Indy Fuel blow out the Wheeling Nailers 6-1 off a solid performance by Goalie of the Week Hildebrand
Photo courtesy of Brendan King
Behind their goalie Jake Hildebrand, who was just awarded ECHL Goaltender of the Week, the Indy Fuel picked up the 6-1 win against the Wheeling Nailers on Friday night. It was Hildebrand's fifth win of the season.
This is an important stretch for Indy as before the game they sat in last place in the Western Conference with a record of 4-6. With only four returners from last season on the roster, at times the Fuel have looked slow and have struggled to put the puck in the back of the net. But on Friday night, they had no problem scoring goals on Wheeling's goalie Doug Carr. They fired 30 shots on Carr with six of them getting behind him.
This was the first matchup between the Nailers and Fuel this year. However, these are the types of the games the Fuel need to take advantage of. Inter-conference play allows the Fuel to get points and move up rather quickly in the standings because the teams they are playing have no effect on the Fuel's standings. With two more games to go this weekend against Eastern Conference opponents, a six point weekend could completely turn around the Fuel's start to the season. With the win, Indy is at 11 points. They now move to 12th place in the Western Conference.
So far, compared to last season the Fuel are playing a quicker, more physical game with the addition of so many young and larger players on the roster. They only have five players under six-foot on the roster.
Two of Indy's goal scorers put away their first goals of the season in Chris Williams and Evan Mosey. They 27-year-old Mosey has appeared in 5 games with the Fuel after being assigned to Indy by the Rockford Icehogs on November 5th. Also scoring for the Fuel was one of the bright spots of this early season, Anthony Beauregard. It was the fourth goal of the season for the 5-foot-7 center. Marek Tvrdon chipped in with his fourth and fifth of the year consecutively. And with 3:30 remaining in the third period, Alex Wideman snuck one in to extend the lead even further to make it 6-1. Patrick D'Amico finished with three assists.
The Fuel are at just the start of a 3-in-3 weekend as they have two games left both against the Atlanta Gladiators on Saturday and Sunday. If Indy wins both of those games, they can potentially make the jump to seventh place in the Western Conference.