Fuel look to close gap with Wings in Kalamazoo

Mar 10, 2018



SATURDAY, MARCH 10 - 7:00 P.M.



The Story: The Indy Fuel (28-28-2-1) begin a two-game weekend road swing Saturday as they visit the Kalamazoo Wings (28-25-3-2) at Wings Event Center. Puck drop from Michigan is slated for 7 p.m. ET, with live coverage starting at 6:45 p.m. on 1070TheFan.com/IndyFuel and ECHL.TV.

The Fuel's drive toward a Kelly Cup Playoff berth gained momentum Friday after a come-from-behind 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones. Falling into a 2-0 hole early in the second period, Indy rattled off five unanswered goals to snap a four-game losing streak, while handing the Cyclones their first setback in six games. 

The rally started in the second period, where the Fuel scored four times in a span of 13:35 to turn a two-goal deficit into a two-goal lead. Rookie forward Matheson Iacopelli found the net twice, Matt Rupert recorded a goal and two assists, and goaltender Matt Tomkins delivered a solid 30-save performance in the Indy victory. 

With the win, the Fuel (59 points) pull within four points of the Kansas City Mavericks (63 points) for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division. Indy trails Kalamazoo (61 points) by two points for possession of fifth place – a gap they can erase with a win on Saturday.

Sitting as high as third place in the Central in early February, the Wings have stumbled a bit over the last month. Kalamazoo enters Saturday's action losers in four of five, with only two wins over its last 11 games (2-8-1-0). Hosting the Fuel in the final leg of a four-game homestand at Wings Event Center, the Wings surrendered three third period goals in a 6-2 loss to the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday. 

Multi Point Inspection: The Fuel are 19-2 this season when scoring four or more goals ... With an assist Friday, defenseman Robin Press (9g, 25a) extended his franchise-long point streak to 12 games (4g, 13a) ... In 12 games since returning from AHL recall, forward Alex Wideman (14g, 23a) has tallied five goals and 11 assists ... Indy scored its 50th power play goal of the season Friday night, improving the Fuel's league-leading efficiency to 22.7%. 

Inside the Matchup: Saturday marks the ninth of ten meetings this season between the Fuel and Wings, the seventh and final taking place at Wings Event Center. Indy enters the penultimate leg of the 2017-18 season series with a 5-3 mark against Kalamazoo, winning in three of the previous four encounters. 

Fuel forward Ryan Rupert leads both teams in the season series with 10 points (3g, 7a) in seven games against the Wings. J.T. Stenglein paces Kalamazoo with nine points (3g, 6a) against Indy, while Wings forward Josh Pitt has five goals in seven games against the Fuel.

Scouting Report: Kalamazoo leading scorer Justin Taylor (28g, 19a) has scored in each of his last three games ...  Kyle Bushee (9g, 27a) ranks 11th among ECHL defensemen with 36 points ... Forward Eric Kattelus (10g, 25a) has one goal and three assists over his last three games.


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