Fuel close out weekend with Sunday rematch in Toledo

FANIMATION GAME PREVIEW: FUEL AT WALLEYE

Feb 10, 2019
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FANIMATION GAME PREVIEW: FUEL AT WALLEYE

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10 - 5:15 P.M.

HUNTINGTON CENTER, TOLEDO, OHIO

BROADCAST INFO: ECHL.TV

THE MATCHUP: The Indy Fuel (23-22-2-1) look to snap a three-game losing streak Sunday afternoon as they finish a weekend doubleheader with the Toledo Walleye (28-11-4-3) at the Huntington Center. The puck drops for Indy's fourth game in five days at 5:15 p.m. ET, with live coverage available through ECHL.TV.

The Fuel enter Sunday's rematch hungry for a win, after coming out empty-handed from their first three tests this week. Indy has now dropped four of its last five contests dating back to Jan. 27, and is 2-6-1-0 over its last nine outings on the road since Jan. 5.

On the other side, Toledo has registered at least a point in eight of its last nine games (5-1-2-1). Sunday marks the final test of a season-long nine-game homestand for the Walleye, over which they have only lost in regulation one time – a 5-2 setback to the Tulsa Oilers on Feb. 1.

After winning the first two games of the season series, Indy has lost three straight to Toledo, including both meetings taking place at the Huntington Center. The two clubs will only meet twice more in the regular season following Sunday's rematch, with the Walleye making a visit to Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 3 before Indy returns to Ohio for the series finale on March 10.

Indy and Toledo have played each other incredibly close all season long, with four of the first five encounters being decided by a single goal. Josh Shalla paces all Fuel skaters with two goals and four assists in five games, while Shane Berschbach (2g, 4a), TJ Hensick (1g, 5a) and Matt Register (1g, 5a) all share the Walleye lead with six points against the Fuel.

LAST TIME OUT: Toledo's Dylan Sadowy scored the only goal in the third period to break a 4-4 tie, as the Walleye grabbed a 5-4 victory in the first leg of the weekend doubleheader Saturday. Indy skated to leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 over the first two periods of play, but Toledo was able to respond each time, before the Fuel erased a 4-3 Walleye advantage before the end of the second. Josh Shalla and Logan Nelson each tallied a goal and an assist for Indy, while defenseman Alex Brooks notched two assists. Goaltender Gordon Defiel turned aside 26 of 31 shots in the loss. 

STUCK IN REVERSE: As they prepare for the second of five straight tests on the road, the Fuel find themselves moving in the wrong direction in the Central Division standings. The club's three game skid has dropped Indy (49 points) from third place to fifth in the Central, where it holds a slight one-point cushion over the sixth-place Wheeling Nailers. Kalamazoo, Fort Wayne, Indy and Wheeling are all separated by just three points as of Sunday morning, but the Fuel were the only team out of the four who failed to pick up a point on Saturday. 

SHALLA THE LIGHTS: With his first-period tally on Saturday night forward Josh Shalla became the first Fuel skater to hit the 20-goal plateau this season. The seventh-year veteran has now lit the lamp at least 20 times in five of his seven ECHL campaigns, and is now just six points away from hitting the 300 mark in his ECHL career (152g, 142a). One point off the pace for the team scoring lead this season with 41 (20g, 21a), Shalla has picked up six goals and two assists over his last eight outings.

OTHER NOTABLES: Radovan Bondra is on a six game point streak, picking up one goal and six assists since Jan. 26 ... Forward Logan Nelson has found the scoresheet in 11 of his last 12 games, collecting a total of six goals and 10 assists over that span ... Indy's power play has connected in each of its last three games, scoring on four of the unit's last five opportunities ... Matheson Iacopelli picked up his first goal of the season during Saturday night's game.

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