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Fuel Pit Stop Weekly Week 22

March 13, 2017 - ECHL (ECHL) - Indy Fuel News Release

THE FUEL COMPLETE THREE GAMES IN THREE DAYS HOMESTAND WITH THREE MORE POINTS IN DIVISION

INDY CLIMBS INTO SIXTH PLACE TIE WITH WICHITA IN CENTRAL DIVISION WITH STELLAR START IN MARCH

FUEL IN KALAMAZOO FRIDAY NIGHT; BACK HOME SAT. VS KALAMAZOO AND SUN. AGAINST QUAD CITY

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: 3(1-1-1) 11-13

FRI. MAR. 10 FORT WAYNE 5 AT FUEL 6

SAT. MAR. 11 FORT WAYNE 3 AT FUEL 2 (SO)

SUN. MAR. 12 ALLEN 5 AT FUEL 3

THIS WEEK'S GAMES: (3)

FRI. MAR. 17 FUEL AT KALAMAZOO 7:00 PM

SAT. MAR. 18 KALAMAZOO AT FUEL 7:35 PM

SUN. MAR. 19 QUAD CITY AT FUEL 3:05 PM

NEXT HOME GAMES: SAT. MARCH 18TH VS. KALAMAZOO 7:35 PM; SUN. MARCH 19TH VS QUAD CITY 3:05 PM

*** ALL INDY FUEL GAMES HOME AND AWAY ARE BROADCAST LIVE ON INDIANAPOLIS' CBS SPORTS 1430 ***

THE FUEL IN REVIEW: Through their initial 5-games of their 12-games' docket for the month of March, the Fuel continue to show much measured improvement. Under the auspices of Head Coach Bernie John, the crew from Indy have collected 4-points in the ECHL's Western Conference Central Division through a March mark of 5(1-2-2); going 4(1-1-2) in their home lair and 1(0-1-0) in foreign ice warfare. In the process, the men of Fuel hockey commence the new week having climbed into a tie for 6th place in the division with Wichita 57(17-36-4) 38-points while the Fuel have assembled a composite record of 60(16-38-6) for their 38-points.

As they embark on the final 4-weeks of their 2016-17 regular season schedule, the Fuel list 12-more games on the slate; 6-more at home and another half-dozen abroad. Thus far in the season's second-half, they have compiled a mark of 24(5-16-3) while the first half standing was 36(11-22-3). When they defeated Fort Wayne the past Friday night, 6-5, Indy attained its first victory since a 6-2 triumph February 18th at Tulsa and its first ultimate success on home ice since January 27th when they throttled Rapid City in a 2-0 conquest.

CENTRAL DIVISION DATES: Once again, this week the Fuel-men confront an ambitious weekend's agenda consisting of 3-games in 3-days with the Friday-Saturday-Sunday "trifecta" centered on on-ice combat against fellow fractious floes from their own Central Division. The weekend activities are launched Friday night with an expedition to Kalamazoo to be hosted by the 4th place Wings at 7:00 pm.

It's the opening game of a two-games' home-and-home series between the division's 4th and 6th place clubs as the Fuel will reciprocate and play host with the most on Saturday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in part 2 of their battle with the Kalamazooans. The two teams have evenly divided the first 2-collisions with home ice advantage tantamount to ultimate success.

Then on Sunday, the Indy sextet will rekindle hostilities with third place Quad City in a Sunday matinee affair on home ice. The Fuel are 8(1-5-2) in 8-dates against the "Quad Squad" with a winless ledger at home of 4(0-4-0).

PRESENTING PROMOTIONS: More fun and exciting festivities are on tap for the Fuel's two home performances on center stage this upcoming weekend. On Saturday night, the Fuel organization will conduct their third annual Pink in the Rink game for breast cancer awareness, benefitting the Pink Ribbon Connection, Susan G. Komen of Central Indiana and the I.W.I.N. Foundation. The Fuel will don special pink jerseys which will be auctioned at the end of this great night with all net proceeds earmarked toward the respective participating charities.

Sunday is another "FAMILY FUN DAY". As always, there will be a fun skating party with the Fuel players immediately following the game, and with it, the opportunity to obtain autographs and photographs of your "fave-rave" Fuel players.

