Indy Fuel Pit Stop – Week 7

Presented by Squealers Barbeque Grill

Nov 27, 2017







LAST WEEK’S RESULTS: 2(0-2-0) 5-10










THE FUEL IN REVIEW: At the conclusion of the past Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Indy Fuel have completed the first 5-games of their extended 6-games’ home stand at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Under the tutelage of Head Coach Bernie John and Assistant Coach Ryan McGinnis, the men of Fuel hockey capped their 10-games’ November schedule by absorbing a pair of defeats on consecutive nights with both shortfalls incurred against Western Conference Central Division rivals, the Fort Wayne Komets as well as the Kansas City Mavericks, in that order. Opening the weekend action Friday night, the Fuel, in their first of 9-bouts against archenemy Fort Wayne, bowed to the Komets, 4-2. A Fort Wayne 3-goals’ third period uprising in 5:41 shattered a tight, taut-fraught 1-1 duel to vault the visitors into the victory circle. Team captain Mike Neal accounted for both of Indy’s goals as the Fort Wayners rained a 51-shots’ salvo on rookie goaltender Etienne Marcoux, the most permitted by the home club, while the Fuel riposted with a season’s low 22-SOG. Indy is now 10(1-6-3) in its last 10-sessions staged against the Ks and 6(1-3-2) in the last half-dozen dates on home ice when rekindling animosities with their nemesis. Saturday night, despite attaining 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads, the Fuel fell to Kansas City, 6-3. Indy established 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 advantages only to have the Mavericks continue to come back each time to tie it before seizing the one and only lead they required on the strength of 4-unanswered goals to seal the victory verdict. Mike Neal (FG), Reed Seckel (TBG) and Ryan Rupert (TBG/SHG) provided the Fuel firepower with Collin Delia saddled with the setback in goal for the Indy crew.

THE STATE OF THE FUEL: Following a weekend of grandeur in which the Fuel-men assembled back-to-back victories at the expense of Kalamazoo and Tulsa, the past weekend saw the hometown team suffer back-to-back defeats. In the process, the Fuel overall season record fell to 16(4-9-3) totaling 11-points. Indy will embark on an ambitious 14-games’ December agenda occupying 7th place in the ECHL’s Western Conference Central Division Standings. Two of their 4-victories have been garnered against Western Conference Mountain Division foe Tulsa 2(2-0-0) with the remaining 2-triumphs registered against Florida 3(1-2-0) and Kalamazoo 1(1-0-0). 

TWO TO TANGO: Coming up for a second consecutive weekend will be another abbreviated two-games’ in two nights docket for the men of Fuel. Indy will cap its extended 6-games’ home stand this Friday night when they collide with Quad City at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. This will be the Mallards initial appearance here in Indianapolis this campaign and the fourth overall clash between these two teams. Thus far this season, the Fuel are 3(0-1-2) in 3-previous decisions against the “Quad Squad” with all 3-bouts waged in Moline, IL. On Saturday night, the Fuel return to foreign ice warfare for the first time since November 12th when they trek to Toledo for a date with the reigning Brabham Cup Regular Season Champions and Western Conference Central Division front-running Walleye. It will be Indy’s initial sojourn to the Ohio city for this current campaign. The Fuel are 2(0-2-0) when tackling the Toledoans this season with both battles having an Indianapolis backdrop.

THE FUEL FILL-UP: Through their first 16-games of the present season, the Fuel have compiled a composite record of 16(4-9-3) totaling 11-points. They are 8(3-5-0) in 8-dates a home, having dropped 2 in a row. Two of those 3-home ice victories have been collected against Tulsa 2(2-0-0) with the other success claimed against Kalamazoo 1(1-0-0). On the road, Indy has recorded a mark of 8(1-4-3) with the lone win extracted from league-leading Florida on October 27th, 5-2. Currently, the Fuel are winless in their 4-starts abroad at 4(0-2-2). Within their own Western Conference Central Division, the Fuel have posted a record of 8(1-5-2). For November, they finished the month at 10(2-6-2); at home: 7(2-5-0); on the road: 3(0-1-2). Longest win streak of the season has been 2-in a row, both at home. Longest losing streak has been 3-in a row; longest overall winless streak; 7(0-5-2).

THE CAPTAIN CONNECTS: Recently named team captain Mike Neal has rounded into form and recaptured his scoring touch following off-season surgery. The 28-year old 9-year pro emerged as his club’s most productive goal scoring ace of the place the past weekend. The NHL Dallas Stars draftee of 2007 accounted for 3 of his team’s 5-goals the past weekend with those 3-goals representing Indy’s initial 3-goals for the week. In Friday night’s 4-2 setback as inflicted by Fort Wayne, he fired both Fuel strikes including the GTG, being acclaimed the game’s #2 Star. Then on Saturday night, he delivered the game’s FG and 4th of the season in the 6-3 setback against Kansas City. For the week: 2(3-0-3) with +2 rating and 8-SOG. Neal is the Fuel’s nomination for Sher-Wood/ECHL Player of the Week.

