Hot Goaltending Leads Fuel to Victory


WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers put loads of pressure on the Indy Fuel on Wednesday night at WesBanco Arena, but ran into a hot goaltender. Dan Bakala made 36 saves on 37 shots, and got four goals of support from his teammates, as the Fuel defeated the Nailers, 4-1. Hayden Hodgson was the lone goal scorer for the Nailers.

Both goals in the first period were scored by the Fuel, and they came in a span of 35 seconds. The first marker came on the power play, as Indy won an offensive zone face-off and moved the puck around to Michael McNicholas in the right circle. McNicholas’ one-timer squirted through Alex D’Orio’s right arm and laid in the crease, where it was poked in by Jared Thomas. Antoine Waked was the second player to find the twine, as he and Nick Hutchison combined to capitalize on a Wheeling turnover.

The visitors added to their lead with two more goals in the middle frame. The Nailers did a marvelous job of killing a penalty around the midway mark of the period, but shortly after, Matt Marcinew got a shot off from just inside the blueline, which flew into the top-left corner of the cage. Nick Hutchison put one more on the board, when he stole the puck in the neutral zone and drove into the left circle, where he zipped a shot into the right side of the net.

Wheeling got its lone goal in the third period to end Indy’s shutout streak at 187:09. Matt Alfaro tossed a pass across the slot to Hayden Hodgson, who deposited a one-timer from the left side. The assist gave Alfaro at least one point in six straight games.

Dan Bakala was outstanding in goal for the Fuel, as he earned the victory by stopping 36 of the 37 shots he faced. Alex D’Orio took the loss in his season debut for the Nailers, as he made 17 saves on 21 shots.

The Nailers will play three straight home games this weekend, as the Utah Grizzlies come to town.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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