INDIANAPOLIS, IN – After a nine-month offseason, the Indy Fuel hosted their home opener against the Kanas City Mavericks on Friday, December 11th. In their seventh opening night, the Fuel took until the final seconds to tie the game and eventually take the win in a shootout.
Opening the game with an early power play didn’t go as planned for the Fuel after Zach Osburn skated down the sideboards and beat Fuel goaltender Dan Bakala with a backhand shot. The Fuel would respond late in the period when Mike Lee fed David Broll a cross-ice pass for the first goal of the season. Outshot 11-6 in the opening period, Indy killed off a long 5-on-3 penalty and went into the dressing room tied 1-1.
Earning back-to-back penalties to start off the 2nd period, the Fuel went down by a goal early after Giorgio Estephan walked off the sideboards and beat Bakala on the glove side. Indy would respond with a goal of their own when Peter Krieger fed an open Alex Rauter who buried a slap shot over the shoulder of the Kansas City goaltender Justin Kapelmaster. Taking advantage of an odd-man rush late in the period, Lane Scheidl fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Bakala.
Although each team developed grade-A chances in the third period, both goaltenders held their own. Indy would put on the majority of the pressure through the final third of the period and were able to finally capitalize when Derek Barach put home a rebound and tied the game with 9.7 seconds remaining.
Unable to score through seven minutes of overtime, both teams went to a shootout where Indy’s Krieger would be the only person to score. Bakala stopped all three Kansas City shots, earning a win in the process.
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