2017-18 SEASON TICKETS: Fuel Full Season Ticket Plans for the 2017-18 Indy Fuel ECHL hockey season are now on sale, and your chance to pick up a couple of incredible perks has been extended! Purchase or renew your plan by March 20 and you will receive your seat for the 2018 ECHL All-Star Classic absolutely FREE! Click here for more information and join the team today.

3 POINTS IN 3 DAYS: It was a sound and solid weekend of outstanding, thrilling hockey, Fuel style, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Indy broached the weekend home stand with a spellbinding, spine-tingling, spirited 6-5 victory verdict over principal arch-rival Fort Wayne in game one of a two-games' series on Friday night. The Fuel exploded to the tune of a season's best 4-goal second period outburst which appeared to produce an insurmountable 6-2 bulge. However, the always comeback inspired Komets rallied with 3-late third period strikes stoked 2:29 apart with less than 4-minutes remaining in regulation time before the Fuel survived. Josh Shalla (1-3-4) FG, Mike Neal (1-1-2) TBG and Brady Ramsay (1-1-2) PPG/GWG torched the torrent as Indy posted its first win in 7-games this season against the K's.

In the encore presentation on Saturday night, the Fuel seized a first period 2-0 lead and were only :34 away from making it stand. However, on this night, the Komets late rally captured the bonus point in extra time. The visitors knotted matters near the end of regulation time before outscoring the Fuel in the OTSO, 2-1, for a 3-2 OTSO result. Shalla, again, delivered the game's FG while Nick Bligh caged a singleton on the PP. Eric Levine was supreme in goal repelling 38 of 40-shots.

The competition remained formidable for the Fuel on Sunday as 4-time champion Allen came to town and extracted the victory but not without a gallant and valiant fight from the Fuel. Mike Neal's 2-third period SHG diminished the Indy deficit to 4-3 before Allen stashed an ENG to claim the contest in a 5-3 conquest.

MIKE THE MARVEL : Veteran center Mike Neal enjoyed his best week yet in the Fuel game ensemble. The younger brother of Nashville Predators veteran left wing James Neal, engineered 2-multiple point games over the weekend, collecting 5-points in the 3-games on 3-goals, 2-assists and sparkling +4 rating. After authoring 1-goal (TBG) and 1-assist in his club's 6-5 decision Friday night over Fort Wayne, the former NHL Dallas Stars draft pick orchestrated a masterful 3-points enormous performance Sunday against the perennial powerhouse Allen Americans. Neal stole the show in the Fuel's gallant comeback bid by uncorking a pair of SHG. In the process, he singularly reduced his club's deficit from 4-1 to 4-3. For the week, he was 3(3-2-5) with 1-TBG, 2-SHG, 1-MG, 9-SOG, +4 rating while being hailed and heralded the game's #2 Star both Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Neal is the Fuel's nomination for Sher-Wood / ECHL Player of the Week.

GOAL GATE GUARDIAN: Goaltender Eric Levine had only a single start the past weekend but he made it a magical one Saturday night against the Fort Wayners. Seemingly sprouting rubber limbs on demand with his puck-stopping artistry, the former Robert Morris U. standout brushed aside 38 of 40 Komets shots, earning the game's #2 Star. For his night's work which was protracted to both OT and the OTSO, Levine posted a stingy 1.85 GAA and .950 SPCT. Levine is the Fuel's nomination for CCM / ECHL Goaltender of the Week.

THE JOSH JUGGERNAUT: This past weekend, left wing Josh Shalla continued his remarkable goal-scoring wizardry against Fort Wayne. In his club's harrowing 6-5 victory verdict Friday night, Shalla delivered a scintillating 4-points' masterpiece of 1-goal, 3-assists and the #1 Star of the game honors. The following night, he made connection, again. And, again, for the second straight night it was the game's FG. The high-scoring virtuoso has made the game's FG his special niche and forte as he has fired 8-FG this season overall and 5 of those have been stroked against the Komets of whom, he has cannonaded 10 of his 27-goals in 8-starts.

