Fuel, Komets kick off season series on Black Friday in Indianapolis

Nov 24, 2017








The Story: The Indy Fuel (4-7-2-1) continue their homestand Friday night as they welcome the crosstown rival Fort Wayne Komets (6-5-2-0) to Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

Indy enters the Black Friday showdown after winning two straight games last weekend; snapping a winless skid with an emphatic 6-2 victory over Kalamazoo on Friday, before downing the Tulsa Oilers 4-3 the following night. Forward Nick Bligh marked a goal and two assists in Saturday's win over Tulsa, the first time this season the Fuel have tabbed back-to-back victories. Three goals in under a three minute span in the second period helped Indy grab control of what was a wild affair which saw 96 penalty minutes in total.

The four points in Week 6 helped the Fuel creep closer to the pack in the hotly-contested Central Division. Though still in seventh place with 11 points, Indy could leapfrog Kalamzoo and Quad City (12 points each) with a win Friday.

Meanwhile, the Komets are also seeking their third win in a row, arriving to the Circle City after downing Tulsa 6-1 on Sunday, and defeating the Division-leading Toledo Walleye 5-4 on Thanksgiving. Fort Wayne has picked up points in three straight contests (2-0-1-0) and in five of their last seven games (4-2-1-0) dating back to Nov. 8. 

Halfway Home(stand): The Fuel take the ice Friday for the fourth game of a string of six in a row at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Indy has won two of three to start the extended stay at home, improving its record to 3-3 overall this season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. After hosting the Komets and Mavericks this weekend, the Fuel close out their homestand next Friday against Quad City.

Powering Up: After going scoreless for seven games from Oct. 28 to Nov. 14, Indy's power play provided a much-needed spark during the club's two victories over the weekend. The Fuel tallied once on four chances Friday against Kalamazoo, adding another two power play goals in Saturday's win over Tulsa. Overall, Indy ranks seventh in the ECHL on the man advantage (19.0%)

Marc-y Marc and the Funky Bunch: Returning from an AHL callup with the Laval Rocket late last week, goaltender Étienne Marcoux posted a pair of stellar performances for Indy, picking up his first two wins of the season. The rookie stopped 78 of 83 shots (.940 sv%) in two starts, including a career-high 45 saves on Friday – being named runner up for the CCM/ECHL Goaltender of the Week.

Inside the Matchup: Friday marks the first of nine meetings between the Fuel and Komets this season, the first of six coming from Indianapolis. Indy posted a 1-5-1-2 mark against its in-state rivals in 2016-17, with the Komets claiming the last two games via a shootout. The Fuel begin the 2017-18 season series with a 8-16-3-4 all-time record against Fort Wayne, which includes a 5-7-0-3 mark on home ice.

Scouting Report: Forward Gabriel Desjardins (6g, 3a) comes into Friday's game with five goals in his last two outings, tallying a hat trick in Sunday's win over Tulsa. Desjardins has accounted for the game-winning marker in each of Fort Wayne's last two wins ... Forward Dennis Kravchenko (6g, 4a) has points in five straight games and goals in four consecutive outings ... Goaltender Michael Houser has started six straight games for the Komets, making a season-high 46 saves Sunday against the Oilers.


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