Fuel head to Cincinnati for rematch with Cyclones

FANIMATION GAME PREVIEW: FUEL AT CYCLONES

Jan 20, 2019
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FANIMATION GAME PREVIEW: FUEL AT CYCLONES

SUNDAY, JANUARY 20 - 3:05 P.M.

U.S. BANK ARENA, CINCINNATI

BROADCAST INFO: ECHL.TV

THE MATCHUP: The Indy Fuel (20-17-2-1) wrap up a two-game series with the Cincinnati Cyclones (26-7-3-3) Sunday afternoon with a matinee affair at U.S. Bank Arena. Fans are invited to follow the action from Cincinnati by joining the official Watch Party at Big Woods Restaurant in Speedway, with puck drop scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET.

The two clubs kicked off the home-and-home doubleheader Saturday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, with the Cyclones escaping with a 4-3 shootout victory. The Central Division rivals are now even at three wins apiece at the halfway point of their 12 game 2018-19 season series, with Cincinnati picking up a 5-2 win in the only previous meeting taking place at U.S. Bank Arena back on Nov. 9. 

Sunday is the second of only four visits to the Queen City for the Fuel, who hold a 7-13-0-0 all-time record in Cincinnati. Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz leads the season series with eight points (1g, 7a) in six games against Indy, while Ryan and Matt Rupert  pace the Fuel against the Cyclones with seven and six points respectively.

LAST TIME OUT: The Fuel rebounded from an early deficit to earn a point, but Cincinnati left Indianapolis with a 4-3 victory in the shootout. Mike Marnell potted the only goal in the breakaway competition, handing Indy its first shootout loss of the season. Matt Rupert, Ryan Rupert and Logan Nelson each logged a goal and an assist in regulation, helping Indy rally from a 3-1 first-period hole. 

THE LAWFIRM LINE: The forward combination of Matt Rupert, Ryan Rupert and Logan Nelson has been making life difficult for opposing defenses and goaltenders. The trio has accounted for each of Indy's six goals this weekend, combining for a total of 12 points (6g, 6a) during Friday's win in Fort Wayne and Saturday's shootout loss to the Cyclones.

Nelson's second period tally Saturday extended a goal-scoring streak to four games, the longest of his five-year pro career. Matt Rupert has picked up two goals and four assists over his last three games, and Ryan Rupert has five points in his last three outings, taking over the Fuel point scoring lead with 36 (11g, 25) on the season.

REGULATION IS OVERRATED: Indy has been no stranger to bonus hockey as of late, playing beyond regulation in three straight games and in four of five since last Friday. Picking up at least one point in five of their last six outings, the Fuel are now 3-2 in games decided in overtime and 1-1 in shootouts. On the other side of the picture, Saturday was only the Cyclones' second win in eight trips past regulation this season. Cincinnati is 0-3 in 3-on-3 overtime and now 2-3 in contests ending in a shootout.

OTHER NOTABLES: Indy's power play was 2-for-4 Saturday against Cincinnati's top-rated penalty kill ... The Fuel have killed off 17 of their last 18 shorthanded opportunities over their last five games ... Indy ranks in a third place tie overall with a 85.7 shorthanded success rate ... Defenseman Robert Powers has five assists over his last five games.

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