Fuel open critical series in Kansas CityFeb 16, 2018
GAME PREVIEW: FUEL AT MAVERICKS
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16 - 8:05 P.M.
SILVERSTEIN EYE CENTERS ARENA, INDEPENDENCE, MO.
BROADCAST INFO: 1070THEFAN.COM, ECHL.TV
The Story: The Indy Fuel (21-23-2-1) continue their road trip Friday as they take on the Kansas City Mavericks (25-24-0-1) in the first of two meetings this weekend from Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. The first test of a three-in-three stretch for Indy is slated for an 8:05 p.m. ET puck drop, with coverage coming live on 1070TheFan.com/IndyFuel and ECHL.TV.
Entering the weekend just five points behind the Mavericks for fifth place in the ECHL's Central Divsion standings, Indy arrives in Independence with an opportunity to gain some needed ground in the playoff race.
The Fuel dropped to 2-2 during their season-long seven-game road trip Wednesday, after falling 4-2 to the Fort Wayne Komets at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. A pair of early third period goals helped the Komets turn a 2-1 lead into a insurmountable three-goal cushion.
Indy now is tasked with facing a Kansas City team that has been sliding in the wrong direction in February. The Mavericks are looking to break a five game losing streak, which has dropped them behind Kalamazoo and Cincinnati and out of a playoff spot. Outscored 21-5 during their current skid, the Calgary Flames affiliate is hoping to get back on track as it begins an eight game homestand Friday.
In The Meat Grinder: With three games remaining on their seven-game road trip, the Fuel now find themselves in the midst of the busiest stretch of their 2017-18 schedule. Starting Friday, Indy will play seven games in nine days; part of an eight-game-in-11-day span counting Wednesday's contest in Fort Wayne. After Sunday's trip to Tulsa, the Fuel will have a day off before playing four games in five days at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Greetings And Shalutations: With a late third period goal in Fort Wayne Wednesday, forward Josh Shalla (12g, 8a) extended a point scoring streak to five games (3g, 4a). The Fuel sniper has now found the scoresheet in eight of his last 10 games, recording five goals and six assists since Jan. 23.
Multi Point Inspection: The Fuel have scored at least one power play goal in four of their last five games, operating at a 33.3% clip during that span ... Indy's power play is ranked second in the ECHL overall this season at 21.0% ... Forward Darian Dziurzynski (15g, 13a) has tallied a goal in three straight games ... Defenseman Robin Press (5g,13a) is on a point-per-game pace over his last eight contests, collecting three goals and five assists.
Inside the Matchup: Friday is the second of five meetings between the Fuel and Mavericks this season, the first of three taking place at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. Kansas City claimed a 6-3 victory in series opener at Indiana Farmers Coliseum back on Nov. 25, 2017.
The Mavericks have dominated the all-time series over the past few years, riding a 10-game winning streak over Indy into this weekend's doubleheader. The Fuel are winless in six games in Independence, and have not beaten Kansas City or Missouri since a 5-1 win back on Oct. 24, 2014.
Scouting Report: Kansas City's penalty kill ranks 26th in the ECHL at 78.0% ... Forward Shawn Pauly (13g, 10a)has scored in three of his last four games ... Jared VanWormer (9g, 10a) leads all active rookies with seven power play goals.