Fuel kick off weekend road trip in Wheeling

Fanimation Game Preview: Fuel at Nailers

Nov 29, 2018






THE MATCHUP: The Indy Fuel (9-8-0-0) begin a brief two game road swing Friday night as they visit WesBanco Arena to take on the Wheeling Nailers (6-9-1-0). The Central Division rivals meet for the second of 11 times this season, the second of nine encounters taking place in West Virginia.

The Fuel used a big second period rally to claim a 5-3 victory in their first trip to Wheeling back on Nov. 3. Five unanswered goals in under 10 minutes in the middle frame helped Indy erase a 2-0 deficit in what was the Nailers' home opener. Josh Shalla tallied a goal and two assists, while Kevin Dufour notched a pair of goals for the Fuel, while Troy Josephs (2g) and Zac Lynch (1g, 1a) turned in mulit-point nights for Wheeling. 

LAST TIME OUT: Indy used another offensive outburst to take control of a game last Saturday when an explosive third period helped the Fuel to a 6-3 come-from-behind victory over the Kalamazoo Wings at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Trailing 2-1 to start the final frame, Indy scored five times in a span of 4:45 to grab a commanding 6-2 lead. Five players finished the game with multiple points, and twelve total skaters registered at least one point for Indy, which improved to 7-3 this season on home ice. Kevin Lankinen improved his record to 4-0 in a Fuel uniform with the win, stopping 30 of 33 shots.

BACK AND FORTH: Indy enters Friday's contest looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since the club recorded three straight victories from Oct. 13 to Oct. 20. Finding themselves on the proverbial see-saw during the entire month of November, the Fuel have alternated wins and losses over their last 12 outings. In games following a victory this season, Indy has a 2-6 record – compared to a 7-1 mark immediately following a loss.

PACK THE BUS: Coming off of a three-game homestand at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, the Fuel will be spending some time away from home over the next two weeks. Five of Indy's next six games take place on the road, beginning with this weekend's tests in Wheeling and Toledo. With a 2-5 mark outside of Central Indiana entering the weekend, the Fuel are looking to find some of the same success they've had on home ice on the road. Following the two game trip this weekend, Indy returns home for a Tuesday night showdown with Kansas City before visiting Kalamazoo, Fort Wayne and Wheeling for a road three-in-three set Dec. 7-9. 

A PEEK AT THE CENTRAL: Shaping up to be one of the ECHL's deepest divisions top to bottom, the Central Division standings have already become extremely competitive. Cincinnati and Toledo are locked in a battle for first place with 27 points apiece (though the Cyclones have played three more games than every other team in the division), and Indy and Fort Wayne are tied for third with identical 9-8-0-0 records. Five points behind the Fuel and Komets are the fifth-place Nailers with 13 points, while Kalamazoo finds itself in the basement with 11 points.

WHEEL CHECK: After winning just one of their first six games, the Nailers have bounced back over the month of November, picking up points in six of their last 10 games (5-4-1-0). Following a three-game sweep of a trip through the South Division from Nov. 16-18, Wheeling dropped two of three games at WesBanco Arena last week. In their last outing, the Nailers fell into an early hole en route to a 6-4 loss to Kalamazoo.


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