Fuel try to draw even with Everblades in rematch from EsteroOct 26, 2017
GAME PREVIEW: FUEL AT EVERBLADES
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27 - 7:30 P.M.
GERMAIN ARENA - ESTERO, FLA.
BROADCAST INFO: 1070TheFan.com, ECHL.TV
The Story: The Indy Fuel (1-2-1-0) aim to even their three-game series with the ECHL-leading Florida Everblades (5-0-0-0) at a game apiece in Friday's rematch from Germain Arena. Puck drop from Southern Florida is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET, with the call coming on 1070TheFan.com and ECHL.TV.
The hometown Everblades continued their undefeated start to the 2017-18 season Wednesday night, downing Indy 3-1 in what was the first encounter between the two teams since December of 2014. The Fuel took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, but Florida took over the game down the stretch, stifiling Indy's attack while scoring three unanswered goals to claim their fifth straight win to begin the campaign.
Tommy Olczyk delivered the Fuel's lone goal, coming on a first period power play – his second power play goal of the season. Indy's man advantage – ranked sixth in the ECHL at 25% – has now marked at least one goal on the man advantage in each of the club's four outings in 2017-18.
Meanwhile, the Everblades look to continue their hot start to the season Friday night on home ice. One of five undefeated teams left in the ECHL, Florida leads the league in team defense, allowing a stingy 1.60 goals per game to their opponents. Goaltenders Callum Booth (1.00) and Martin Ouellette (2.00) rank second and seventh respectively among league goaltenders in goals against average, while Booth leads all rookie netminders with a .964 save percentage.
Road Closed Ahead: With a road record of 0-2-1-0, Indy enters Friday's action still searching for its first win of 2017-18 away from Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Six of the Fuel's first seven games of the season come in enemy territory, with Wednesday's series opener marking the first of four straight on the road for the club. After Saturday's finale with Florida, Indy travels to Quad City next Friday night before finally returning to Indianapolis for a pair of games Nov. 4 and 5.
Reid Between The Lines: One reason for the Fuel power play's hot start has been the play of Cam Reid. The veteran forward leads the entire ECHL with five power play assists, and has factored in each of Indy's four games so far. With a point Friday, Reid can match Rhett Bly's franchise-long point streak to start the season, set in 2014-15.
Getting Swamped: If the Fuel are to hand Florida its first loss of 2017-18 Friday, they are going to have to find a way to contain them in the later stages of the game. Through five games, the Everblades have outscored their opponents by a staggering 15-3 margin over the second and third periods. Florida's +11 goal differential is tied for the best in the ECHL, alongside the defending Kelly Cup Champion Colorado Eagles.
Inside the Matchup: Friday marks the second of three meetings between the Fuel and Everblades this season, all of which take place this week at Germain Arena. The two teams met Wednesday for the first time since Dec. 13, 2014, when Florida claimed a 5-4 shootout win on home ice. Indy is still looking for its first-ever victory over the Carolina Hurricanes affiliate, owning a 0-3-0-1 record in the all-time season series.
Scouting Report: Everblades forward Michael Kirkpatrick (3g, 2a) potted the game-tying goal on Wednesday, giving him points five straight games to start the season ... Forward Mitchell Heard (3g, 5a) was held off the scoresheet for the first time on Wednesday. Heard's eight points is tied for third best in the league ... Rookie goaltender Callum Booth has only allowed one goal in each of his first two starts.