Indy Fuel Pit Stop – Week 10
Presented by Squealers Barbeque GrillDec 18, 2017
THE FUEL STEPPING IT UP AS THREE-GAMES’ HOME STAND CONTINUES WITH TWO MORE FOR THIS WEEK
TWO MORE DIVISION RIVALS IN TOWN THIS WEEK; KALAMAZOO WED. NIGHT; CINCINNATI ON SAT. NIGHT
INDY COMPLETES STRENUOUS STRETCH OF SIX GAMES IN NINE NIGHTS POSTING A RECORD OF 6(3-3-0)6-PTS
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS: 4(1-3-0) 8-14
TUES. DEC. 12 FUEL 2 AT WHEELING 3.
THURS. DEC. 14 QUAD CITY 1 AT FUEL 2.
FRI. DEC. 15 FUEL 2 AT FORT WAYNE 5.
SAT. DEC. 16 FORT WAYNE 5 AT FUEL 2.
THIS WEEK’S GAMES: (2)
WED. DEC. 20 KALAMAZOO AT THE FUEL 7:05 PM (REPORT CARD NIGHT)
SAT. DEC. 23 CINCINNATI AT THE FUEL 7:35 PM (SANTA COMES TO TOWN)
HOME GAMES THIS WEEK: WED. DEC. 20 VS. KALAMAZOO 7:05 PM; SAT. DEC. 23 VS. CINCINNATI 7:35 PM
*** “INDY FUEL LIVE” THIS TUESDAY NIGHT 7-8PM AT ASPEN CREEK GRILL ON 107.5 FM & 1070 THE FAN ***
THE FUEL REVIEW: The past week, the Indy Fuel culminated a daunting, demanding span consisting of 4-games in 5-nights and 6-games in 9-days by posting a 4(1-3-0) mark for the week while attaining the .500 plateau through the entire 6-games’ docket with a 6(3-3-0) mark. Under the tutelage of Head Coach Bernie John and Assistant Coach Ryan McGinnis, the men of Fuel ECHL hockey launched their most rigorous regimen of the campaign back on Tuesday night in Wheeling where they were edged by the Nailers, 3-2. The Indy icers did surmount a 2-0 late second period shortfall when Matt Rupert (SHG) and Jack Burton (GTG) made connection 1:05 apart, beginning with only 1:40 remaining in said stanza to equalize the foreign ice affair at 2-2. Returning home to the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Thursday night, the Fuel collected their lone victory of the week in a hard-earned, 2-1 triumph over divisional opponent Quad City. Matt Rupert (FG) and Mike Neal (TBG/GWG) fired strikes for the victors and goaltender “ET” Marcoux made 37-saves as Indy recorded its 4th consecutive victory at home and second straight win over the Mallards with both of those successes also registered on home ice. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Fuel rekindled rancor with their principal arch-enemies, the Fort Wayne Komets. The Komets promptly proceeded to sweep the set by replica results of 5-2. In both contests, Mike Neal delivered the game’s FG with the Fort Wayners battling back swiftly to earn the victories. Friday night in “Kometsville,” the home team snapped a 2-2 tie with 3-third period strikes with the latter 2-goals finding the empty net. Saturday night, again, it was 3-unanswered goals from the Ks after Indy had knotted it on a Cam Reid thrust midway through the middle frame of the game, producing a third straight Fort Wayne victory in as many meetings this season against the Fuel.
THE STATE OF THE FUEL: Having compiled a 4(1-3-0) record for the past week, the Fuel commence the new week occupying 6th place in the ECHL’s Western Conference Central Division Standings with an overall record of 24(8-13-3) totaling 19-points. Indy has attained a two-points advantage over seventh place Quad City 24(8-15-1)17 with the Mallards mired in a 5-games losing streak, having completed a 9-games’ road odyssey with a 9(2-7-0) record. Indy does have the potential luxury of significant numbers of games in hand with the majority of the division and still having a considerable number of games remaining within their own Central Divisional alignment. Thus far this season, the Fuel have recorded a mark of 13(3-8-2) within their own division with the 3-victories earned against Quad City 5(2-1-2) and fifth place Kalamazoo 1(1-0-0). Indy is a combined 7(0-7-0) against the remainder of the division; Toledo 3(0-3-0); For Wayne 3(0-3-0); Kansas City 1(0-1-0). They see Cincinnati for the first time this season coming up this Saturday night.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: On this week before Christmas, the Fuel are approaching a two-games’ work week with both bouts to be staged on home ice at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum against Western Conference Central Division foes. It all begins, again, Wednesday night, December 20th when they Fuel lock antlers in battle against the Kalamazoo Wings in a 7:05 pm face-off on “Report Card Night.” “Bernie’s Boys” are 1(1-0-0) when tackling the Kalamazooans following a 6-2 triumph back on November 17th here at home. Saturday night, the Fuel cap the pre-Christmas schedule with their first clash of the campaign against Cincinnati at 7:35 pm at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on “Santa Comes to Town Night.”
