INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Opening the 2021 calendar year, the Indy Fuel faced the Nailers for the fifth time in seven games. Both teams traded goals throughout the game, eventually leading to Indy’s fourth overtime game of the season where Spencer Watson netted the winning goal.
Opening the scoring five minutes into the first period, Felix Robert picked up a loose puck in front of the net and beat Fuel goaltender Dan Bakala to give Wheeling a 1-0 lead. After multiple penalties and a fight between Scott Savage and Sean Josling, Wheeling would double their lead after Robert fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Bakala.
Entering the second period with a two-goal deficit, the Fuel controlled the majority of the chances for the first half of the period. After a flurry of Fuel chances, Cliff Watson threw a puck on net that was deflected by Antoine Waked for Indy’s first goal of the game. Four minutes later, Wheeling doubled their lead again when Robert scored his third goal of the game putting a one-timer past Bakala.
Indy’s Matt Marcinew responded with to the Wheeling goal putting home a rebound and putting the score at 3-2. The Marcinew goal would be negated after the Wheeling Nailers player left the penalty box early. Immediately following the review of Marcinew’s goal, Scott Savage fired a wrist shot past Shane Starrett, making it 3-2. Holding on to momentum, Derek Barach fed Nic Pierog a cross-ice pass on a 2-on-1 to knot the game at three goals each.
It would only take 28 seconds for Indy to open the scoring in the third period when Peter Krieger beat Starrett with a wrist shot over the shoulder. Less than 10 seconds later, Wheeling tied the game again when Michael Joly jumped on an Indy turnover and beat Bakala with a wraparound. After both teams traded chances throughout the remainder of the third period, neither team would score, sending the game to overtime.
Earning a power play late in the overtime period, Indy’s Spencer Watson fired a slapshot from the point and beat Starrett to give Indy their sixth win of the season and third overtime win.
The Fuel return to the ice on Friday, January 8th when the Greenville Swamp Rabbits visit the Indiana Farmers Coliseum for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop.
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