Indy Fuel Pit Stop: Week 23 (March 11-17, 2019)
RESULTS: 1-1-0-1, 30-29-2-2 Overall, T-5th Central Division
Tuesday, March 12 - Fuel 1 at Wheeling 2 (SO): The Indy Fuel picked up an important point, but ultimately fell 2-1 in a shootout to the Wheeling Nailers Tuesday morning at WesBanco Arena. A third-period equalizer from Mathew Thompson helped Indy force overtime, but Wheeling netminder Jordan Ruby was superb beyond regulation, making six saves in OT before stopping three of four in the shootout. Yushiroh Hirano scored both in regulation and provided the game-clinching goal in the breakaway competition for the Nailers, who opened a two-point lead on the Fuel with the victory.
Friday, March 15 - Fuel 2 at Reading 5: The Royals scored twice in the first and second period to build a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes of play, hanging on to defeat the Fuel by a 5-2 count in Friday's series opener at Santander Arena. Tyler Brown scored twice, while Nick Luukko marked a goal and two assists to help spoil Fuel forward Olivier Labelle's return to reading. Josh Shalla and Dmitry Osipov scored for Indy, while goaltender Gordon Defiel stopped 34 of 38 shots in the road loss.
Saturday, March 16 - Fuel 5 at Reading 1: Indy used a strong performance on special teams to rebound to earn a weekend split at Santander Arena, defeating the Royals 5-1 on Saturday night. The Fuel penalty kill was a perfect 10-for-10 with two shorthanded goals, while Indy's power play struck in the third period to boost an early lead to 3-0. Mathew Thompson tallied two goals and one assist to lead the Fuel offensively, while Matt Tomkins logged another strong outing with 30 saves on 31 shots.
INDY FUEL WEEK 24 SCHEDULE:
Friday, March 22 - Fuel at Wheeling (7:05 p.m. ET, WesBanco Arena)
Indy wraps up a four-game road swing Friday with their eighth of nine visits to WesBanco Arena this season to take on the Wheeling Nailers. The two clubs enter Week 24 tied for fifth place in the Central Division standings, each trailing the Kalamazoo Wings by four points for the Central's fourth and final playoff berth. The Fuel are 4-3-1-1 against Wheeling this season, including a 2-1 shootout loss suffered in West Virginia last Tuesday.
Saturday, March 23 - Fuel vs. Fort Wayne (7:35 p.m. ET, Indiana Farmers Coliseum):
FIRST RESPONDERS/MILITARY NIGHT presented by Anthem & ESGR: The Fuel are proud to recognize all of the heroes that help our community every day! Tributes will be made throughout the evening to all first responders and service personnel.
Sunday, March 24 - Fuel vs. Cincinnati (3:05 p.m. ET, Indiana Farmers Coliseum)
FAMILY FUN DAY: Join the Fuel for an afternoon the whole family can enjoy, complete with a post-game skate with the team! Bring your own skates, or take advantage of our free skate rental on a first come, first served basis. Grab a few photos and autographs from your favorite players as you hit the ice where the Fuel play!
-Indy begins Week 24 four points out of a playoff spot with nine games remaining in the regular season.
-Following this Friday's contest in Wheeling, the Fuel will play six of their final eight games at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, including a season-long five game homestand from Mach 23-31.
-Indy owns a home record of 19-9-1-1 this season, and is one win short of matching a club single-season record for home victories.
-The Fuel finished with 20 wins at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in both the 2015-16 and 2017-18 campaigns.
-Eight of Indy's last nine games come against Central Division opponents.
-Tuesday's shootout loss in Wheeling was only the ninth game this season the Fuel have played that extended beyond regulation time, which is tied for the fewest in the ECHL.
-Indy is 4-2 in games decided in 3-on-3 overtime, and 1-2 in contests ending in a shootout.
-The Fuel penalty kill unit was a flawless 10-for-10 during Saturday's win in Reading, thwarting 25 of the last 27 power plays they have faced over the last four games (92.6%).
-The 10 minor penalties committed by Indy on Saturday marked a season high.
-Over his last six starts, Fuel goaltender Matt Tomkins owns a 4-1-1 record alongside a 1.15 goals against average and a .954 save percentage.
-Tomkins has held Indy's opponents to one goal or fewer (not including the shootout) in five of his last six games.
-With an assist Friday night, forward Ryan Rupert broke Alex Wideman's franchise single-season scoring record of 55 points, set during the 2016-17 season.
-Rupert leads Indy with 20 goals and 36 assists in 62 games, and is two helpers short of tying Alex Lavoie's season record of 38 set in 2015-16.
-Josh Shalla is two goals away from matching his own Fuel single-season goal scoring record of 28 from last season.
-Rookie forward Mathew Thompson has four goals in his last four games, and eight points (4g, 4a) over his last six outings.
FUEL ECHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE: Mathew Thompson (3 GP, 3 G, 1A, 4 PTS, +6, 2 PPG)
FUEL ECHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE: Matt Tomkins (1-0-1, 0.96 GAA, .965 SV%)
Individual tickets for all Fuel home games at Indiana Farmers Coliseum are available at IndyFuelHockey.com, or by visiting the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office. A variety of Ticket Plans are also still available for the 2018-19 season, call the Fuel ticket office at 317-925-FUEL for learn more today!
UPCOMING EVENTS & PROMOTIONS:
2019-20 Season Tickets Now On Sale: Don't just be a fan - join the team. Full Season Ticket Plans for the 2019-20 Indy Fuel season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum are now on sale! Become part of the Fuel family for year six at Indiana Farmers Coliseum and enjoy more exclusive benefits than ever before. Purchase or renew your Full Season Ticket Plan by March 28 and attend the 2019 Indy Fuel Awards Banquet at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, taking place on Sunday, April 7.
Made In America Night featuring Dave Christian: The Fuel will be celebrating the Red, White and Blue on Saturday, March 30 on Made In America Night as they take on the Cincinnati Cyclones. Don't miss your chance to meet Olympic Gold Medalist Dave Christian from the 1980 U.S. Men's Hockey Team!
Catch every home game this season with a free online stream at IndyFuelHockey.com! Click the "Watch/Listen Live" button to hear Voice of the Fuel Andrew Smith bring you all of the action from Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Fans can also watch all 72 games at home and on the road live through ECHL.TV!
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