Game 3 Preview: Fuel aim to battle back as series shifts to IndianapolisApr 18, 2018
GAME PREVIEW: FUEL VS. WALLEYE
CENTRAL DIVISION SEMIFINALS – GAME 3 (TOLEDO LEADS SERIES 2-0)
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18 - 7:05 P.M.
INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM, INDIANAPOLIS
BROADCAST INFO: 1070THEFAN.COM, ECHL.TV
The Indy Fuel look to pull back into their Central Division Semifinal series with the Toledo Walleye, as the first round shifts to Indianapolis Wednesday for Game 3 at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Puck drop for the first of back-to-back games in the Circle City is slated for 7:05 p.m.
Returning to Central Indiana facing a 0-2 series deficit, the Fuel will look for a spark as they play the first home playoff game in franchise history. Games 3 and 4 will take place Wednesday and Thursday at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, followed by Game 5 Saturday night if necessary.
Game 2 Recap: Two goals from Christian Hilbrich and 29 saves from Pat Nagle helped the Walleye edge Indy 4-3 in Game 2 Sunday night from the Huntington Center. Hilbrich’s second of the night broke a 2-2 stalemate early in the third period, while Austen Brassard provided the eventual game-winner in the late stages of regulation. Ryan Rupert tallied a goal and an assist for Indy, while Johnny McInnis and Nathan Noel combined for two quick goals in the second period to give the Fuel a brief 2-1 lead.
Toledo Top Line Threat: A primary reason Toledo was able to defend home ice has been the play of Hilbrich (4g), Kyle Bonis (1g, 4a) and Tyler Barnes (1g, 5a). Through two games, the forward combo has combined for 15 points, including two goals and five assists in Game 2. Hilbrich’s four goals lead all ECHL players in the playoffs, while Barnes’ six points is tied with Manchester’s Chris McCarthy for the league scoring lead.
Special Team Supreme: Indy’s top-ranked power play from the regular season made a splash in Sunday’s Game 2, finding the net twice in four opportunities. In addition to power play goals from Johnny McInnis and Ryan Rupert, Nathan Noel’s second-period tally came at 4-on-4. On the other side of the puck, the Fuel penalty kill held the Walleye scoreless on two power play chances, and are 4-for-5 during the series.
Rupes, There It Is: After tallying a career-high 49 points in the regular season, forward Ryan Rupert is off to a good start in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The forward leads the Fuel with a goal and two assists through two games, including two points in Game 2.
Looking to Finish: Though Toledo finished the regular season series with a 6-0 record at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, the Fuel have given the Walleye all they can handle. Each of the last two meetings in Indianapolis have been decided in overtime, with Toledo needing a goal late in regulation time to avoid defeat. In those two extra-time contests, Indy outscored the Walleye by a combined 4-0 in the first period.