MASKED MYSTIC MARVEL: First-year goaltender Etienne Marcoux has been a brilliant discovery uncovered and unearthed by the Fuel organization. The U. of New Brunswick standout human puck detour was, again, at the top of his game the past weekend. In his only start Friday night against Fort Wayne, the Laval, PQ prodigy was kept under a constant siege by the Komets who cascaded him with 51-SOG, the most surrendered by the Fuel thus far this season. Marcoux repelled 47 of those ammo arsenal assaults despite the defeat. Moreover, for the month of November, he rose to puck-stopping prominence in his 6-appearances and 5-starts. He accounted for both of his team’s victories in a record of 6(2-2-1), a thrifty and nifty 2.64 GAA and ECHL league-best .934 SPCT. Marcoux is the Fuel’s nomination for CCM/ECHL Goaltender of the Week, Goaltender of the Month as well as ECHL Rookie of the Month.

CRAFTY CAM: The Fuel top center-man Cam Reid enjoyed a sound and solid month of all-around play and performance for his squad the past month. The product of St. Cloud State delivered the ultimate game winning goals, in both of his Indy team’s victories for the month of November. His 2-GWG were cannonaded on 2-consecutive nights; a 6-2 decision over division rival Kalamazoo on 11/17/17 and 4-3 trumping of Tulsa the following night on 11/18/17. In the victory over Kalamazoo, he was lauded as the game’s #3 Star, in registering the club’s first 3-points enormous performance of the campaign. For the month, Reid was 10(3-4-7) with 27-SOG. The Fuel’s leading scoring virtuoso for the season; 16(4-10-14), he also tops the team in assists with 10 and PPA with 6. Reid is the Fuel’s nomination for Sher-Wood/ECHL Player of the Month.

SHORTHANDED BANDIT: Reinstated after serving a 4-games’ suspension, Fuel center Ryan Rupert announced his return to the lineup with a masterful touch-in-the-clutch. On Saturday night, the twin brother of his teammate and line-mate Matt Rupert, electrified the fond, faithful Fuel following with a brilliant, unassisted, shorthanded bandit breakaway goal midway through the second stanza to produce his team’s third and last lead of the night, 3-2. It was Ryan Rupert’s 3rd goal of the season and his second of the shorthanded variety. His 2-SHG tie him for the club leadership with Nathan Noel (2).

PREMIERE POINT PRODUCERS: With their December slate set to launch, the Fuel top scoring architects are accordingly: 1- Cam Reid 16(4-10-14); 2- Nick Bligh 16(7-5-12); 3- Alex Wideman 16(6-5-11); 4- Ryan Rupert 12(3-4-7); 5- Zach Miskovic 16(3-3-6); 6- Matt Rupert 16(3-3-6); 7- Reed Seckel 16(2-4-6); 8- Robin Press 13(0-6-6); 9- Mike Neal 10(4-1-5); 10- Tommy Olczyk 15(4-1-5); 11- Nolan Descoteaux 16(0-5-5); 12- Nathan Noel 7(2-2-4).

TEAMS OF SPECIALTY: For the past weekend, the Fuel power play was defused to the tune of going 0-6. The extra man attack is now 0 for the last 9, 2 for the last 12; 16.7% and 3 for the last 15; 20% proficiency rating. In the penalty-killing category, the opposition is 3 for the last 5; 60% conversion rating and 5 for the last 15; 33.3% conversion ratio. Alex Wideman’s 3-PPG top the team while Nathan Noel (2) and Ryan Rupert (2) have accounted for all 4 Fuel SHG. Indy’s 4-SHG through the season’s first 16-games, equals the team’s 4-SHG scored all last campaign in ’16-17.

MINTING MILESTONES: Team captain Mike Neal’s 2-goals Friday night against Fort Wayne were the 99th and 100th of his pro career. Neal (484) is 16-games away from the pro career 500. Recently acquired right wing Johnny McInnis (196) is 4-games shy of pro career 200. Defenseman Nolan Descoteaux (189) is 11-games away from 200. Defenseman Zach Miskovic (91) is 9-assists from 100. Reed Seckel (191) is 9-PIM away from 200-PIM for his career. Cam Reid (189) is 11-PIM from 200.

FUEL FACTS: The Fuel have scored the game’s FG in 6 of 16-games, posting a record of 6(3-2-1) in that department. When owning the lead after the first period, the Fuel are 5(3-2-0). In his last 3-starts, goaltender Etienne Marcoux has faced 134-SOG for a per game average of 45-SOG. When Fort Wayne struck for 3-third period goals in their Friday night win, the Komets sustained their masterful sorcery over the Fuel in that fateful final frame. In the last 10-meetings for these Indiana hockey adversaries, the Fuel have been outscored by the Komets, 26-5. When Kansas City defeated the Fuel Saturday night, it marked Indy’s 10th straight loss against the Mavericks. On Friday night, Mike Neal became the Fuel’s 4th 2-goal sniper in a single game, preceded by Matt Rupert, Nick Bligh and Nathan Noel. Kansas City’s 6-goal attack Saturday night represented the most GA allotted by Indy in one game this season. The Fuel are undefeated when yielding 2-GA at 4(3-0-1). The Rupert twin brothers +2 rating Saturday night against Kansas City matched the best by a Fuel player in one game for this season.

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 two games in as many nights this upcoming weekend. Friday night, when the Fuel host Quad City, the broadcast will commence at 7:00 pm; Saturday night when the Fuel travel to Toledo, the Fuel are on the air at 6:45 pm.

INDY FUEL LIVE: The next edition of “INDY FUEL LIVE” is set for 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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