Photo: Whiteshark Photography
Darian Dziurzynski piled up two goals and two assists and Etienne Marcoux made 24 saves in relief for the host Indy Fuel (25-24-3), who ripped off six second period goals- including a vital pair on the power play in the final minute of the second- on the way to a wild 8-7 win over the Quad City Mallards (19-29-4) Thursday night.
The Fuel closed the second period with four straight goals while taking the lead for the first time after spending most of the game up until then battling from behind. Zach Miskovic started the four-goal Indy onslaught by reducing what had been a 6-4 Mallard lead to one at 11:21 of the second. A mere 28 seconds later, Dziurzynski tied the score at six from close range. After the Mallards' Triston Grant was assessed a major penalty for boarding at at 17:12, the Fuel scored its third and fourth power play goals just 28 seconds apart. Alex Wideman's drive from the high slot snapped the deadlock with 48 seconds left in the period. With 22 seconds remaining, Robin Press's blast from the high slot extended the Indy advantage to 8-6.
Press's goal loomed even larger after Jake Bolton's slap shot from the left point brought the Mallards within one with one minute, eight seconds left in the game. Marcoux- who made 21 saves in the third period alone- and the Fuel protected their slender 8-7 lead until the final horn.
It was the Mallards who had broken loose first for three early goals in three minutes, 21 seconds. Brayden Low provided the evening's opening goal on a shorthanded breakaway at 2:05 of the first period. Tristan King- who would finish the night with four points- charged into the slot to snap home the second Mallard goal at 3:46 of the first. At 5:26 Low struck again from the doorstep.
The Fuel responded to the Mallards' three-goal explosion with back-to-back first period goals of its own. Indy was on the power play when Jaynen Rissling scored the first Fuel goal from the slot at 9:29. Matt Rupert buried Wideman's centering pass to make it 3-2 at 13:35. Just 18 seconds after Rupert's goal the Mallards regained a measure of momentum when Alex Globke scored from point-blank range.
Indy pulled back within one 29 seconds into the second period. The Fuel was once more on the power play when Dziurzynski sliced the gap to 4-3 by converting Matt Iacopelli's centering feed. The Mallards again replied immediately after their lead dwindled to a single goal. This time Gergo Nagy shoveled the puck in off Indy starting goaltender Matt Tomkins at 2:12 of the second. The same scenario- the Fuel trimming the margin to one only for the Mallards to grab yet another two goal lead in short order- played out for a third time minutes later. Iacopelli's shorthanded breakaway goal pushed the Fuel within one at 5:26 but King jammed in the goal that put the Mallards up 6-4 at 8:25. In the wake of King's second, Marcoux replaced Tomkins and the next time the Fuel clawed back into the game, the Mallards were unable to stem the tide.
The Mallards and Fuel meet again tomorrow night in Indianapolis. The Mallards next play at home next Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. against the Utah Grizzlies. Fans can enjoy $1 10-ounce beers from TaxSlayer Center concession stands during all Mallards Wednesday home games.
Tickets for next Wednesday night's game and all Mallards regular season home games are now on sale at the TaxSlayer Center box office, Ticketmaster toll free charge-by-phone (1-800-745-3000) and ticketmaster.com. The box office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.