Busy week for the Fuel with three home games to close out a five-game homestand.
Current record: 4-9-4, 7th ECHL North Division. Current standings.
Last week: The Fuel went 1-1-1 with a couple of really solid performances. They rallied to tie Fort Wayne on Thursday before falling 2-1 in a shootout. On Friday, a couple of strange bounces allowed Cincinnati to skate away with a 3-2 victory, but the Fuel rallied and beat the Cyclones 5-3 behind four first-period goals on Saturday. The Fuel are now within two points of sixth place, and within six points of third place in the ECHL North. Robert Czarnik had a goal and two assists to run his scoring streak to five games. Garett Bembridge had three goals against Cincinnati – one on Friday and two on Saturday. Justin Holl had three assists on the weekend, including two on Saturday. Mike Duco (G/A), Mathieu Brisebois (G/A) and Kirill Gotovets (2A) also had multi-point weekends.
Fuel bits: Make sure to check out Tony Brown’s weekly release to get all the latest on the Fuel … Robert Czarnik has a five-game scoring streak going … The Fuel outscored teams 3-1 in the third period last weekend. Czarnik (9-8-17) leads the team in scoring and is 20th overall in the league in scoring … Mathieu Brisebois (2-8-10) is tied for 12th among defensemen in scoring … Defenseman Anders Franzon leads the team in +/- (+3) … Indy is outscoring teams in the first period (18-17) and outshooting foes in each the second and third periods … The Fuel have the league’s fourth-best power play (15-67, 22.4%). The Fuel are 21st on the PK (48-59, 81.4%). … Goaltender Cody Reichard is 4-4-1/2.69 in net.
This week’s games
Wednesday: vs. Evansville IceMen (8-7-2, t3rd North), 7:05 p.m., Fairgrounds Coliseum (Radio: WXNT-1430, TV: HTSN-6.2)
Season series: Fuel are 1-1-1 vs. Evansville
Previous meetings: 10/25: EVV 4-2 at Evansville; 10/31: Fuel 4-3 SO at Indy; 11/1: EVV 4-3 OT at Evansville
Matt White has led the Fuel with 2 goals and 2 assists against the IceMen. Patrick Cullen has a goal and two assists. Three different goaltenders have had starts against Evansville, with Cody Reichard backstopping the 4-3 win on Halloweeen night. Mac Carruth has also netted a point with 23 saves on Nov. 1 in Evansville. … Evansville got five points out of three games last week, beating Cincinnati 5-3 on Wednesday and splitting two games with Elmira, falling 3-2 in OT on Friday and winning 1-0 on Saturday. Andre Bouvet-Morissette had three goals on the week, and Kevin Harvey had two goals and an assist, including the game-winner on Saturday. Chris Driedger had both wins in goal, including the shutout. Cal Heeter, who played goal in both of Evansville’s wins against the Fuel, is currently playing for the parent club in Binghamton. Kale Kerbashian (5-9-14), Matt Lowry (2-10-12) and Myles Bell (7-4-11) lead the IceMen in scoring. … Evansville is 2-5-1 away from the Ford Center … Evansville is at 13.8% on the power play (7-54, 22nd) and 85.5% on the penalty kill (47-55, 7th). This is the fourth of 10 meetings between the teams, and the second of four at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. The next meetings are a home-and-home on Jan. 24-25. Evansville is the ECHL affiliate of the NHL Ottawa Senators & AHL Binghamton Senators.
