goal. Three minutes later, veteran wing Jesse Schultz chipped in the final Cincy goal of the night to extend the Cyclones lead to 6—4. Indy’s Josh McArdle knifed the puck into the net with less than five minutes remaining, however, the Fuel eventually fell 6—5.

The Fuel name Craig Wyszomirski Captain.

The team announced that Craig Wyszomirski will serve as the new team captain. Wyszormiski joined the Fuel in November after splitting time with the ECHL Manchester Monarchs and both the AHL’s Utica Comets and Ontario Reign. He has appeared in 24 games with the Fuel this season. 

Fuel Dump:

  • Forward Jay Dickman was traded to the Wichita Thunder in exchange for future considerations. 
  • Left wing Bobby McIntyre has scored five goals in his last six games.
  • This is the first time Indy has lost three in a row since December 27th through the 29th.
  • Center Mathieu Foget has three goals and 10 assists in his 13 games with the Fuel since being acquired from the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on January 20th.

The Fuel will return to action on Friday, February 21st  against the Kalamazoo Wings.

 

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