Fuel and Komets meet up Friday in Allen County

FANIMATION GAME PREVIEW: FUEL AT KOMETS

Jan 18, 2019
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FANIMATION GAME PREVIEW: FUEL AT KOMETS

FRIDAY, JANUARY 18 - 8:00 P.M.

ALLEN COUNTY WAR MEMORIAL COLISEUM, FORT WAYNE, IND.

BROADCAST INFO: ECHL.TV

THE MATCHUP: The Indy Fuel (19-17-2-0) embark on another three game weekend Friday night as they make the short trip to Allen County to take on the Fort Wayne Komets (21-16-0-1) at the Memorial Coliseum. The fourth meeting in just over two weeks between the Hoosier State rivals is slated for a 8 p.m. start, with coverage coming live via ECHL.TV.

The Fuel head back up I-69 looking to end a three game winless streak against the Komets, going 0-2-1-0 against their in-state foe to start the month of January. Even though Indy picked up points in three of its last four games, the club enters Week 15 on a three game winless streak, finishing a 3-in-3 tripleheader last weekend with an 0-1-2-0 record. 

Fort Wayne enters the weekend seeking a rebound of its own, after dropping two straight games on home ice against the Kalamazoo Wings. The Komets saw a five-game winning streak come to an end Sunday afternoon in a 5-3 setback, before seeing leads of 6-3 and 7-4 disappear in a wild 10-8 loss Wednesday night. 

Friday marks the seventh of 11 meetings between Indy and Fort Wayne in 2018-19, with the Komets holding a comfortable edge in the season series. The Fuel enter Friday's contest with a 1-4-1-0 ledger against Fort Wayne, though their lone victory did come in enemy territory back on Dec. 8. 

Komets forward Justin Hodgmann paces all skaters in the season series with seven points (3g, 4a) in six games, while Quentin Shore leads the Fuel with two goals and two assists against Fort Wayne. 

LAST TIME OUT: Zac Lynch scored 1:02 into overtime to help the Wheeling Nailers complete a weekend sweep of the Fuel Sunday afternoon with a 4-3 victory at WesBanco Arena. Indy received a late third period goal from Alex Brooks to help force the extra frame, while Mathew Thompson and Logan Nelson also found the net for the Fuel. Defenseman Robert Powers chipped in a pair of assists for Indy, while goaltender Matt Tomkins turned aside 27 of 31 shots in the loss.

STANDINGS CHECK: With the second half of the 2018-19 ECHL regular season in full swing, things have tightened up once again in the ultra-competitive Central Division. Only seven points separate the third and sixth place teams, as Fort Wayne, Indy, Wheeling and Kalamazoo all continue to jockey for positioning.

The Komets currently hold down the third spot in the Central with 43 points, three ahead of the Fuel and Nailers – who enter the weekend with identical 19-17-2-0 records. Coming off of two straight wins over Fort Wayne, the sixth-place Wings have pulled within four points of Indy and Wheeling, with a game in hand on the three teams in front of them. At the top of the division, Cincinnati (54 points) holds a four point edge over Toledo, which currently finds itself on a four-game winless skid.

TRANSACTION TRACKER: While Head Coach Bernie John opted to give his players a few days of well-deserved rest early this week, the Fuel had a busy week in the office making a pair of roster moves. On Wednesday, Indy traded forward Avery Peterson to the Atlanta Gladiators in exchange for future considerations, before the Chicago Blackhawks reassigned forward Matheson Iacopelli from the Fuel to the Rockford IceHogs on Thursday. 

ALEX THE ALL-STAR: In another big announcement coming on Thursday, Fuel defenseman Alex Brooks was named to the Western Conference roster for the 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, taking place Monday night in Toledo. Brooks replaces former Indy blueliner Neil Manning, who was released from his AHL contract with the IceHogs on Tuesday and has signed with the Kassell Huskies in Germany. 

Brooks leads all active Fuel defenders with 15 points (5g, 10a) in 35 games, while his +12 rating ranks first among all Indy skaters. The third-year pro has taken his game to another level since the Fuel returned from holiday break, tallying eight points (4g, 4a) over his last 11 games.

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