Fuel look to continue home ice success as Quad City visitsDec 13, 2017
GAME PREVIEW: FUEL VS. MALLARDS
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14 - 7:05 P.M.
INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM, INDIANAPOLIS
TICKETS: TICKETMASTER, INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM BOX OFFICE
BROADCAST INFO: 1070THEFAN.COM, ECHL.TV
The Story: The Indy Fuel (7-11-2-1) look to stay hot on home ice Thursday as they take on the Quad City Mallards (8-12-1-0) at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
It's an All-You-Can-Eat night, so fans are invited to enjoy unlimited hot dogs, burgers, popcorn and nachos for free with the purchase of a game ticket. Seats are still available via Ticketmaster or the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office.
Winners of three straight games in the Circle City, the Fuel welcome the Mallards for the first test of a three-and-three set – all part of a busy week that sees Indy play four games in five nights. After Thursday's contest, the Fuel head to Allen County to start a home-and-home doubleheader with the Fort Wayne Komets, which concludes Saturday in Indianapolis.
Indy is coming off of a tough 3-2 setback to the Wheeling Nailers Tuesday night in West Virginia. Nailers rookie Troy Josephs scored the game-deciding goal six minutes into the third period, after tallies 1:05 apart from Matt Rupert and Jack Burton erased a 2-0 Wheeling lead late in the second.
The Fuel and Mallards begin Thursday tied for sixth place in the Central Division standings with 17 points apiece. Both teams are just five points behind the fifth-ranked Kalamazoo Wings, and eight back of the fourth-place Kansas City Mavericks and playoff positioning.
Starting the final weekend of a nine-game road trip, Quad City arrives to the Circle City with only two wins from its last 10 games (2-7-1-0). Idle since Saturday, the Mallards dropped 5-2 and 5-3 contests last weekend in Kalamazoo and Fort Wayne respectively. The league's lowest scoring team with 2.33 goals for per game, Quad City has been held to two or fewer on the scoreboard in nine of their last 11 contests.
It's A Twin Thing: Since being paired with forward Johnny MacInnis, twin brothers Matt and Ryan Rupert have found their offensive stride. The Ruperts have combined for 12 points (5g, 7a) and a +7 rating over Indy's last six games. Matt enters Thursday on a two-game goal scoring streak, while Ryan has marked two helpers in each of his last two outings.
Burt's On The Board: Rookie defenseman Jack Burton beat Wheeling goaltender Adam Morrison for his first career professional goal Thursday night. In 14 games this season, the 25-year-old product of Colby College has one goal and two assists.
Central Crunch Time: The Fuel have a golden opportunity to make a run up the Central Division standings by the turn of the New Year. Thursday marks the first of eight straight games against divisional opponents for Indy. Looking ahead, 18 of the Fuel's next 20 games through the end of January will be played within the Central Division.
Inside the Matchup: Quad City leads the season series 3-1 heading into the fifth of 11 games between the Fuel and Mallards this season. The home team has won all four games to this point, with Indy skating to a 3-1 victory at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in the last meeting between the two clubs.
Mallards defensemen Willie Raskob leads the series in scoring with six assists in four games against Indy, while Fuel forward Nick Bligh paces the Fuel with three goals and two assists.
Scouting Report: Forward Josh MacDonald (7g, 6a) has found the scoresheet in three straight games, and has tallied seven points over his last seven games (4g, 3a) ... Willie Raskob's 15 assists leads all ECHL rookie defensemen, and is tied for second among all league first-year players.