INDIANAPOLIS — The Indy Fuel are fighting for a playoff spot and got a big reinforcement this week when Matheson Iacopelli was reassigned to the team from the Rockford IceHogs.
He made his mark quickly against the Quad-City Mallards.
Iacopelli scored a hat trick Saturday night to lead the Fuel to a 6-4 win over the Mallards at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
In three games against the Mallards this weekend, Iacopelli, a third-round draft pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2014, scored five goals and added an assist for six points.
The Mallards were swept by the Fuel in the three-game series.
After a scoreless first period, Jamie Tardif gave the Mallards a 1-0 lead with his eighth goal of the season at the 3-minute, 31-second mark of the second period.
Iacopelli scored less than two minutes later, sparking three straight goals from the Fuel.
Matt Pohlkamp cut the lead to 3-2 at 16:29 but Iacopelli scored at 18:04 to give the Fuel a 4-2 lead after two periods.
Iacopelli completed his hat trick at 2:39 in the third period. Brayden Low scored at 16:37, but Johnny McInnis responded 39 seconds later, giving the Fuel enough of a cushion, even though Chris Izmirlian scored at 17:53 for the Mallards.
Eric Hartzell made 34 saves for the Mallards while Matt Tomkins made 29 for the Fuel.
Prior to the game, goaltender C.J. Motte signed a professional tryout agreement with the AHL's Stockton Heat. Motte is 8-11-1 with a 3.48 goals against average and a .908 save percentage this season with the Mallards. This is Motte's third AHL team this year after seeing time with both the Chicago Wolves and the Iowa Wild.
Ivan Kulbakov was also loaned to the Mallards by the Cleveland Monsters Saturday. Kulbakov is 10-9-0 with a 3.47 goals against average and a .906 save percentage with the Mallards this season.