Indy Fuel Pit Stop – Week 3
Presented by Squealers Barbeque GrillOct 30, 2017
THE FUEL COMPLETE THE OPENING MONTH OF THE ECHL’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON WITH 6(2-3-1) MARK
INDY COMPLETES THREE GAMES’ SERIES IN FLORIDA WITH 3(1-2-0) RECORD AGAINST THE EVERBLADES
THREE GAMES IN THREE DAYS THIS WEEKEND; HOME VS. WHEELING SAT. NIGHT; TOLEDO HERE ON SUN.
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS: 3(1-2-0) 8-9
WED. OCT. 25 FUEL 1 AT FLORIDA 3
FRI. OCT. 27 FUEL 5 AT FLORIDA 2
SAT. OCT. 28 FUEL 2 AT FLORIDA 4
THIS WEEK’S GAMES: (3)
FRI. NOV. 3 FUEL AT QUAD CITY 8:00 PM
SAT. NOV. 4 WHEELING AT FUEL 7:35 PM
SUN. NOV. 5 TOLEDO AT FUEL 3:05 PM
THE FUEL REVIEW: Through the initial three weeks of the 2017-18 ECHL season, the Indy Fuel have been the consummate, quintessential road warriors. Having played 5 of their first 6-games invading enemy territory, Head Coach Bernie John’s aggregation nation has compiled a record of 6(2-3-1) totaling 5-points. The past week, Coach Bernie’s club made the long excursion to Estero, Florida where they extracted one victory in the three games’ series against the Eastern Conference South Division-leading Everblades. The lone victory was attained in the middle game of the set the past Friday night in a 5-2 decision. The Indy first foreign ice success of the campaign featured 3-PPG and two 5-on-5 strikes with left wing Matt Rupert delivering his first 2-goals of the year, both with the extra man while left wing Alex Wideman climaxed the full frontal offensive assault with an EN/PPG. Cam Reid (FG) and Reid Seckel (GWG) each made connection for the first time this season and Goaltender Colin Delia turned aside 37-shots. Right wing Geoff Walker and defenseman Robin Press both assisted twice with Press and fellow defenseman Nolan Descoteaux each carding impressive +2 ratings. In games one and three, the ‘Blades prevailed, 3-1 and 4-2 on Wednesday and Saturday nights respectively with Tommy Olczyk (FG/PPG) accounting for his team’s sole goal Wednesday and Nick Bligh and Wideman firing goals in Saturday night’s finale.
POSITION IN DIVISION: With the completion of their October schedule, the Fuel find themselves presently residing in a share of 5th place in the Western Conference Central Division Standings on a record of 6(2-3-1)5-points. The latest update: 1- Kalamazoo 5(4-0-1)9; 2- Toledo 6(3-2-1)7; 3- Kansas City 5(3-2-0)6; 4- Quad City 6(3-3-0)6; 5-INDY FUEL 6(2-3-1)5; 5- Fort Wayne 4(2-1-1)5; 7- Cincinnati4(1-2-1)3. The Fuel have yet to meet a divisional opponent at this stage of the season, though, both Quad City and Toledo are on their docket for this upcoming week.
3 IN 3 FOR INDY: This week, the Fuel will embark on a November schedule consisting of 10-games with 7 of those outings set for the friendly climes and environs of home ice and the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. For the first weekend of the calendar’s 11th month, the men of the Fuel face an ambitious slate of 3-games in 3-days with the first one on the road and the latter two at home. Friday night, the Fuel cap a daunting assignment of playing 6 of their first 7-games away when they travel to Moline, IL to be hosted by the divisional rivals, Quad City Mallards. Then, following a two-weeks’ absence, the Fuel-men return to the homestead for a pair of appearances. The Eastern Conference North Division front-running Wheeling Nailers come calling on Saturday night before the reigning Brabham Cup Regular Season Champions Toledo Walleye pay a visit in the first of three Sunday matinee affairs for this season. Fans can enjoy a free post-game skate after Sunday’s action, with a free skate rental available on a first-come, first-served basis.
PUCKS & PAWS: 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.
THE NET DETECTIVE: Emerging as the veritable workhorse in goal for the Fuel has been goaltender Collin Delia. The first-year pro from Merrimack College of the prestigious Division I Hockey East Conference has seen action in 5 of his club’s 6-games including 4-starts and one relief outing. For the past week, the parent club Chicago Blackhawks signee played in 3-games in Florida, earning his first-ever pro victory in Friday night’s 5-2 triumph and with it, the game’s #2 Star. For the week, Delia registered a 3.08 GAA and .932 SPCT. For the month, he was 5(1-3-1) with a 3.19 GAA and .911 SPCT. Delia is the Fuel’s nomination for CCM/ECHL Goaltender of the Week as well as ECHL Goaltender of the Month and Rookie of the Month.
PLAYMAKING PIVOT: Seven-year veteran center Cam Reid enjoyed an excellent initial month operating under the banner of the Fuel. The former St. Cloud State U., standout culminated the month of October riding the crest of a personal 6-games’ point-scoring streak which mirrors his club’s first half-dozen dates of the early campaign. During his 6-games scoring scourge, the Delta, BC product has amassed 7-points on 1-goal, 6-assists, having emerged as Indy’s leading scoring architect for the season. Five of Reid’s 6-assists have been composed through the power play as he tops the league in that department as well as in total power play points. His one goal was the key touch-in-the-clutch game’s FG in the Fuel’s first road win of the season, Friday night in Florida, 5-2. Reid is the Fuel nomination for Sher-Wood/ECHL Player of the Month.
