Fuel look to keep rolling against CyclonesJan 20, 2018
GAME PREVIEW: FUEL VS. CYCLONES
SATURDAY, JANUARY 20 - 7:35 P.M.
INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM, INDIANAPOLIS
TICKETS: TICKETMASTER, INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM BOX OFFICE
BROADCAST INFO: 1070THEFAN.COM, ECHL.TV
The Story: The Indy Fuel (15-17-2-1) go for their third straight victory Saturday as they take on the Cincinnati Cyclones (21-14-1-0) at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. A big crowd is expected in the Circle City for the club's annual Service Night presented by ESGR, recognizing local military personnel and first responders. For seats, visit Ticketmaster or the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office.
The Fuel returned from the ECHL's brief All-Star break firing on all cylinders, seizing a decisive 6-3 victory over the Allen Americans on home ice Friday night. Forward Josh Shalla tallied a hat trick to help spot Indy a 5-2 lead after two periods, before Darian Dziurzynski tacked on another goal in the third. Shalla and Dziurzynski (1g, 1a) were two of five Fuel skaters who finished with multiple points Friday, joining Cam Reid (3a), Michael Neal (2a) and Nolan Descoteaux (2a).
With the win, Indy improves to 6-2 over their last eight games and 7-3 in its last 10 since Dec. 23. Closing in on the halfway point of their 2017-18 schedule, the Fuel (33 points) are 10 points behind Kalamazoo, Cincinnati and Kansas City – who are all tied for third in the Central Division with 43 points. Indy will have a chance to get points back from two of those three teams this weekend, hosting the Cyclones tonight before finishing the weekend in Kalamazoo Sunday afternoon.
Cincinnati arrives to Indianapolis looking to snap a three game skid. After falling to Kansas City and Toledo before the All-Star break, the Cyclones dropped a 6-2 decision to Fort Wayne on home ice Friday night. Saturday opens a stretch that sees Cincinnati play six of their next eight games away from U.S. Bank Arena – all against Central Division foes.
Shallalujah: Josh Shalla found a way to take his hot streak to a new level Friday night against Allen. The Fuel forward scored a hat trick for his third multi-goal game in the last 15 days, giving him a total of seven goals and two assists in five games since re-signing with Indy. Shalla's hat trick was his second in two seasons for the Fuel, and the seventh in franchise history.
Central Standard Time: Saturday marks the official end of the first half of Indy's regular season slate, while also kicking off a critical stretch of the club's schedule. Beginning with the Cyclones' visit, 19 of the Fuel's next 21 games will be played within the Central Division. Making matters more difficult, starting on Sunday in Kalamazoo Indy will play 12 of 14 games away from Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Multi Point Inspection: The Fuel power play finished 3-for-7 Friday night, marking the second time this season Indy has tallied three times on the man advantage in a single game ... Cam Reid (8g, 16) three-assist performance was his sixth multi-point effort this season ... Forward Michael Neal has assists in three straight games (4a), and nine points in his last eight outings overall (1g, 8a).
Inside the Matchup: Saturday marks the third of 10 meetings between the Fuel and Cyclones, and the third to take place in Central Indiana. Indy has come out on top of both previous encounters, most recently in a 2-1 victory on Dec. 30.
The Central Division rivals will meet twice in January, before playing each other a total of six times over the final 48 days of the regular season. The all-time series betwen Indy and Cincinnati is dead even at 17 wins apiece, with the Fuel holding a 12-6-1-0 all-time mark against the Cyclones at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Scouting Report: The Cyclones lost a pair of stand-outs to AHL callups this week – forward Shawn O'Donnell signed a PTO with the Hartford Wolf Pack, while defenseman Eric Knodel was recalled by Cincinnati's affiliate in Rochester ... Cincinnati is 15-4-0-0 when scoring first ... Forward Justin Danforth (21g, 20a) has four goals and an assist over his last six games, while leading all ECHL rookies with 41 points overall.