Fuel and Thunder meet for Sunday rematch in Wichita


Feb 17, 2019





THE MATCHUP: The Indy Fuel (24-24-2-1) meet up once again with the Wichita Thunder (19-24-6-3) Sunday afternoon at INTRUST BANK ARENA. The second of four straight meetings against the Thunder for Indy is slated for a 5:05 p.m. ET puck drop, and fans back in the Circle City are invited to catch the game at the team's official Watch Party at Big Woods Restaurant in Speedway. 

The Fuel opened the series against Wichita with a convincing 5-0 victory on Saturday night, snapping a five-game losing streak in the process. With the Wheeling Nailers dropping a 2-0 decision to Brampton on Saturday, Indy moved back within one point of the fifth place Nailers in the Central Division standings, while the idle Fort Wayne Komets remain three points ahead in fourth place. 

While the Fuel found a way to pull out of their skid Saturday, the Thunder will be looking to do the same in Sunday's rematch. Wichita is winless in its last six contests (0-5-1-0), and has just one victory since Jan. 26 (1-7-1-0). The Thunder are two games into a brutal stretch of seven games in nine days, which will continue next week in Indiana, with a pair of games in both Indy and Fort Wayne.

With Saturday's win the Fuel recorded their first victory in Wichita since Jake Hildebrand turned aside 28 shots in a 1-0 shutout on Jan. 10, 2017, improving Indy's overall record at INTRUST Bank Arena to 2-2-1-0. In seven all-time meetings with the Thunder, the Fuel hold a record of 3-3-1-0. 

LAST TIME OUT: Gordon Defiel stopped 31 shots for his first ECHL shutout, while Quentin Shore recorded a natural hat trick to help Indy defeat Wichita 5-0 on Saturday. Shore scored three consecutive goals in the second period to stretch a 1-0 lead to a four-goal cushion, and Ryan Rupert tallied goals in both the first and third periods to help the Fuel pick up their first regulation win since Jan. 26. Logan Nelson added a pair of assists for Indy, which also ended a four-game road losing streak. 

SHORE THING: With only a 1-0 lead entering the second period, forward Quentin Shore helped the road team seize complete control of Saturday's contest with three goals of his own. Registering his 12th, 13th and 14th goals of the season, Shore tallied his second career hat trick, the first coming in a four-point performance for the Florida Everblades against Jacksonville on Jan. 12, 2018. The three goal outing was the second of the season by a Fuel player, joining Matt Rupert who recorded a hat trick in a 5-2 win in Fort Wayne on Dec. 8.

G0RDON DEFIEL: Goaltender Gordon Defiel stopped 14 Thunder shots in the first period and 17 over the final 40 minutes of regulation to wrap up his first career ECHL shutout on Saturday night. The victory also happened to be the rookie's first in a Fuel uniform since joining the team in a trade from South Carolina on Jan. 21. Defiel has now gone a total of 102:48 without giving up a goal, a streak spanning his relief appearance Wednesday in Cincinnati and the third period of Indy's 5-4 loss in Toledo last Saturday. 

OTHER NOTABLES: Forward Woody Hudson registered an assist Saturday in his first game back with the Fuel, after returning to the team in a trade with the Worcester Railers on Wednesday ... Saturday was Ryan Rupert's third multi-goal game this season ... Rookie forward Radovan Bondra has registered points in seven of his last nine games (1g, 7a).


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