Fuel, Cyclones tangle on Black Friday in Indianapolis

Fanimation Game Preview: Fuel vs. Cyclones

Nov 23, 2018







THE MATCHUP:  The Indy Fuel (8-7-0-0) continue a three-game holiday homestand Friday night as they take on the Cincinnati Cyclones (11-3-2-0) at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Puck drop on Black Friday is set for 7:35 p.m. ET, with tickets still available by visiting the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office. 

The Fuel and Cyclones square off for the fourth of 12 times in 2018-19, the third of eight meetings taking place in the Circle City. Indy enters Friday's action with a 2-1 lead in the season series, with the home team winning each of the first three encounters. The Central Division rivals last met in a home-and-home set on Nov. 9-10, with the Cyclones taking a 5-2 victory at U.S. Bank Arena before the Fuel answered with a 4-3 win of their own the following night.

Indy forward Kevin Dufour leads the season series with one goal and three assists in three games, while Cincinnati's Myles Powell registered three goals over his last two games against the Fuel. 

LAST TIME OUT:  Indy improved to 6-2 on home ice to start the season by snapping the Toledo Walleye's 10-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory Wednesday at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Josh Shalla tallied a goal and an assist – including the eventual game-winning tally halfway through the second period – while Matt Tomkins stopped 30 shots to register his second straight win in net. Neil Manning and Connor Moynihan also potted goals for the Fuel, who improved to 2-0 this season againt Toledo. 

RIDING THE SEE-SAW: The Fuel hope to use the boost of playing at home to help them buck a recent trend. Indy has alternated wins and losses over the club's last 10 games, and is looking to mark consecutive victories for the first time since a three-game winning streak from Nov. 13-20. Indy enters Friday's action with a 2-5 mark this season in games following a victory, while Wednesday's win improved the club's record to 6-1 in games after a loss.

ROCKFORD REINFORCEMENTS: The Fuel were served an extra helping of depth on Thanksgiving, when forward Brett Welychka and goaltender Kevin Lankinen were reassigned to Indy from the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. Welychka skated in eight games with Rockford since his recall on Oct. 29, logging three shots on goal. In five contests with the Fuel to start the season, the rookie from London, Ontario has tallied two goals and two assists. 

Lankinen appeared in one game following his reassignment to the IceHogs on Nov. 11, stopping 19 of 21 shots in a 2-1 Rockford loss in San Antonio. The netminder from Helsinki, Finland is 3-0 in three appearances with Indy, posting a 2.33 goals against average and .910 save percentage.

MEET THE NEW BOSS: Friday marks the second consecutive game the Fuel will be taking on the top team in the Central Division. Indy's win over Toledo on Wednesday helped the Cyclones (24 points) leapfrog the Walleye into first place in the Central after a 6-3 triumph over Kalamazoo. Picking up points in 12 of their last 14 games, Cincinnati swept a four game homestand after suffering a 4-3 loss to Indy on Nov. 10 in the Circle City. 

The Cyclones have been getting the job done on both sides of the puck, ranking first in the ECHL in both team scoring (4.06 goals per game) and team defense (2.38 goals allowed per game). Cincinnati has scored at least four goals in six of their last eight outings, while Cyclones goaltender Michael Houser leads the league with a 2.01 goals against average.

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