It was the final meeting of a whopping 21 between the Komets and Indy Fuel this season. Fort Wayne may have won the series, going 12-7-2, but the Fuel took the last two – including today’s 5-2 victory in front of 1,627 fans at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.
Billy Christopoulos stopped 30 of 32 shots for the Fuel, which is battling to get into the Eastern Conference playoffs. Dylan Ferguson stopped 33 of 38 for the Komets, whose hopes of winning the Western Conference have dwindled to almost nothing.
The Komets had some great early chances to score, including an Alan Lyszczarczyk breakaway and a Stephen Harper attempt off the rebound at 1:11, but Christopoulos thwarted the efforts.
The Komets had allowed the first goal in their nine previous games, but Zach Pochiro scored at 8:44 on a breakaway for a 1-0 Fort Wayne lead after intercepting a Dmitry Osipov pass. Pochiro hadn’t scored a goal in his previous 13 games.
Osipov atoned with a blue-line shot that set up Terry Broadhurst for a goal off a rebound at 11:46. The goal came during a 5-on-3 Indy power play – Oliver Cooper was in the penalty box for tripping and A.J. Jenks for elbowing – after the Fuel had failed to score in similar situations Friday (a 2-1 Fort Wayne victory in overtime) and Saturday (a 4-3 Indy victory in a shootout).
Just as Jenks was departing the penalty box, Indy scored again with Michael Pelech redirecting a Spencer Watson shot from the point at 13:44. And the Fuel took a 3-1 lead when Nick Hutchison scored on a wraparound 4:51 into the second period.
The Komets got two 5-on-3s of their own – for 1:36 of second-period time – and generated no shots on goal. The Fuel made them pay at 13:36, when Alex Rauter blasted in a 10-foot shot after Ferguson had made a save and then juggled the puck with his stick.
The Komets opened the third period with eight of the first nine shots but couldn’t solve Christopoulos until Marco Roy scored at 16:46, after Nick Boka had slithered through the offensive zone to set him up. Boka was immediately given a game misconduct for abuse of officials.
Osipov finished the scoring at 18:52, after Ferguson had mishandled the puck while trying to set it up for one of his teammates.