By Liam Gotmer
The Atlanta Gladiators (16-28-2-1) scored twice in the third period to force overtime before falling 4-3 in the sixth-round of a shootout to the Indy Fuel (25-17-4-0) Saturday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana.
First Star: Jon Martin (IND) - 1 goal, shootout winner
Second Star: Kyle Maksimovich (IND) - 1 goal, 1 assist
Third Star: Cameron Hillis (IND) - 1 goal
Back and forth action between the two clubs highlighted a spirited first period, however both teams headed to the dressing room scoreless.
Atlanta scored in the opening two-minutes of the second period to grab a 1-0 lead (1:46). Jack Matier received a pass out front from Reece Vitelli and Matier blasted home his sixth goal of the season for the lead.
Cameron Hillis tied things for Indy just over a minute later to make the score 1-1 (3:32).
Jon Martin scored for the Fuel just over four-minutes later to give Indy a 2-1 lead (7:29).
With time running out in the second period, the Fuel got a goal from Kyle Maksimovich in the final second to head into the intermission up 3-1 (19:59).
Just over five-minutes into the third, the Gladiators scored to pull within a goal, 3-2 (6:32). Griffin Luce sent a beautiful stretch pass to Brendan Hoffmann who was able to break in all alone behind the Fuel defense to net his fourth of the season, and second in as many games.
With six-minutes to play in the third period, Atlanta drew even, tying the score at three with a power play goal (13:48). Luke Prokop set up Micah Miller at the far circle, who stayed with the play, eventually knocking home his 18th goal of the season.
Both teams stood tall in the final five-minutes of the third period as the game headed to overtime.
Again, neither team wanted to relinquish any space as the game headed to a shootout.
In the shootout, both teams traded goals, as Reece Vitelli and Robert Calisti scored for the Gladiators, however it was Jon Martin scoring the winner for Indy in the sixth round.
Mitchell Weeks made 33 saves on 36 shots in the win for Indy, meanwhile Josh Boyko stopped 33 shots himself in the loss for Atlanta.