Fuel and Komets tangle Tuesday in IndianapolisJan 23, 2018
GAME PREVIEW: FUEL VS. KOMETS
TUESDAY, JANUARY 23 - 7:05 P.M.
INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM, INDIANAPOLIS
TICKETS: TICKETMASTER, INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM BOX OFFICE
BROADCAST INFO: 1070THEFAN.COM, ECHL.TV
The Story: The Indy Fuel (16-18-2-1) close out a stretch of four games in five days Tuesday night as they take on the Fort Wayne Komets (25-12-2-0) at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Tuesday is another All-You-Can-Eat Night; fans can enjoy endless hot dogs, burgers, popcorn and nachos free with the purchase of a game ticket.
Indy is looking to get back on track after the club's three game winning streak was snapped in a 6-2 setback to the Kalamazoo Wings Sunday afternoon at Wings Event Center. Ryan Rupert and Garrett Clarke scored for the Fuel, who could not recover from an early deficit after Kalamazoo seized a 3-0 first period lead.
Winners of seven of their last 10 games and eight of their last 12, Indy is in the middle of a critical stretch that has them playing 13 of 14 against Central Division foes. Following Tuesday's meeting with the Komets, the Fuel head on the road for three games in three days this weekend. Indy makes its first trip to U.S. Bank Arena Friday to take on Cincinnati, before returning to Wings Event Center for a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader with Kalamazoo.
The Komets arrive in Indianapolis on a four-game winning streak, sweeping a three-in-three set over the weekend. Fort Wayne handed the Cyclones a 6-2 loss in Cincinnati on Friday, before taking 5-3 and 4-1 victories over the Allen Americans on Saturday and Sunday.
Central Division Standings: With the second half of the ECHL schedule finally under way, the Central Division standings are beginning to tighten up. Toledo maintains their lead atop the table with 53 points, though Fort Wayne is within striking distance one point behind. Only two points separate third from fifth, as Kansas City (47 points), Kalamazoo (46 points), and Cincinnati (45 points) are all jockeying for position. Closing the gap in recent weeks has been the Fuel (35 points), who enter Tuesday 11 points back from the Wings for the fourth and final playoff spot. Rounding out the division standings is Quad City with 24 points.
Power Up: While Indy's special teams play has been exceptional all season long, the club has been clicking on the power play as of late. The Fuel have scored at least once on the man advantage in each of their last four outings, including a three-PPG performance on Friday against Allen. Indy's power play has gone 6-for-21 (28.6%) over that span, ranking third overall in the ECHL with a 20.1% efficiency rating.
Multi Point Inspection: Forward Johnny McInnis (9g, 8a) has points in four straight games (2g, 2a) ... Eleven of the Fuel's next 13 games will come on the road ... Defenseman Robin Press (2g, 8a) has two goals and two assists since being reassigned to Indy ... Forward Michael Neal (12g, 13a) has five goals and one assists through five games against Fort Wayne this season
Inside the Matchup: Fort Wayne leads the season series four wins to one over Indy, heading into the sixth of nine meetings in 2017-18. In the most recent encounter between the Hoosier State rivals on Jan. 5, the Fuel defeated the Komets 2-1 at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, snapping an eight game losing streak in Fort Wayne. All time, Indy is 7-11-2-2 against their in-state foe, including a 0-3-0-2 mark over the last five meetings at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Scouting Report: Forward Gabriel Desjardins (16g, 20a) leads the Komets with three goals and five assists in five games against Indy ... Defenseman Ryan Lowney (3g, 12a) has tallied one goal and seven assists over his previous eight games ... Goaltender Michael Houser has given up three goals or fewer in each of his last five starts, posting a 3-2-0 record over that span.