Fuel and Komets square off again Friday in Indianapolis


Jan 25, 2019


FRIDAY, JANUARY 25 - 7:35 P.M.




THE MATCHUP: The Indy Fuel (20-18-2-1) open a three-game weekend slate Friday night as they take on the Fort Wayne Komets (21-16-1-2) at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The first of two straight home tests for the Fuel is scheduled for a 7:35 p.m. ET puck drop, with tickets available at IndyFuelHockey.com or by visiting the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office.

Meeting for the fifth time in the last four weeks, the Fuel and Komets are in a tight battle for positioning in the ECHL's Central Division standings. Indy enters the weekend in fourth place in the Central with 43 points, just two shy of the Komets while the fifth place Wheeling Nailers lurk close behind with 42. Rounding out the division standings, and still very much in the hunt are the Kalamazoo Wings (38 points), who the Fuel meet for a home-and-home doubleheaders starting Saturday night in the Circle City.

Indy snapped a three-game skid against its in-state rival last Friday during a come-from-behind 3-2 overtime victory in Allen County, though the Komets have won each of the first three meetings at Indiana Farmers Coliseum this season. Fort Wayne holds a 5-2 lead through seven games of the 11-game season series, with Friday marking the last time the teams face-off until late March. 

Each of the last three contests between the Fuel and Komets have been decided by a single goal, with the previous two needing overtime to find a winner. The last time the two teams met in the Circle City on Jan. 11, Anthony Petruzzelli found the net just 10 seconds into the extra frame to give Fort Wayne a 3-2 victory.

LAST TIME OUT: The Cincinnati Cyclones completed a two-game sweep of Indy with a 4-2 victory Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Arena. The Cyclones built a 2-0 lead in the first period, before tacking a goal in the second and third to keep the Fuel outside of striking distance. Josh Shalla tallied a pair of power play goals for Indy, which fell to 0-2 this season at U.S. Bank Arena. 

BACK ON THE GRIND: After enjoying a couple of days' rest for the ECHL's All-Star break, the Fuel look to build momentum as the second half of their 2018-19 schedule continues. Indy has picked up points in six of their last 10 games entering Week 15, but just three victories, with a record of 3-4-2-1 since the start of January. The Fuel are once again tasked with playing three games in three nights this weekend, marking the fifth consecutive week the club has played a 3-in-3. 

GOT THAT SPECIAL (TEAMS) FEELING: Indy has been spent the past few weeks climbing its way up the ECHL standings in both special teams categories. The Fuel have been dominant on the penatly kill as of late, killing off 41 of 43 (95.3%) of their opponents' power play chances since Jan. 4. A perfect 13-for-13 in three games last week, Indy has an 86.2% overall shorthanded success rate, tied with the Newfoundland Growlers for the league's best mark.

On the offensive side of the equation, the Fuel have tallied power play goals in five of their last seven games, clicking at a 22.2% clip over that span. 

OTHER NOTABLES: The forward trio of Logan Nelson (2g, 2a), Matt Rupert (2g, 3a) and Ryan Rupert (2g, 2a) combined for six goals and seven assists in three games last weekend ... Nelson is currently on a five game point streak, tallying four goals and one assist since Jan. 12 ... Goaltender Matt Tomkins is undefeated in regulation through his last five starts (2-0-3), posting a 2.73 goals against average and a .931 save percentage over that span ... Defenseman Alex Brooks tallied one goal and two assists Monday night during the ECHL All-Star Classic in Toledo.


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