Fuel and Wings meet for rematch in Circle City
FANIMATION GAME PREVIEW: FUEL VS. WINGSFeb 8, 2019
FANIMATION GAME PREVIEW: FUEL VS. WINGS
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8 - 7:35 P.M.
INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM, INDIANAPOLIS
BROADCAST INFO: INDYFUELHOCKEY.COM, ECHL.TV
THE MATCHUP: The Indy Fuel (23-20-2-1) return to Indiana Farmers Coliseum Friday night to wrap up a home-and-home series with the Kalamazoo Wings. Indy's first appearance on home ice since Jan. 26 is slated for a 7:35 p.m. ET puck drop, with tickets still remaining through Ticketmaster or the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office.
The Fuel kick off a three-game weekend slate by looking to avenge a lopsided 8-4 loss to the Wings Wednesday night in Kalamazoo. Friday's matchup is a critical one in the Central Division standings, with Indy holding only a one-point edge over the Wings after Wednesday's setback. Indy remains in third place in the Central with 49 points, while Kalamazoo and the Fort Wayne Komets are tied for fourth with 48 apiece, though the Komets have played three fewer games than the Fuel.
Friday is the ninth of 12 scheduled meetings between the Fuel and Wings this season, the fourth showdown between the clubs in the last 14 days. Kalamazoo has won two straight against Indy, but the Fuel still hold a 5-3 overall edge in the 2018-19 season series, including a 3-0 mark at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Three third period goals helped Indy break a 1-1 stalemate en route to a 4-2 victory during the Wings' last visit to Central Indiana back on Jan. 26.
Fuel forward Ryan Rupert leads both teams in point scoring during the season series, posting six goals and seven assists in eight games against Kalamazoo. Forwards Reid Gardiner and Tanner Sorenson have each picked up four goals and six assists to pace the Wings.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wings used a strong third period to grab a resounding 8-4 victory over the Fuel Wednesday night at Wings Event Center. Indy rallied back from a 4-2 deficit to tie the game early in the final frame, but Kalamazoo took contral with four unanswered goals to win their fourth game in a row. Ryan Rupert logged a goal and an assist for the Fuel, who also received tallies from Quentin Shore, Robert Powers and Radovan Bondra. Matt Tomkins was saddled with the loss, giving up a season-high eight goals on 32 shots.
LOGAN X 10: With an assist on Ryan Rupert's power play goal on Wednesday night, Logan Nelson stretched his career-long point streak to 10 games. The forward has marked at least one assist in seven straight games, and has collected a total of five goals and nine assists since his streak started on Jan. 12. The 10-game streak is already the longest in Fuel franchise history from a forward, and Nelson is just two games shy of tying defenseman Robin Press' all-time franchise best streak of 12 straight contests with a point, set from Feb. 14 to March 9, 2018.
WINGS RISING: One of the hottest teams in the ECHL, Kalamazoo has fought its way out of the Central Division basement into a share of fourth place in a matter of weeks. The Wings enter Friday's game winners in four straight games, and have collected points in nine of their last 11 contests dating back to Jan. 11 (8-2-0-1). The league's sixth-ranked team in scoring offense (3.49 goals per game), Kalamazoo has put at least four on the scoreboard in each of its last four victories.
OTHER NOTABLES: Indy's streak of successful penalty kills came to an end Thursday, after thwarting 26 consecutive power play opportunities over their last eight games ... Kalamazoo forward Kyle Thomas owns the league's longest active goal scoring streak, finding the net in seven straight games ... Fuel goaltender Matt Tomkins leads all ECHL puck-stoppers with 19 wins this season ... 2017-18 Indy captain Michael Neal scored a goal and an assist for the Wings Wednesday in his first game against his former team.
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