Game 4 Preview: Fuel face elimination against Walleye

Apr 19, 2018




THURSDAY, APRIL 19 - 7:05 P.M.



The Story: The Indy Fuel look to avoid a series sweep Thursday as they take on the Toledo Walleye in Game 4 of the Central Division Semifinals at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Tickets are still available for the Kelly Cup Playoff showdown, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster and at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office.

The Fuel were pushed to the brink of elimination Wednesday night after the Walleye grabbed a 3-1 Game 3 victory, stretching their series lead to 3-0. In order to extend the season, Indy will need to win Games 4 and 5 at home (the latter taking place Saturday night if necessary), followed by two wins back at the Huntington Center next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Game 3 Recap: Two goals from Kyle Bonis and a 31-save performance from Pat Nagle helped the Walleye take a commanding 3-0 lead in the first round series. The Fuel jumped out to a quick start in the first home playoff game in franchise history, when rookie forward Mathew Thompson knocking in a Michael Neal rebound just 2:20 into the first period. However, Bonis would score a 5-on-3 power play goal early in the middle frame, and again at 8:08 of the third to put Toledo on top. An empty net tally from A.J. Jenks in the final minute of play secured the win for the Walleye, who picked up their 13th straight victory at Indiana Farmers Coliseum dating back to the 2015-16. 

Somebody Stop These Guys: Toledo's top line continued to sting the Fuel in Game 3, led by Bonis' two-goal performance and a pair of assists from linemate Tyler Barnes. Barnes (1g, 7a) and Bonis (3g, 4a) rank first and second respectively in ECHL playoff scoring, each player marking at least two points in all three games so far. Christian Hilbrich – the third forward on the Walleye's top offensive unit – leads the postseason with four goals, though he was kept off the scoresheet in Game 3.

Feeling Stingy: Both goaltenders continued to carry their teams in Game 3, with Pat Nagle and Étienne Marcoux each turning in strong outings. After a pair of 4-3 games in Toledo featuring bunches of high-quality scoring opportunities, goals were at a premium on Wednesday in what was a tight-checking contest. Nagle shut down the Fuel offense with 31 saves, while Marcoux turned aside 34 of 36 Walleye shots, including 15 of 16 in the second period. Through three games, Nagle has stopped 103 of 110 Indy offerings (.936), while Marcoux has made 101 saves from 111 shots (.910).

Everything On The Line: Facing a 0-3 series deficit, the Fuel will need to win four straight elimination games if they want to advance to the Central Division Finals. Thursday will be the first win-or-go-home contest Indy has played in their franchise history, while the Walleye are 4-4 in playoff games where they can eliminate their opponent.


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