Fuel and Wings open season series in Indianapolis

Nov 17, 2017







The Story: The Indy Fuel (2-7-2-1) continue their homestand Friday night as they welcome the Kalamazoo Wings (5-4-0-1) to Indiana Farmers Coliseum for the first time this season. Tickets are still available for the Central Division clash through Ticketmaster or by visiting the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office.

Indy is set for the second test of a crucial six-game homestand, all part of a stretch that sees the club play eight of nine games in Indianapolis through Dec. 9. The Fuel are looking to snap a seven game winless streak (0-5-1-1) and gain some needed ground in the Central Division standings. 

The seventh-place Indy squad opened its extended stay at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a 4-1 setback Tuesday to the Division-leading Toledo Walleye. Two third period goals helped the Walleye pull away, after Radovan Bondra brought the Fuel to within a goal early in the final frame. Goaltender Collin Delia stopped 35 shots in the loss, dropping Indy's home record to 1-3-0-0 in the season's early going.

While the Fuel's seven points has them in the Central's basement heading into the weekend, only four points separate Indy from Fort Wayne and Kalamazoo, who are tied for fifth with 11 points apiece. As a whole, the division race is still wide open, with five points separating the third place and seventh place clubs.

After starting the season by picking up points in their first five outings, the Wings arrive to the Circle City with one win out of their previous five games. Playing in their first game since last Saturday, Kalamazoo suffered a two-game sweep at the hands of the Adirondack Thunder on home ice last weekend; falling 4-1 on Friday and 5-2 on Saturday.

The Wings have had no trouble scoring through 10 games, averaging 3.50 goals for per game, but they have also been susceptible on defense as well. Kalamazoo has given up three or more goals in eight straight games, heading into Friday's action.

Bond(ra). Radovan Bond(ra): The Fuel's lone goal in Tuesday's loss to Toledo came off the stick of Radovan Bondra, marking the first point of the 20-year-old's professional career. The Blackhawks' fifth-round pick from 2015 played the bulk of the last two seasons in the WHL, where he posted 93 points (47g, 46a) in 121 games.

Making Moves: This week has been a busy one when it comes to player movement. The Fuel started on Wednesday by claiming veteran defenseman Mike Ratchuk off of waivers from the Jacksonville IceMen. Then, on Thursday Indy added a pair of rookies in forward Stephen Collins and defenseman Riley Sweeney. Released from the Fuel's active roster this week were defensemen Nick Trecapelli and Frank Schumacher, along with goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos. 

Man Disadvantage: The Fuel have been held scoreless on the power play during their current seven game skid, though they have not gotten many chances to change that. Indy has only received one power play opportunity over its last two games, and did not get a single chance on the man advantage Tuesday against Toledo. It was the first game since March 17, 2017 that the Fuel were denied a chance on the power play.

Inside the Matchup: Friday will be the first of a 10 game series between the Wings and Fuel, the first of three matchups at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Last season the two met four times, splitting the series even at two wins apiece.  The Fuel have a chance to tie up the all time series with the Wings at six wins each with a victory at the Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum on Friday. Indy owns a 5-5-1-0 record all time against Kalamazoo, including a 4-1-1-0 mark on home ice.

Scouting Report: Wings’ defenseman Eric Kattelus (2g, 5a) comes to the Circle City having scored an assist in four of their last five games. Kattelus is tied for fifth in points for the Wings with seven points through the first 10 games of the season … Forward Josh Pitt is has been hot for Kalamazoo as of late. Pitt (5g, 3a) has four goals in the last six games for the Wings with eight points total on the year. 


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