The Indy Fuel went on a four-game road trip, playing four games in five days, going 3-1 in the process. They played without DJ Busdeker, Riley McKay, Tom Aubrun and Derek Barach. All four received call-ups to the American Hockey League.
January 20: Third Period Come Back Leads Fuel to Victory
On Wednesday January 20th, the Indy Fuel headed out on the road, as they took on the Oilers at the BOK Center. A third-period comeback saw Indy defeat Tulsa 3-2.
Derian Plouffe, who missed seven games due to COVID protocol, opened up the scoring to get the Fuel on the board. The first period was a rather slow, and Indy took a 1-0 lead into intermission.
Halfway through the second frame, the Oilers would knot up the game, as forward Brent Gates banked the puck in on a wrist shot. This was after goaltender Billy Christopoulos had been charged at the crease. Seconds later, the Fuel turned the puck over and Adam Pleskach gave Tulsa a 2-1 lead. This score would remain after 40 minutes.
An early third-period power play turned out to be very beneficial for the Indy Fuel. Mike Lee sent a one-timer from Alex Rauter into the net to tie the game up at two. That would be Lee’s first tally at the professional level. Minutes later, Joe Sullivan banked a rebound, this giving the Fuel a 3-2 lead over the Oilers. This goal would stand as the game-winner, as the Fuel snuck away with a 3-2 victory.
Derian Plouffe; assisted by Ross Olsson and Alec McCrea
Mike Lee; assisted by Alex Rauter and Michael McNicholas
Joe Sullivan; assisted by Willie Raskob and Michael McNicholas
January 22: Indy Fuel Sneak Away With Overtime Win
On Friday, January 22nd, the Fuel had a third-period comeback after being down a goal and took the victory in overtime.
Fuel goalie Billy Christopoulos was tested early on in the game. Indy gave up 20 shots on goal in just the opening period alone. They also struggled to stay out of the penalty box. Because of that, Tulsa struck first, as the Oilers capitalized on a five-on-three advantage. Bryce Kindopp would be credited with the goal, this giving his team the early 1-0 lead. That’s all Indy would allow, as they trailed by one heading into intermission.
While getting back on the ball after, the Indy Fuel took some momentum in the second, as they only allowed six shots on goal from the Oilers. Despite a few good chances, Indy came up empty in the second and exited the ice still trailing Tulsa 1-0.
Despite being down after 40 minutes, the Indy Fuel remained persistent and kept pushing. Halfway through the third period, that’s when Indy broke through, as they knotted the game up at one apiece. Right off the face-off, Mike Lee buried a one-timer, which saw the score locked at one goal apiece.
The game would need to be decided by sudden death overtime after 60 minutes. It would be the with time so far this season that the Indy Fuel would need an extra period. Along with that, it would also be their sixth overtime victory this season. With Alex Rauter scoring the game-winner, the Indy Fuel would pull out with the 2-1 victory.
Mike Lee; assisted by Michael McNicholas
Alex Rauter; assisted by Jared Thomas
January 23: Indy Fuel Win Sixth Straight Game After Three Third Period Goals
On Saturday January 23rd, the Fuel took a 4-2 victory over the Tulsa Oilers after scoring three early goals.
The Oilers broke open the scoring in early goings of the game’s first period. Nick Minerva got things going for Tulsa, which put put them on the board with their first shot of the night.
Later on in the first, Willie Raskob tied the game up at one after several chances from his teammates were created for him. The opening period would end knotted up at one. Indy came out strong in the second, only only one shot through the first seven minutes.
Despite some good chances, however, the Fuel came up empty after 40 minutes of action. This was not the same for Tulsa, as the Oilers left the ice up 2-1, with thanks to a power play goal from Alex Brooks. The defensemen potted it halfway through the second period.
Onwards now to the third, Indy would come out strong, but were unable to capitalize early. It wasn’t until the game’s die minute where the Fuel came alive and created some magic. Nic Pierog put one on net, and very easily tying the game up at two.
With just two minutes left remaining, American winger Joe Sullivan jumped on an opportunity, putting Indy up 3-2. Being down a single goal, Tulsa pulled their backstop from the net, which in turn, allowed Sullivan to score an empty-netter. This would be their sixth straight win, as they defeated the Oilers by a 4-2 final.
Willie Raskob; assisted by Michael McNicholas and Nic Pierog
Nic Pierog; unassisted
Joe Sullivan; assisted by Antoine Waked and Connor McDonald
Joe Sullivan; assisted by Alex Rauter
January 24: Fuel Fall 2-1 in Final Game of Road Trip
On Sunday January 24th, the Fuel, in their final road game, fell one goal to the Thunder in a 2-1 final. This would make for Indy’s second loss of the season. The contest was quieter then most, with both teams scoreless after 40 minutes of ice time.
Unusual as it may be, the game finally took a turn in the final 20 minutes. It was Indy on the scoreboard first, as Jared Thomas found his path and went five hole, this putting the Fuel up 1-0 over Wichita.
The lead wouldn’t last for long, as Thunder defensemen Garrett Schmitz tied the game up at one less than two minutes later. A short time later, Wichita would lead the Indy Fuel. It was Stefan Fournier, who fired a wrist shot, beating Billy Christopoulos to go ahead 2-1.
Indy made some great efforts late in attempt to tie it, but came up short in a losing effort. With that, the team moves to 11-2 on the season and went 3-1 during their four-game road trip.
Jared Thomas; assisted by Mike Lee and Nick Hutchison
The hockey club returns to action on Saturday night against the Wheeling Nailers. Puck drop at Wesbanco Arena is scheduled to fall at 7:10pmET. The two teams will square off once more, with puck drop on Sunday at 3:05pmET.