TWO FOR THE TWIN: This season, the Fuel on-ice product is featuring a rather unique dimension in the form of identical twins who happen to be fashioning their talents as line-mates as well. One of those twin brothers, left wing Matt Rupert, whose center is Ryan Rupert, fired his first 2-goals of the season in his team’s 5-2 victory Friday night in Florida. Matt Rupert’s 2-strikes were both stoked on the power play, becoming the first Fuel player in over 2-years to collect a multi-power play goal game. He was acclaimed the game’s #1 Star. Last season, Matt Rupert shared the team leadership in PPG with 5 in achieving the distinguished distinction of being the lone Indy player to play all 72-games in ’16-17. Matt Rupert is the Fuel nomination for Sher-Wood/ECHL Player of the Week.
THE RETURNS ON ROBIN: Defenseman Robin Press made his mark during the three games’ series the past week in Estero, Florida against the Everblades. The former seventh draft choice of the parent club Chicago Blackhawks essayed 3-assists over the last 2-games of the series including a 2-assists performance in the Friday night, 5-2 success. In that same game, he and defensive partner Nolan Descoteaux each recorded stellar +2 ratings which represent the best single game output for Indy individual players thus far this season.
FUEL FIREPOWER: With their opening month’s schedule having been concluded, the Fuel boast the following top scoring aces; 1- Cam Reid 6(1-6-7); 2- Geoff Walker 6(2-4-6); 3- Alex Wideman 6(2-2-4); 4- Nick Bligh 6(2-2-4); 5- Ryan Rupert 6(1-2-3); 6- Robin Press 4(0-3-3); 7- Nolan Descoteaux 6(0-3-3); 8- Matt Rupert 6(2-0-2); 9- Tommy Olczyk 6(2-0-2); 10- Reed Seckel 6(1-1-2); 11- Zach Miskovic 6(1-1-2); 12- Troy Vance 5(1-0-1).
UNEVEN STRENGTH: The Fuel special teams have been extraordinary since the inception of the season. The power play is percolating prodigiously, operating at a prolific 26.5% proficiency rating. In fact, when they bowed in game 3 of their series in Florida Saturday night, it ended an impressive, season-opening streak that saw the Fuel score power play goals in each of their first 5-games of the season. Indy has already engineered multiple PPG goals in 3 games. Last year, they accomplished the feat only 5-times for the entire season in ’16-17. Tommy Olczyk (2); Matt Rupert (2); Geoff Walker (2); Alex Wideman (2) have accounted for 8 of the team’s 9-PPG. In the 3-games’ series at Florida, the Fuel power play was 4-18; 22.2%. In the penalty-killing category, the Fuel have equally excelled, operating at a supreme 91%, defusing 20 of 22 advantages afforded the adversary. A masterful 16-16 streak through the season’s first 4-games did come to a close on Friday night for Indy. For the week in Florida the PK was 7-9; 77%.
MINING MILESTONES: Alex Wideman (99) is one point away from pro career 100-points. Geoff Walker (193) is 7-assists shy of career 200. Garrett Clarke (892) is 8-PIM away from 900-PIM. Geoff Walker (488) is 12-games away from the career 500.
FEW FUEL FUN FAST FACTS FROM “FIC:” The Fuel and division rival Kansas City have played the least number of home games in the league, only one. Indy is 1(0-1) in OT and 4(0-4) dating back to last season. In the OTSO, the Fuel are 1(1-0) this season and 7(3-4) dating back to last season. Indy is 3(1-1-1) when scoring the game’s FG and 3(1-2-0) when surrendering the FG. The Fuel are 2(1-1-0) when leading after the first period and 2(0-2-0) when trailing after the initial frame of the game. Entering the third period with the lead, they are 1(1-0-0) and 2(0-2-0) when trailing entering the third stanza. Dating back to last season, the Fuel are 6(4-1-1) in their last 6-dates at home and 6(1-4-1) in their last half-dozen dates abroad. Scoring by period: first period; 3-2; second period: 6-7; third period: 6-6. Through the season’s first 6-games, the Fuel defense has combined for 2-goals, 8-assists, 10-points.
THE FUEL/THE FAN 1070: All this season, all the action of Indy Fuel hockey, home and away, play-by-play, all the way can be heard on 1070the fan.com. The “Voice of the Fuel,” Terry Ficorelli will describe all the action for the hometown team. This week’s Fuel game broadcasts are scheduled for Friday night, the Fuel at Quad City, beginning with the Pre-Game Show at 7:30 pm. On Saturday night, when the Fuel host Wheeling, the broadcast will begin at 7:00 pm and Sunday’s home encounter against Toledo will commence at 2:30 pm.
INDY FUEL LIVE II: The next edition of the Fuel’s very own one-hour radio show is set for next Monday night, November 6th at 7:00 pm from Aspen Creek Grill in Noblesville. “INDY FUEL LIVE” with the “Voice of the Fuel,” Terry Ficorelli and Fuel special guests is a monthly program feature from the Fuel from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm and heard exclusively on the radio home for 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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