THE FUEL FILL-UP: The Fuel embark on their last two games before the brief Christmas recess having dropped their last 2-starts; 2(0-2-0) being outscored, 10-4. They are 4(1-3-0) in their last 4-decisions, being out-goaled, 14-8. In the past week’s 4-games, the third period became the Fuel’s undoing as they were outscored, collectively, 7-0. Indy completed those 6-games in 9-days with a 6(3-3-0) record, outscoring the adversary by a slight edge of 18-17. Through the first 8-games of 14-dates for the month of December, the Fuel are 8(4-4-0)23-21. On home ice, the club is carding a 13(7-6-0) mark, having a season’s best 4-games’ home win skein severed in the Saturday setback inflicted by Fort Wayne. They are 10(6-4-0) in their last 10-home dates. Foreign ice warfare has been a conundrum for the Fuel-men as their 11(1-7-3) would testify. Indy’s last and lone success abroad was achieved back on October 27th in Florida where they derailed the league -leading Everblades, 5-2. Since then, the Fuel are winless in their last 7-sojourns into hostile territory at 7(0-5-2).
CAPTAIN’S CAPER: The Fuel captain, Mike Neal continued his goal-scoring prowess the past week for his club. Accounting for 3 of his team’s 8-goals, the former 5th round draft pick in 2007 of the NHL Dallas Stars, cannonaded a goal in each of the latter 3-games of the week. The past Thursday night, he delivered the game’s TBG//GWG in a 2-1 victory verdict over Quad City, earning the game’s #1 Star. In the two-games, home-and-home series against archrival Fort Wayne, he fired the game’s FG in each contest, including a PPG on Saturday night on home ice, being acclaimed the game’s #3 Star. For the week; 4(3-0-3) with 17-SOG; 2-FG; 1-GWG; 1-TBG. For the season, Neal’s 10-goals top the team with 9 of those snipes struck over the last 10-games; 10(9-1-10). His current 3-games’ goal-scoring streak equals the club’s longest of the season. Neal is the Fuel nomination for Sher-Wood/ECHL Player of the Week.
THE SEAL OF GOOD GOALKEEPING: Indy rookie sensation “ET” Marcoux has become a human puck barricade for the hometown team thus far this season. In his lone start of the past week, he backstopped his squadron to its only victory in the form of a 2-1 triumph Thursday night over the Quad City Mallards. Marcoux was honored as the game’s #2 Star with a masterful 37-saves performance. In so doing, he posted his club-high 4th victory of the season while lowering his GAA to 2.31 and advancing and enhancing his SPCT to a league-supreme .939. Marcoux is the Fuel nomination for CCM/ECHL Goaltender of the Week.
TWINS FIND TWINE: The Fuel have the distinction of being the only team in the ECHL sporting talented twin, lookalike brothers. Matt Rupert and Ryan Rupert have been major catalysts for the Fuel-men all season long. In recent action both brothers have engineered 3-games’ goal-scoring streaks with Ryan Rupert going 8(3-6-9) in his last 8-games and Matt Rupert at 5(3-3-6) over his club’s last 5-outings. For the season, Ryan Rupert 19(5-10-15); Matt Rupert 23(6-7-13).
THE TOP OF THE LOT: Entering the final week of league action before the brief Christmas adjournment, the Fuel leading point-makers are ranked accordingly: 1- Cam Reid 22(7-10-17); 2- Nick Bligh 23(8-8-16); 3- Alex Wideman 24(6-8-14); 4- Ryan Rupert 19(5-10-15); 5- Mike Neal 18(10-3-13); 6- Matt Rupert 24(6-7-13); 7- Nathan Noel 15(4-5-9); 8- Reed Seckel 24(2-6-8); 9- Tommy Olczyk 23(5-2-7); 10- Johnny McInnis 16(4-3-7); 11- Nolan Descoteaux 24(1-6-7); 12- Brandon Anselmini 11(1-6-7); 13- Zach Miskovic 24(3-3-6).
