WEST VALLEY CITY, UTAH – A power-play goal by Josh Shalla broke open the door for the Indy Fuel (7-6-0-0) during the first period to defeat the Utah Grizzlies (8-2-3-0) Friday night at the Maverik Center. The Fuel tied up the three-game road series that continues on Saturday in Utah.
The Fuel took advantage of the power play halfway through the first period when Matt Tomkins shot a loose puck down the ice that Josh Shalla was able to recover and deflect three Utah defenders to bury the puck in the corner of the net. Shalla’s sixth goal of the season was able to even the score with the Grizzlies before heading into the second period.
Less than two minutes left in the second period forward Conor Moynihan found the puck after a scuffle with Utah’s Austin Carroll and promptly passed to Ryan Rupert who guided the puck to Matt Rupert for him to seal the deal. Carroll received a double minor penalty for roughing that would put the Fuel on the power play at the beginning of the third.
About a minute after the power play expired forward’s Radovan Bondra and Kevin Dufour had a breakaway 2-on-1 stretch where Bondra held on to the puck just long enough in front of the net before crossing it to Dufour to tip in to give the Fuel a 3-1 lead.
Utah showed strength until the end with a goal from Caleb Herbert in the last 1:30 of the game. Tompkins retrieved a puck from behind the net but wasn’t able to clear it from the zone in time before Utah was able to block the pass. Confusion in front of the goal allowed the Grizzlies a score at the end of regulation.
Utah outshot Indy 30-28 while the Fuel was able to hold the Grizzlies to 1-for-6 on the power play.