AP NEWS

Fucale’s travels end with win for K’s

January 4, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS : Zach Fucale didn’t get back from Davos, Switzerland, until about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Or, he thinks that’s when it was.

Frankly, it’s all a little hazy right now. And that makes it all the more amazing he came out of this game for the Komets with 33 saves on 34 shots, as the Komets defeated the Indy Fuel 4-1 in what was one of their most complete games of the season.

“We’ve just got to do things the right way and get everybody playing on the same page,” coach Gary Graham said. “When we do that, we give ourselves a chance to win.”

His team leapfrogged Indy and Wheeling to get into third place in the ever-changing Central Division, but now faces division-leading Cincinnati on Friday night at U.S. Bank Arena.

But back to Fucale, who had just been with Canada for its second-place finish at the Spengler Cup. With Canada, he was 3-0-1 with a 1.47 goals-against average and .930 save percentage, falling to Finnish club KalPa Kuopio 2-1 in an overtime shootout in the championship game.

Against Indy, he had myriad good saves, including including breakaways by Ryan Rupert and Kevin Dufour, and a redirection attempt by Dufour. The only goal he gave up was to Logan Nelson, who retrieved a puck that had been blocked by Ryan Lowney and snapped it high on Fucale.

“Last night I slept great. Today I felt normal. In the game I was good until the last couple minutes, and then (the jet lag) hit me,” Fucale said.

“I knew this game was huge and that I needed to be sharp for the team. Everybody brought their ‘A’ game today and it was awesome to see. We had a good meeting this morning and it was just awesome to see the guys coming with grit. But now that this game’s over, it’s over. We’ve got to redo the same thing tomorrow. Every day, we’ve got to bring this energy.”

Clearly, Fucale was still in the zone that had the Canadian broadcasters in love with him on the TSN broadcasts from the Spengler Cup I watched.

I asked him if the hockey he was facing tonight was comparable, and his answer was intriguing.

“You know what? I didn’t realize how small this rink is. It was really small. Behind the net, I felt it. I was only gone 10 days or so ... but man, I felt the difference. The angles were different and it was a mini-adjustment. By tomorrow, though, I’ll be fine,” Fucale said.

A few other things:

-- J.C. Campagna, who played his bantam hockey in Carmel, said he gave out 15 tickets to the game and had a lot of friends in the stands. He’s been in the ECHL since 2017, so it’s kind of surprising he’d never played in this building : ever : though he’d practiced in it as a kid. “It’s just the way it worked out. There was a couple times when it looked like I might play here but then I’d get traded or end up getting hurt, so it took awhile for this game to happen,” Campagna said. “But for the first game here, it was good to get the win.”

-- Jordan Sims was out with an injury. It’s his hip.

-- I’m an anti-replay guy in most respects because I like the human element of officiating. But this is getting ridiculous. I sit right on the goal line at Indiana Farmers Coliseum and I’m 99 percent sure that Brady Shaw’s first-period goal was in. The referee was very clear with his call. I can’t really figure out why it would have been overturned. But regardless, this is one of those buildings that could easily be outfitted with replay capabilities at minimal cost. Heck, suction cup an iphone to the glass and you would have had a clear view here. So there’s now three games I’ve been at this season in which I’ve very clearly seen miscalled goals. Fort Wayne’s Anthony Petruzzelli got a goal he shouldn’t have; Brampton’s Daniel Ciampini got a goal he shouldn’t have and now Shaw got a goal taken away.

jcohn@jg.net

AP RADIO
Update hourly