POINT POWER PROWESS: With the vastly-improved and elevated effort and performance, the Fuel are flashing some firepower in the form of some impressive offensive stylings. Alex Wideman last 14-games: 14(4-9-13) with 2-consecutive 2-assists stylings over the weekend against Fort Wayne. Josh Shalla last 9-games: 9(5-3-8); Adam Phillips last 6-games; 6(1-5-6); Nick Bligh last 12-games; 12(6-4-10); Mike Neal last 4-games; 4(4-2-6); Nick Mattson last 3-games; 3(0-3-3) +3 rating.

UNEVEN STRENGTH STRONG: The Fuel power play power plant is progressing in a positive fashion. It is presently 3 for the last 11 for a proficiency rating of a strong 27.3%. When they produced a pair of PPG in their Friday night victory over Fort Wayne, it marked the 4th time in which the Fuel have connected on 2-PPG in one game with 3 of those coming against the Komets. Since both of those PPG were percolated in the same second period, it was the first time this season that the Fuel had scored 2-PPG in a single stanza. In the meantime, the penalty-killing unit has been solid and consistent. Indy has disarmed 19 of the last 22-man advantages afforded the adversary for an efficiency rating of 86.4%; moreover, it is 25 for the last 29 for a ratings mark of 86.2%. The Fuel have sniped 4-SHG for the season while surrendering 7 of the same.

MILLING MILESTONES: On the night before reaching the prestigious 400-games achievement of his 8-year pro career, team captain and defenseman Zach Miskovic was felled with an injury. "Misko" is currently in a holding pattern at 399-career games with the countdown presently in suspended state. Center Paul Zanette is also stalled-out in his quest to attain 250-career outings. Also hampered with an injury, he is on hold at 240 career games. Brady Ramsay's (149) next game will be #150 while Kenny Ryan (195) is 5-PIM from 200-PIM for his career.

FUEL FACTS: Mike Neal's 2-SHG in the third period Sunday equaled the Fuel's entire season output in that category. Saturday night was the Fuel's first home game all season long in which an OTSO was needed to resolve the outcome. They are 4(1-3) in the OTSO this year and 8(5-3) dating back to last season. Indy is 2(0-2) in extra time this season against Fort Wayne. In 8-meetings this season against Fort Wayne, the Fuel have outscored the K's in both the first (12-10) and second periods (12-11). However, the scales are tipped in period 3 where the Fuel have been outscored, 21-3. Jake Hildebrand continues to lead the league in saves made with 1,225. Indy's 20-SOG in the second period on Sunday against Allen, were the most generated in a single stanza this season. The Fuel's 6-goal ammo arsenal attack Friday night against Fort Wayne matched for the 7th time this season that the club has matched its single game goal-scoring high. The Fuel's 4-goal second period assault in the same game Friday night was Indy's best offensive output for one period this season. Indy is 25(6-15-4) against its own Central Division. The Fuel are 17(12-3-2) entering the third period with the lead with 4 of those 5 accumulated flaws preventing a perfect record in this department inflicted by Fort Wayne. Four of the Komets 7-wins when entering the third period trailing have been achieved against the Fuel.

THE FUEL ON LIVE TV: All season long in 2016-17, all Indy Fuel Friday night and Saturday night home games are televised live in simulcast form. WTHR-TV 13 (NBC) / COZI-TV will present all of the action with the Fuel's exclusive radio flagship home of CBS SPORTS 1430. Terry Ficorelli will have the play-by-play call with Bob Kravitz and Talor Whitaker alongside.

THE DAILY FUEL FILL-UP: All Fuel hockey fans can stay up to date every day even when there is not a game. It's "The Fuel Fix From Fic," Monday through Friday during the Kent Sterling Show from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm on the exclusive radio flagship home of the Indy Fuel, CBS SPORTS 1430.

TICKET INFORMATION: Indy Fuel tickets for all home games are available at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations or on line t indyfuelhockey.com. Call us by phone as well at (317) 925-FUEL.

SOUTH OF CHICAGO : Fill your tank at South of Chicago and Fuel your Fridays in the process! Enjoy the lunch buffet at any of the three South of Chicago Pizza & Beef locations and pick up a coupon for $3 off any ticket to a Friday Fuel home game. Must redeem coupon at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office, limit one coupon per ticket. For more information, visit nobspizza.com.


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