INDIANAPOLIS — The Indy Fuel hosted the Iowa Heartlanders for the first time this season Friday night and with a hat trick from Jan Mandat, the Fuel won the game 5-2.
Indy scored first with their third shorthanded goal of the season, thanks to Jan Mandat hitting it after Bryan Lemos forced a turnover, giving Mandat a breakaway opportunity. Alex Wideman improved the Fuel with another goal just five minutes later before time expired.
Indy picked up where they left off to start the second period, dominating possession and keeping the pressure on until Wideman was handed his first penalty of the season for interference. The Fuel managed to kill the penalty and eventually nailed another goal through the dynamic Wideman-Hoelscher-Yetman line. With an assist on that goal, Wideman tied Josh Shalla for the Fuel franchise record for assists with 73.
The Heartlanders were able to get on the board with a quick return goal from Tommy Parrottino to make it 3-1. Mandat scored his second goal of the game with five minutes left in the period to secure a 4-1 lead going into the third.
The third period was scoreless for the first ten minutes, although penalties did not miss after three were awarded simultaneously after a tense moment on the ice between the teams.
TJ Fergus added another goal for Iowa, making it 4-2 with less than ten minutes left in regulation. Minutes later, Cole Stallard and Chris Cameron got a five-minute apiece major fight after Iowa pulled their goaltender. Mandat scored in an empty net to complete the hat trick and earn another first star of the game.
It was goaltender Zach Driscoll’s first start with the Fuel. He made 22 saves on 24 shots and took the win.
The Fuel return home tomorrow to take on the Kalamazoo Wings. They will take to the ice in Indianapolis Racers jerseys which will be auctioned off live after the game.