Indy Fuel Pit Stop – Week 2
Presented by Squealers Barbeque GrillOct 23, 2017
THE FUEL WIN THIRD STRAIGHT HOME OPENER; CLAIM FIRST VICTORY OF THE EARLY SEASON IN ’17-18
INDY EMBARKS ON FOUR GAMES’ ROAD TRIP; PLAY THREE GAMES’ SERIES IN FLORIDA IN THIS NEW WEEK
NEXT HOME ACTION FOR THE FUEL COMING UP NOV. 4TH VS. WHEELING; NOV. 5TH VS. DIVISON FOE TOLEDO
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS: 1(1-0-0) 3-2
SAT. OCT. 21 TULSA 2 AT FUEL 3 (OTSO)
THIS WEEK’S GAMES: (3)
WED. OCT. 25 FUEL AT FLORIDA 7:30 PM
FRI. OCT. 27 FUEL AT FLORIDA 7:30 PM
SAT. OCT. 28 FUEL AT FLORIDA 7:00 PM
NEXT HOME GAMES: ***** SAT. NOV. 4TH VS. WHEELING 7:35 PM; SUN. NOV. 5TH VS. TOLEDO 3:05 PM *****
THE FUEL REVIEW: In their lone game for the second full week of the 2017-18 ECHL’s 30th Anniversary Season, the Indy Fuel celebrated their fourth home opening night, Saturday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, with a hard-earned, 3-2 OTSO triumph over the Tulsa Oilers. Under the direction of Head Coach Bernie John, the men of the Fuel claimed their first victory of the campaign to even their early season record at 3(1-1-1) totaling 3-points through the first 3-games of the year. Geoff Walker (GTG/PPG) and Ryan Rupert (TBG/PPG) fired PP strikes 1:14 apart from 18:58 of the middle period to the 0:12 mark in the third stanza as the Fuel eradicated a 1-0 deficit to catapult into a 2-1 advantage. After the visitors deadlocked matters at 2-2, a scoreless OT period ensued before the Fuel captured the conquest in the contest when Alex Wideman connected on the lone goal of the OTSO while first-year goaltender Matt Tomkins, in his pro debut, was utterly brilliant, rejecting all 3-Tulsa attempts to secure the victory.
OPENING NIGHT MIGHT: On the strength of their dramatic OTSO victory on opening night Saturday night, the Fuel maintained their mastery in home opening affairs at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum since their genesis in the ECHL. Indy has raised its opening night record to 4(3-0-1), amassing 7 of a possible 8-points. The Fuel have now won their last 3-consecutive home opening decisions.
SOUTHBOUND BUS: It is a challenging early season schedule for Coach Bernie and crew as the club is playing 6 of its initial 7-games in foreign territory including the next 4 away from home bay. This week, Indy confronts a daunting assignment consisting of a 3-games’ series in Florida against the ever-formidable, undefeated 4(4-0-0) Everblades. The trio of assignments are on the docket for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights at the Germain Arena in Estero, Florida. The Fuel will wrap-up the extended excursion Friday, November 3rd in Moline, IL in their first test within their own Western Conference Central Division against the Quad City Mallards.
NOVEMBER HOME STAND: The Fuel will next be seen on home ice in two weeks. The next appearance is set for Saturday night, November 4th against the Wheeling Nailers at 7:35 pm before the defending Brabham Cup Regular Season Champions Toledo Walleye come to town for the first of three Sunday matinee affairs on November 5th at 3:05 pm.
PUCKS & PAWS: This game is for the dogs! For the first time ever, Fuel fans are invited to bring their pooch with them on Saturday, Nov. 4 during Pucks & Paws presented by Church Brothers Collision Repair. Local shelters and humane societies will also be in attendance with more info on how you can make a difference in an animal’s life. Humans looking to bring their four-legged companions can visit IndyFuelHockey.com/paws for more information.
DYNAMIC DEBUT: In his pro debut on opening night Saturday night, first-year goaltender Matt Tomkins distinguished himself magnificently. The Ohio State U. standout was honored as the game’s #1 Star, rebuffing 29 of 31-shots through the first 65-minutes before brushing aside all 3-Tulsa tries in the OTSO in spearheading his club’s first victory of the season. The 7th round selection, 199th overall of the parent club Chicago Blackhawks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, is the Fuel’s nomination for CCM/ECHL Goaltender of the Week.
NOLAN’S NICHE: Fifth-year defenseman Nolan Descoteaux enjoyed his best performance for the Fuel in Saturday night’s home opening night success. In his first campaign donning the Fuel’s coat of arms, the former RIT Tigers team captain engineered 2-primary assists on both of his club’s PPG acting the role of major catalyst for Indy’s extra man band. Descoteaux performed his power play magic against his former Alaska Aces coach of last season, Rob Murray, now the bench pilot for the Tulsa Oilers. Descoteaux is the Fuel’s nomination for Sher-Wood/ECHL Player of the Week.
