Indy Fuel Pit Stop – Week 5
Presented by Squealers Barbeque GrillNov 13, 2017
AFTER PLAYING 8 0F FIRST 11-GAMES ON THE ROAD THE FUEL SET TO OPEN A 6-GAMES’ HOME STAND
INDY WILL PLAY 8 OF ITS NEXT 9-GAMES ON HOME ICE; IN MIDST OF PLAYING 9 OF 10-GAMES IN DIVISION
TOLEDO COMES TO TOWN TUESDAY; KALAMAZOO HERE ON FRIDAY; TULSA HERE ON SATURDAY NIGHT
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS: 2(0-1-1) 4-7
SAT. NOV. 11 FUEL 3 AT QUAD CITY 5
SUN. NOV. 12 FUEL 1 AT QUAD CITY 2 (OT)
THIS WEEK’S GAMES: (3)
TUES. NOV. 14 TOLEDO AT THE FUEL 7:05 PM (ALL YOU CAN EAT NIGHT)
FRI. NOV. 17 KALAMAZOO AT THE FUEL 7:35 PM (PINK THE RINK NIGHT)
SAT. NOV. 18 TULSA AT THE FUEL 7:35 PM (MARVEL SUPER HEROES NIGHT)
NEXT HOME GAMES: TUES. 11/14 VS. TOLEDO 7:05 PM; FRI. 11/17 VS. KALAMAZOO; SAT. 11/18 VS. TULSA7:35 PM
THE FUEL IN REVIEW: Completing, perhaps, their most daunting, demanding schedule in the early season consisting of playing 8 of their first 11-games on ECHL foreign ice, the Indy Fuel are eagerly and energetically looking forward to their next schedule segment that will see them broach an extended 6-games’ home stand and actually play 8 of their next 9-games in the friendly climes and environs of the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Currently in the midst of an important stretch in which they are playing 9 of 10-games within their own Western Conference Central Division, the men of the Fuel extracted one precious point in the standings through a two-games’ weekend series in Moline, IL against Central Division rival Quad City. In game #1 on Saturday night, the men of Fuel hockey were gallant and resilient in overcoming a 3-1 second period deficit to equalize matters at 3-3, before the Mallards ultimately prevailed, 5-3. Right wing Nick Bligh singularly rallied his club with a pair of second period strikes stoked 2:25 apart to eradicate a 3-1 deficit. Left wing Alex Wideman (1-1-2) also connected for the Indy club while center Cam Reid engineered 2-assists. The Fuel outshot the “Quad Squad,” 34-29 as their power play was 0-3. Then on Sunday, in game #2, once again, Indy fought to the bitter end before the “Greenheads” garnered the bonus point by virtue of a 2-1 OT triumph. Defenseman Zach Miskovic (GTG) delivered the Fuel-men lone goal in the opening period to knot matters at 1-1. For a second consecutive game, the Fuel outshot the Quad Citians, 36-32, as they saw their record this season against the Mallards fall to 3(0-1-2) and 7(1-2-4) in their last 7-adventures against their intra-divisional opponents in Moline.
THE STATE OF THE FUEL: Under the auspices of second-year Head Coach Bernie John, the Fuel will embark on the new week of game activities occupying 7th place in the Western Conference Central Division Standings with a record of 11(2-6-3) totaling 7-points. The “Indy 6” are winless through its last 6-starts at 6(0-4-2) with their last toast of victory success coming over 2-weeks ago, October 27th in Florida where they derailed the Eastern Conference South Division pace-setting Everblades, 5-2. The Fuel’s lone other triumph was attained in their home opening night back on October 21st when they topped Tulsa in the OTSO, 3-2. On the road, the Fuel have compiled a mark of 8(1-4-3), being winless in their last quartet of starts abroad at 4(0-2-2). On home ice, they are 3(1-2-0), having dropped their last 2-appearances in the home territory. In Divisional competition, the Fuel are 4(0-2-2).
