INDIANAPOLIS – A Wednesday night contest between two in-state rivals did not disappoint. The midweek tilt between the Fort Wayne Komets and Indy Fuel was a defensive battle highlighted by the heroics of the netminders.
Indy got on the board first with a shot from the point by Cliff Watson 6:20 into the opening frame. The goal squeezed through a crowd in front of the net and past Komets goalie, Jiri Patera. Following the goal, Fort Wayne would draw a pair of penalties, but Cale Morris stood his ground, fighting off all 11 shots in the period.
The second period was dominated by goaltenders. Morris and Patera stopped the 23 combined shots they faced and kept the score at 1-0. Both goalies fought off multiple point-blank chances and cross-crease chances from the opposing teams, but all attempts were unsuccessful. At the conclusion of the second, benches cleared and a scuffle broke out, setting up an interesting final period.
The third period felt like a playoff game with both teams pressing hard to take control. Both teams had their fair share of chances but neither could break through. Tyler Busch of Fort Wayne was robbed by goaltender Cale Morris on a backhand shot that would’ve tied the game midway through the third period. Patera also had a flashy save in the period, diving to cover a wide-open net from a Fuel forward. A late-game penalty by Komets captain, Matthew Boudens, ultimately sunk Fort Wayne in their return to the Circle City, 1-0.
“They had the will to win. That’s what they had tonight and we got rewarded for it.” Indy Head Coach Doug Christansen said of his team’s victory over Fort Wayne on Wednesday night.
The Fuel will look to continue their winning streak into this weekend with games against Wheeling and Kalamazoo at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
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