Indianapolis, IN.- Five consecutive goals in the second period was the difference in Indy as the Wings fell to the Fuel 8-4 on Saturday night.
Both Jagger Dirk and Chris Collins netted their first professional goals for the K-Wings in the loss at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Five different Fuel players recorded multi-point nights.
Jagger Dirk made his presence felt early on as the defenseman netted his first professional goal 1:24 into the opening period. Entering the zone on the right wall, Dirk skated towards the corner before lifting a back-hand shot the rolled its way up and over the goaltenders shoulder to give the K-Wings a 1-0 lead. Indy tied the game up about five minutes later when Logan Nelson wristed a shot past Jake Hildebrand, evening the score at 1-1. Short-handed, Kalamazoo retook the lead with just over under seven minutes left in regulation. Picking up the puck in the right corner, Chris Collins walked to the front of the net before tucking the puck past the outstretched pad of Matt Tompkins.
Special teams was the name of the game in the second period as the Fuel netted a pair of goals on the power play and shorthanded. After Justin Taylor gave the K-Wings a two-goal lead 1:36 into the second the Fuel offense found some life. Olivier Labelle got the Fuel offense started with an even strength goal on a one-timer in front of the net. With the Kalamazoo lead cut to one Indy’s penalty kill tied the game. Matt Thompson intercepted a pass at the blue line breaking the opposite way. Thompson set up Connor Moynihan who knotted the game up at 3-3. A pair of goals from Ryan Rupert, one short handed and one on the power play, pushed the Fuel lead to two just over halfway thru regulation. Only four seconds after Rupert’s second Brett Welychka netted his first of the season, also on the power play, to give Indy a 6-3 lead. Kalamazoo would strike again before the end of the period as Kyle Thomas picked the top corner on Matt Tompkins cutting the lead to 6-4, but that would be as close as the K-Wings would get. Kalamazoo surrendered two more goals in the third period, as Indy topped Kalamazoo 8-4.
The teams combined for six short-handed or power play goals on Saturday night.
Kalamazoo finished the night scoreless on five power play chances, while the Fuel were three-for-four. Jake Hildebrand got the start for Kalamazoo, stopping five of 11 shots faced before giving way to Keegan Asmundson midway through regulation. Asmundson stopped six of eight in just over 30 minutes of playing time. Matt Tompkins recorded the victory for Indy, stopping 25 of 29 shots.