THE STATE OF THE STANDINGS: As the 2017-18 ECHL campaign moves into mid-November, the Western Conference Central Division Standings are laid out in this fashion: 1- Toledo 11(7-2-2) 16; 2- Cincinnati 10(6-3-1) 13; 3- Quad City 11(6-5-0) 12; 4- Kalamazoo 10(5-4-1) 11; 4- Fort Wayne 10(5-4-1) 11; 6- Kansas City 10(4-6-0) 8; 7- INDY FUEL 11(2-6-3) 7.
BACK HOME IN INDIANA: Beginning this week, the Fuel will embark on a key, pivotal 6-games’ home stand; actually playing 8 of their next 9-dates at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Thus far, the club has fashioned itself as veritable road warriors, having been seen in our town only a trio of times until now. This important stretch for the hometown team commences Tuesday night at 7:05 pm when reigning Brabham Cup Regular Season Champion Toledo comes calling on “ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT-NIGHT.” It’s the first of three home appearances for the Indy icers this week. The team will be spending the weekend in the local confines as well as Kalamazoo will be here on Friday night for “PINK THE RINK NIGHT” followed by Tulsa on Saturday night on ‘MARVEL SUPER HEROES NIGHT” at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
PINK IN THE RINK/DO317 NIGHT: Help Fuel the fight against breast cancer on Friday, Nov. 17 for our fourth annual benefit game for local breast cancer organizations. Tributes will be made to cancer fighters and supporters throughout the night. It's also the first-ever Fuel Do317 Night, so take advantage of $3 beer and soft drinks, $1 hot dogs, and special $7 limited-edition t-shirts!
MARVEL SUPER HERO NIGHT: Help save the day at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Saturday, Nov. 18 on MARVEL Super Hero Night, as the Fuel try to defeat the evil Tulsa Oilers. Hang out with Thor, Iron Man and Captain America as they walk around the concourse signing autographs and taking pictures with your little heroes. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a Super Hero toy!
NICK “THE QUICK”: Second-year right wing Nick Bligh continues to make a name for himself as a trusted goal-scoring cannoneer. The former Dartmouth standout always seems to be at the top of his game against Quad City. The past weekend, in the two-games’ series in Moline, he cannonaded a pair of lightning-like strikes 2:25 apart on Saturday night to singularly expunge a Fuel 3-1 shortfall and forge a 3-3 deadlock. For the Milton, MA product, it was his first multiple goal game of the year with his 5-goals ranked #1 on the club. His 2-goals were the fastest fired for the Fuel by an individual player thus far this campaign as 3 of his 5-strikes this season have been delivered against the Mallards. Last season, he was Fuel-foremost against Quad City with 5, including a 3-goal “hat trick” on 4/4/17 in an Indy 6-3 decision over the “Quack Attack.” Bligh is the Fuel’s nomination for Sher-Wood / ECHL Player of the Week.
COLLIN’S CREASE: First-year goaltender Collin Delia continues to be assigned the lion’s share of the puck-stopping duties for the Fuel. The Merrimack College standout played from start to finish in both of his team’s games the past weekend in the Quad Cities. For the season, he has seen service in 8 of the Fuel’s first 11-games while being the starting netminder in 7 of those outings. Delia is the Fuel’s nomination for CCM /ECHL Goaltender of the Week.
MISKO MAGNIFICO: Veteran defenseman Zach Miskovic, as is always the case, has really stepped-up his game in recent action. The 9-year pro enjoyed an especially effective weekend in Moline. On Saturday night, despite his club’s 5-3 setback, the Fuel team leader carded a superb +2 rating, matching the team’s individual best thus far this season. Then on Sunday, he responded, again, by firing his team’s sole goal, the GTG in the 2-1 OT outcome. “Misko” added a +1 rating for Sunday and an overall +3 rating for the weekend.
THE “DOG” HUNTS: Right wing Andrew Schmit injected much spirit, muscle, might and energy into the Fuel lineup the past weekend. The erstwhile SPHL forward, contributed one key, vital assist in each Fuel contest the past weekend in Quad City. In the process, the player affectionately known as “Dog” by his teammates, not only authored a pair of hard-nosed, hard-working assists but also achieved a +3 rating. Schmit is the Fuel’s best premium, positive, plus player at this stage of the season, carding a +3 rating for the year.