SPECIAL TEAMS TALES: The Fuel special teams this season have been the epitome of consistency, proficiency and efficiency. The power play is ranked 10th in the ECHL, operating at 18.9% conversion ratio at 17-90 after 24-games. Last season, the power play collected 28-goals for the entire 72-games’ schedule. The extra man band is 4 for the last 15; 26.7% and 5 for the last 20; 25%. Alex Wideman (3), Matt Rupert (3), Ryan Rupert (3) share the team leadership in PPG. In the penalty-killing department, the Fuel have ascended to #4 in the league with an efficiency rating of 86.5% as the opposition is 13-96. Until a Fort Wayne PPG Saturday night, the Fuel had immobilized 20-consecutive manpower advantages afforded the adversary. The Fuel have notched 5-SHG, 4th most in the loop and 1-more than they registered all last season (4). Ryan Rupert (2) and Nathan Noel (2) rank tied for 2nd in the league in SHG artisanry while R. Rupert’s 3-SHG/Points tie him for the league-leadership in that category.
MILESTONES STORY: Defenseman Nolan Descoteaux (197) is 3-games shy of pro career 200. Mike Neal (492) is 8-games from the pro career 500. Defenseman Zach Miskovic (91) is 9-assists away from 100 in his professional career. Center/left wing Reed Seckel (199) is on the precipice of 200-PIM for his pro career. Center Ryan Rupert (194) is 6-PIM shy of 200. Defenseman Garrett Clarke (967) is approaching 1,000-PIM for his pro career. Defenseman Jack Burton scored his first-ever professional goal last Tuesday night in Wheeling. Left wing Matt Rupert has never missed a game under the banner of the Indy Fuel, having played 96-straight games for the home team.
FUEL FACTS: In their last 5-home games, the Fuel have grudgingly surrendered 10-GA for a GAA of a frugal 2.00. For December, in 8-games, Indy has permitted only 21-GA for a GAA of 2.62. The Fuel’s 47-SOG Saturday night at home against Fort Wayne represented their most in a single game this season. Indy’s most SOG in a single period is 18 which it has matched 4-times thus far this season. The Fuel have outscored the enemy in the first period, 20-19 overall and 13-10 at home. The past week, in 4-games, the Fuel were blanked and outscored in the third period, 7-0. The third period continues to be the Fuel’s nemesis against Fort Wayne. In the first 3-meetings this season, they have been outscored by the Komets, 8-1 and in winning only 1 of the last 12-games; 12(1-8-3) the Fuel have been outscored in the third period, 31-5. When they outshoot the opponents, the Fuel have posted a mark of 8(2-5-1). When they are outshot; 16(6-8-2). When they score 4-GF or more; 4(4-0-0)’ When they allow 2-GA or less; 9(8-0-1). Indy has scored 2-GF or less in 12 of its first 24-games.
THE FUEL / THE FAN: All this season, all Indy Fuel action, home and away, play-by-play, all the way, can be heard on the world-wide internet on WFNI-AM 1070thefan.com. “The Voice of the Fuel,” Terry Ficorelli will describe all the action radio ice-side for the hometown team. This week’s broadcast schedule consists of a pair of home appearances. Wednesday night, the Fuel will guest the Kalamazoo Wings with broadcast time set for 6:30 pm. Saturday night, when the Cincinnati Cyclones come calling, the broadcast begins at 7:00 pm.
INDY FUEL LIVE: The next edition of “INDY FUEL LIVE” is set for this Tuesday night, December 19th from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, live from Aspen Creek Grill in Noblesville. “The Voice of the Fuel,” Terry Ficorelli, will be hosting Fuel special guests including Head Coach Bernie John and Assistant Coach Ryan McGinnis.
ECHL ALL-STAR TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Individual tickets are now available for the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic taking place at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on January 15, 2018! Fans can secure their seats for the league’s mid-season showcase event by visiting ECHLAllStarClassic.com, the Indiana Farmers Coliseum Box Office or by calling (317) 925-FUEL.
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