INDIANAPOLIS – Pat Nagle reached a new season high with 41 saves on Sunday, but was outdueled by Indy Fuel netminder Matt Tomkins’ spotless 29-save performance as the Toledo Walleye dropped a 4-0 decision at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
The Walleye (33-18-5-3) were held off the scoresheet for the first time since a pair of 3-0 defeats against Fort Wayne and Cincinnati from Dec. 31, 2017-Jan. 5, 2018, snapping a run of 97 consecutive games in which they logged at least one goal. Toledo, who finished 5-2-1-0 over Indy (29-28-2-1) in the regular season series, was handed its fourth regulation loss in 34 head-to-head meetings (28-4-2) since the latter joined the ECHL.
The Fuel needed all of 20 seconds to open the scoring, as Radovan Bondra flicked a wrist shot from the right dot into the top right corner. Indy would eventually double its lead later in the period when Logan Nelson’s faceoff win in the offensive zone set up Josh Shalla at the top of the left circle for a sharp wrister inside the right post at 12:41.
Indy built a 3-0 cushion with a power play goal 15:05 into the second frame. Ryan Rupert threaded a pass from the left half-boards to Mathew Thompson at the back door for an effort that inched between Nagle and the right post.
The Fuel added more insurance with 13:35 remaining in the third, as defenseman Eric Schurhamer atoned for two penalties in the middle period with his first goal of the season.
Indy finished 1-for-3 on the man advantage, while Toledo came up empty on three power play chances. A second-year pro out of Ohio State, Tomkins collected his second shutout of the campaign.
What’s Next:The Walleye return to the Huntington Center on Friday and Saturday for Pink in the Rink Weekend, as they host the Kalamazoo Wings and Wheeling Nailers, respectively. Both games start at 7:15 p.m.
Three Stars:1. Indy – Matt Tomkins (SO, 29 saves)2. Indy – Radovan Bondra (goal, assist)3. Indy – Josh Shalla (goal, assist)