MAJOR MARQUEE MEN: Entering the new week of the ECHL season, the Fuel scoring leaders in order: 1- Cam Reid 11(2-8-10); 2- Nick Bligh 11(5-3-8); 3- Alex Wideman 11(4-4-8); 4- Ryan Rupert 11(2-4-6); 5- Matt Rupert 11(3-1-4); 6- Zach Miskovic 11(2-2-4); 7- Tommy Olczyk 10(3-0-3); 8- Robin Press 9(0-3-3); 10- Nolan Descoteaux 11(0-3-3); 11- Reed Seckel 11(1-2-3); 12- Andrew Schmit 6(0-3-3); 13- Mike Neal 5(1-1-2); 14- Troy Vance 9(1-1-2).
SPECIAL TEAMS SUMMARY: After launching the current campaign as the league’s top power play power plant, the Fuel extra man band has lacked consistency in recent action. Going 0-4 the past weekend in Quad City, the extra man band is now 0 for the last 18 and 1 for the last 21. In 3 of their initial 5-games of the season, the man advantage propelled multi-goal productions. For the season, the power play is 9-51, operating at 17.6%. The power play marksmen: Alex Wideman (2); Matt Rupert (2); Tommy Olczyk (2); Geoff Walker (2); Ryan Rupert (1). In the penalty-killing department, the Fuel have remained steady and consistent. Indy is 33-39, grudgingly surrendering a scant 6-PPGA through the first 11-games. The efficiency rating stands at 84.7%. The Fuel have stymied 9 of the last enemy man advantages for a superb 90% mark. Indy has registered 1-SHG thus far this season; (Ryan Rupert) while allowing 1-SHGA.
NUMEROLOGY ANTHOLOGY: Alex Wideman (102) eclipsed the 100-points plateau for his pro career the past weekend when he essayed 3-points; 2(1-2-3) in the series in Moline. Wideman also played career game #150 Sunday against the Mallards. Mike Neal, recently named Team Captain, (98) is 2-goals away from pro career 100. Zack Miskovic (90) is 10-assists shy of 100. Center Nathan Noel, recently assigned by the parent club Chicago Blackhawks, played his first professional game Saturday night in Quad City.
FUEL FACTS: Matt Rupert and Nick Bligh have both delivered Fuel 2-goal performances this season. With Sunday’s OT result at Quad City, the Fuel are now 5(0-5) in their last 5-OT endeavors, dating back to last season and 11 (2-9-0) in the past 11-such episodes. In its last 7-games in Quad City, the Fuel are 7(1-2-4) as 4 of those 7-decisions have been determined by extra time with the Mallards prevailing in all 4. The Fuel have scored 7-goals in the first period this season with all 7-strikes stroked on the road. Indy has yet to score a first period goal through its first 3-home games of the season. The Fuel have outshot their opponents in 5 of 11-games this season, posting a record of 5(1-3-1). All last season, they outshot their opponents only 11-times, going 11(2-7-2). The Fuel’s best offensive effort this season has been 5-GF which they registered 10/27 in Florida in the form of a 5-2 triumph. For the remaining 10-games, the Fuel have not scored more than 3-GF. Center Cam Reid engineered 2-more assists Saturday night in Quad City, giving him a club-high of 8 with 5 of those orchestrated on the power play. The Fuel are winless thus far through their first 5-starts in November at 5(0-3-2). Last November 2016, they attained one of their 2-winning months with a 12(6-5-1) mark with those 6-victories coming consecutively, representing their longest win streak of 2016-17.
THE FUEL / THE FAN 1070: All this season, all the Indy Fuel action, home and away, play-by-play, all the way can be heard on the world-wide internet on 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 three home games from Indiana Farmers Coliseum, beginning Tuesday night at 6:30 pm against Toledo, followed Friday night at 7:00 pm against Kalamazoo and capped Saturday evening at 7:00 pm against Tulsa.
INDY FUEL LIVE: The next edition of “INDY FUEL LIVE” is set for 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 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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