THE “WALKS” WIZARDRY: Veteran right wing Geoff Walker has continued his power play prowess for the hometown team. The 10-year pro equalized Saturday night’s contest with a late second period PPG. It was his second goal of the young season with both being produced with the man advantage. In the process, Walker extended his season-opening personal point-scoring streak to all 3-games; 3(2-2-4), emerging as Indy’s premiere point-producer at this early hour of the season.
THE CAM COLLECTION: Through the first 3-games of the season, savvy center Cam Reid has become the club’s power play playmaker extraordinaire. In authoring an assist on line-mate Geoff Walker’s (GTG/PPG) Saturday night, the former St. Cloud State U. star has increased his assists’ output to a team-best and league-best 4 with all 4-helpers being engineered through the Fuel potent power play.
FIRST IN FUEL FIREPOWER: Through the first two weeks and three games of the season the best for the Fuel in point-making mastery; 1- Geoff Walker 3(2-2-4); 2- Cam Reid 3(0-4-4); 3- Alex Wideman 3(1-2-3); 4- Nick Bligh 3(1-1-2); 5- Zach Miskovic 3(1-1-2); 6- Ryan Rupert 3(1-1-2); 7- N. Descoteaux 3(0-2-2); 8- Tommy Olczyk 3(1-0-1); 9- Troy Vance 2(1-0-1).
SPECIAL TEAMS TOTALLY TUNED: The Fuel’s special teams have launched the new season in a prosperous fashion. Through the first 3-games, the Fuel are percolating at a proficiency rating of 27.8%, going 5-18. In 2 of those 3-games, the Fuel have produced 2-PPG. All last season, Indy generated 2-PPG in a single game 5-times. Meanwhile, the penalty-killing unit has risen to the league’s #1 perch, remaining impeccably perfect at 13-13; 100%
THE MILESTONES MINUTE: Center Ryan Rupert’s PPG at the 0:12 mark of the third period Saturday night represented the 100th point of his pro career; (49-51-100). Defenseman Garrett Clarke (881) is 19-PIM from 900 in his pro career. Alex Wideman (97) is 3-points away from 100. Geoff Walker (191) is 9-assists shy of career 200.
FUEL FACTS: Alex Wideman’s GWG in the OTSO Saturday night was his 4th such strike in 7-attempts since joining the Fuel at the inception of the 2016-17 season. Wideman was the best for the Fuel last season in the OTSO at 3-6. The Fuel have scored 3-GF in each of their first 3-games of the season. Indy has collected goals in 7 of their first 9-periods of regulation time thus far this season. With 44-SOG Saturday night, the Fuel captured their first victory since the 2015-16 season when producing 40 or more SOG in a single game. Last season, they were 4(0-3-1) in the 4-games in which they accomplished the feat. Through the first 3-games, the Fuel have gained three leads with those three leads lasting in order; 0:23, 1:45 and 2:06. All 3-Fuel games thus far this season have been determined by a scant single goal margin. Dating back to last season, the Fuel are 7(3-4) in the OTSO and 1(1-0-0) this season. The last 2-Fuel games have been decided in extra time; OT; 1(0-1); OTSO: 1(1-0). One year ago, on opening night, the Fuel defeated Cincinnati, 3-1, behind debuting Michigan State rookie goaltender Jake Hildebrand’s 33-saves, earning the game’s #1 Star. This season on opening night, another Fuel rookie goaltender Matt Tomkins, from Ohio State, was the game’s #1 Star with 29-saves and a perfect performance of 3-3 in the OTSO.
THE FUEL ON 1070 THE FAN: All this season, every Indy Fuel pre-season, regular season and playoff game is broadcast live in stream fashion, play-by-play, home and away, all the way on the Fuel’s brand-new radio home of WFNI-AM 1070 The Fan.com. The “Voice of the Fuel,” Terry Ficorelli, will describe all the action with this week’s 3-games’ series from Florida. The game broadcasts will launch with the Pre-Game Show, Wednesday and Friday nights at 7:00 pm and Saturday night at 6:30 pm.
“INDY FUEL LIVE” NOV. 6TH: The Indy Fuel monthly radio show is back in this 2017-18 ECHL season. “INDY FUEL LIVE,” has its next show set for MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH live from Aspen Creek Grill in Noblesville. The one-hour program is hosted by Terry Ficorelli and airs from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm on the radio home of the Fuel, 107.5 FM and 1070 THE FAN.
ALL-STAR TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Individiual tickets are now available for the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, taking place at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on January 15, 2018! Fans can secure their seats for the league’s mid-season showcase by visiting ECHLAllStarClassic.com, the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office or by calling 317-925-FUEL.
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