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The Journal Gazette

Friday, March 23, 2018 10:40 pm

Shalla scorches K's again in loss

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Josh Shalla keeps on being a thorn in the Komets’ side. And the Komets keep on losing.

Shalla scored two early goals to propel the Indy Fuel to a 3-2 victory tonight over the Komets in front of 4,070 fans at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.

Fort Wayne (42-18-5) is mired in a 0-2-2 slump heading into Saturday’s game at Memorial Coliseum against the Wichita Thunder.

Shalla has scored six goals with eight points in five games this season against the Komets. Over the last two seasons, Shalla has 17 goals and 24 points in 14 games against the Komets with Indy and Wheeling.

Shalla netted both first-period goals, scoring at 3:19 and 19:57, the latter coming during a power play. Logan Nelson, who was traded from the Komets to Indy for Anthony Cortese, made it 3-0 with a goal 5:15 into the second period as the Fuel’s power-play unit went to 2 for 2.

The Fuel (32-29-4) finished 2 for 4 with the man-advantage and Fort Wayne was 1 for 5.

Shawn Szydlowski, the ECHL’s leading scorer with 74 points, is now tied for fourth in goal scoring with 30 after he netted two against the Fuel. He scored 1:29 into the third period, during a power play, and again at 5:48.

Both goaltenders, Fort Wayne’s Michael Houser and Indy’s Etienne Marcoux, stopped 38 shots.

Captain Jamie Schaafsma, who had missed the previous 13 games with a lower-body injury, came off injured reserve and back in the Fort Wayne lineup. Dennis Kravchenko was also back on the ice. To make room, the Komets released forward Russell Jordan, who netted one goal in five games. But the Komets’ injured list still included Artur Tyanulin, Cody Sol, Ryan Culkin, Justin MacDonald, Cam Lanigan and Taylor Crunk.