Fuel return to home ice Saturday to host WheelingNov 4, 2017
GAME PREVIEW: FUEL VS. NAILERS
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4 - 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 (2-3-1-1) return to Indiana Farmers Coliseum Saturday night to host the Wheeling Nailers (4-1-2-0) in the first leg of a two game weekend homestand in the Circle City.
Tickets for the inter-conference clash are still available at Ticketmaster or at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office. Saturday is Pucks & Paws presented by Church Brothers Collision Repair, and fans are encouraged to bring their dogs with them to the game. For more information, visit IndyFuelHockey.com/paws.
Indy closed out a four-game road swing Friday night by picking up an overtime point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Quad City Mallards. Goaltender Étienne Marcoux stopped 44 shots in his Fuel debut as Indy finished their extended trip away from Indianapolis with a 1-2-0-1 record.
Nick Bligh, Matt Rupert and Cam Reid tallied Friday for the Fuel, who rallied twice from one-goal deficits to take a 3-2 lead into the third period, before Quad City found an equalizer down the stretch.
Wheeling enters Saturday's action with the best point percentage in the ECHL's North Division, picking up points in six of their seven tests to date. However, the Nailers have only one win from their last four games after starting the season 3-0.
After splitting a two-game set with the Brampton Beast last weekend in Ontario, Wheeling dropped a 4-3 overtime decision at home to the Cincinnati Cyclones Friday. The Nailers erased three Cyclones leads to force the extra session.
Reid Hot: Indy's leading scorer continued his scorching start of the season in Friday's shootout loss in Quad City. With his goal with .6 seconds left in the second period, Cam Reid has found the scoresheet in all seven of the Fuel's games so far this year. The veteran leads all Indy skaters with eight points and six assists.
Nealer vs. the Nailers: As the Fuel return to home ice, a familiar face to Indy fans will be back in the lineup. Forward Michael Neal made his 2017-18 season debut Friday after being activated from injured reserve. It was Neal's first game action since he sustained a knee injury on April 2 at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The veteran forward finished his 2016-17 campaign by tallying 10 goals and 10 assists over his final 12 games.
Home Sweet Home: After playing six of their first seven games on the road, the Fuel will spend some well-deserved time in their own building over the couple of months. Eight of Indy's next 10 games will take place at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, with 14 of the Fuel's next 20 contests leading up to the ECHL's holiday break coming on home ice.
Inside the Matchup: Saturday marks the first of five meetings between the Fuel and Nailers this season, the first of two at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Wheeling returns to the Circle City on Friday, Dec. 8, with the final three games of the season series taking place at WesBanco Arena.
Indy and Wheeling met just twice last season, with the Fuel picking up three out of four possible points. The Fuel lead the all-time season series against the Pittsburgh Penguins affiliate with a 5-3-1-0 mark.
Scouting Report: First-year forwards Cam Brown (1g, 10a) and Reid Gardiner (6g, 4a) sit first and second respectively among league rookie point-getters. Brown's 10 helpers ranks second in the entire ECHL, while Gardiner has registered a goal in six out of his seven games ... Former Fuel forward Kenny Ryan (6g, 2a) is tied for the Nailers lead with six goals, five of them coming over his last three outings.