Fuel, Everblades close out series in EsteroOct 27, 2017
GAME PREVIEW: FUEL AT EVERBLADES
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28 - 7:00 P.M.
GERMAIN ARENA - ESTERO, FLA.
BROADCAST INFO: 1070TheFan.com, ECHL.TV
The Story: Coming off of their first road win of the season Friday night, the Indy Fuel (2-2-1-0) look to make it two straight against the Florida Everblades (5-1-0-0) in Saturday's series finale at Germain Arena. The rubber match between the Fuel and Everblades is slated for a 7 p.m. start time, with game broadcasts coming via 1070TheFan.com and ECHL.TV.
After Florida began the three-game set with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, Indy rebounded with a 5-2 triumph Friday night, issuing the Everblades their first loss of the 2017-18 season. A trio of power play tallies – two from Matt Rupert – led the way for Indy, which outscored Florida in all three periods.
Saturday marks the third test in a four game road trip for the Fuel, who travel to Moline, Ill. to take on the Quad City Mallards next Friday. Indy finally returns to Indiana Farmers Coliseum for a Saturday-Sunday homestand Nov. 4-5, hosting the Wheeling Nailers and Toledo Walleye.
With Friday's win, the Fuel jumped into a three-team tie for third place in the ECHL's Central Division with five points, alongside Toledo and Fort Wayne. Kalamazoo (7 points) and Kansas City (6 points) occupy the top two spots in the early going.
Power Surge: Continuing its torrid start with the extra man to start the season, Indy cashed in on three of their nine power play opportunities in Friday's victory. The Fuel have now notched at least one power play goal in each of their five games, scoring more than once on three different occasions. Overall, Indy ranks third in the ECHL with a 27.3% success rate (9/33).
Rupe, There it Is: The first two Indy power play goals Friday came courtesy of forward Matt Rupert (2g). Rupert was initially credited with an empty net goal in the late stages of the game – giving him a power play hat trick – though video review would show that forward Alex Wideman was the culprit behind the empty netter. For Rupert, the pair of goals represented his first points of the season, tying him with Geoff Walker and Tommy Olczyk for the team with two power play markers apiece.
Kind of a Big Delia: Also logging a big night Friday was rookie goaltender Collin Delia, who turned aside 37 of 39 shots en route to his first professional victory. The 23-year-old from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. was rock steady over the first two periods Friday, stopping 29 of 30 shots to enable the Fuel to build a 3-1 lead heading into the third.
Walks This Way: Forward Geoff Walker (2g, 4a) provided the primary assist on each of Indy's first two goals for his second multi-point game of the season. Picking up six points through five games, Walker is tied with Cam Reid for the Fuel scoring lead.
Reid it And Weep: With his first period goal to open the scoring Friday, forward Cam Reid (1g, 5a) now has found the scoresheet in all five games to start 2017-18. The season-opening point streak matches Indy's franchise record, set by Rhett Bly in 2014-15. Reid's five points on the power play is tied for the ECHL lead.
Scouting Report: Everblades forward Michel Kirkpatrick (4g, 3a) tallied a goal and an assist in Friday's loss, and has now recorded points in all six of Florida's games in the early stages of the season ... Defenseman Josiah Didier (2g, 2a) picked up two assists Friday, giving him three helpers in the two games against Indy ... Goaltender Martin Ouellette is tied for the league lead with three wins, ranking fifth among all netminders with a 2.00 goals against average.