Mathew Thompson logs four-point night, but Indy falls 6-5 to Toledo
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel (13-13-0-0) fell victim to a third-period rally from the Toledo Walleye (19-5-2-0) on Friday, as Toledo skated to a 6-5 come-from-behind victory at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Up 4-3 after two periods, the Fuel surrendered three goals in a span of 3:56 in the late stages of the final frame, as the Walleye snapped Indy’s four-game winning streak on home ice.
Just over two minutes after Toledo’s Dan DeSalvo made it 4-4 at the 14:10 mark of the third, a net-front scrum in front of the Fuel net led to the Walleye’s go-ahead goal. Fuel defenseman Zach Miskovic was called for covering a loose puck in the goal crease, giving Toledo’s A.J. Jenks a penalty shot on goaltender Matt Tomkins (29 saves). Jenks made no mistake, snapping a shot between Tomkins’ legs to put the Walleye up 5-4 with 3:28 left in regulation time.
T.J. Hensick (1g, 2a) wrapped up a three-point night with an empty net insurance marker at 18:06, before Indy’s Kevin Dufour pulled the home team back to within one with a power-play goal in the final minute of regulation. The Fuel pressed for the late equalizer, but Toledo found a way to hang on, evening the 2018-19 season series between the Central Division rivals at two games apiece.
The loss spoiled a career night for Fuel rookie forward Mathew Thompson, who tallied two goals and two assists. Dufour (2g) and Olivier Labelle (2a) also recorded multi-point nights for Indy, which fell to 10-4 this season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
What turned out to be a high-scoring affair started with three combined goals in the first 3:03 of regulation time. The Walleye grabbed a 1-0 lead just 42 seconds into play when Ryan Obuchowski finished a backdoor pass from Hensick in transition. Less than a minute later, Thompson deposited his own rebound behind Toledo netminder Kaden Fulcher (13 saves) to tie the game for the Fuel. Indy made it 2-1 when Ryan Rupert took a cross-ice feed from brother Matt and beat Fulcher from the right face-off dot.
The Fuel stretched their lead to 3-1 at 8:49 of the opening frame when Dufour and Thompson connected on the rush. After beating a Toledo defender at the offensive blue line, Thompson slid a pass to Dufour, who found the five-hole on Fulcher. With the two-goal performance, Dufour takes Indy goal-scoring lead with 12 markers on the season. Greg Wolfe cut the Fuel lead in half at 15:34 of the first, firing a shot from the slot through a screen in front of Tomkins.
The two teams again traded goals in quick succession in the second period. Toledo knotted the game at three at 4:38 of the middle frame when defenseman Kevin Tansey jumped on a loose puck, fought off a Fuel defender and threw a wrist shot over Tomkins’ glove. The tie lasted only a little over two minutes before Thompson put Indy back on top 4-3 at 6:57. The forward took a drop pass from Labelle at center, skated his way down the right half-wall, and threw a sharp angle shot that found its way through Fulcher.
Indy finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play while holding the Walleye scoreless on three opportunities.
Finding themselves back at the .500 mark and at the bottom of the ultra-competitive Central Division standings, the Fuel look to bounce back Saturday as they head to Michigan for a pivotal game against the Kalamazoo Wings. Puck drop from Wings Event Center is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
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