Friday: vs. Florida Everblades (12-3-1, t1st East), 7:35 p.m., Fairgrounds Coliseum (Radio: WXNT-1430, TV: HTSN-6.2)
Season series: First meeting
The Everblades enter this game as one of the ECHL’s top teams and tied with Elmira for first in the East Division. Florida is tied with Elmira and Toledo for the second-best record in the ECHL. The Everblades had a six-game winning streak snapped in their last game, a 3-2 loss at Wheeling that split the weekend between the Everblades and Nailers. Florida won Friday’s game at Wheeling 5-1. Defenseman Mike Little leads Florida in scoring (2-13-15). He ranks second in the ECHL in defenseman scoring and leads the league in assists by a defenseman. Their top goal scorers are Adam Brace (6-8-14) and Evan Bloodoff (6-4-10). Little had three assists in the two weekend games at Wheeling last week. Forwards Mike Aviani, John McInnis and Alex Aleardi each had a goal and an assist in the 5-1 win on Friday. Allen York (8-2-1, 2.16) is Florida’s starting goaltender. Florida, at 2.44 goals against per game, is the ECHL’s second-stingiest defense. Florida is right behind the Fuel with the league’s fifth-best PP (22.1%). Florida travels to Kalamazoo on Wednesday before facing the Fuel. The Everblades are 13th in PK (83.6%). Florida has a dual affiliation with the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning and their AHL affiliates. The teams will meet again twice next weekend in Estero, Fla., on Dec. 12-13, to close out the three-game season series.
Saturday: vs. Fort Wayne Komets (14-4-0, 1st North), 7:35 p.m., Fairgrounds Coliseum (Radio: WXNT-1430, TV: HTSN-6.2)
Season series: Fuel are 0-2-2 vs. Fort Wayne
Meetings so far: 10/17: FTW 5-4 SO at Indy; 10/18 FTW 4-3 at Fort Wayne; 10/26: FTW 4-0 at Indy; 11/27 FTW 2-1 SO at Fort Wayne
The Fuel have played three really strong games against the Komets, but have fallen in all four games. Last week, Robert Czarnik scored a third-period goal to tie the game at 1-1, but Fort Wayne won the shootout and the game both by 2-1 scores. Fort Wayne’s Pat Nagle and Indy’s Mac Carruth matched each other in net. Fort Wayne then finished off a six-point weekend by beating Kalamazoo 4-1 on Friday and Orlando 6-4 on Saturday. Shawn Szydlowski had three goals over the weekend and has 20 points (9-11-20) to lead the team. Center Eric Faille has seven goals and is ninth among ECHL rookies with 15 points. Defenseman James Martin (3-13-16) and former Indiana Ice forward Mike Embach (5-11-16) are second on the team in scoring. Martin leads ECHL defensemen in points and assists. Garrett Meurs (2/1) and Martin (1/2) had three-point games in the 6-4 win over Orlando, and Meurs had four goals in the three games last week. Nagle (9-3-0, 2.46) gets the majority of the starts for the Komets. Fort Wayne will play Friday at Cincinnati before coming to Indy on Saturday. The Komets are 16th in the power play (16.7%) and 28th in penalty kill (76.8%), including 72.9% on the road. This is the fifth of 11 meetings between the teams. They’ll meet twice more in December – on Dec. 20 and Dec. 31, both in Fort Wayne. The next game between the teams in Indy will be March 18. Fort Wayne is the affiliate of the NHL Colorado Avalanche and AHL Lake Erie Monsters.
Roster moves: The Fuel had a flurry of roster moves last week. Mac Carruth was reassigned to the team. Goaltender Cody Reichard was loaned to AHL Chicago, and then returned to the Fuel in time for Saturday’s start. Defenseman Nick Jones was called up to AHL Worcester. Forward Jamie Wise and defenseman Dillon Fournier were called up to AHL Rockford. The Fuel acquired defenseman Dan Ford from Reading in exchange for future considerations. The team also signed Adam McKenzie, a full-time student who made his pro debut and scored a goal on Saturday. They released him Monday as he heads back to school. The Fuel released forward Kyle Gibbons and goaltender Sean Bonar. TUESDAY PM UPDATE: Forward Pete Massar was activated from IR, giving the Fuel 10 forwards and six defensemen, as well as the two goaltenders. Mac Carruth was reassigned by the Blackhawks to Rockford, as Chicago called up Scott Darling. WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The Fuel signed rookie goaltender Jordan Tibbett, an Indianapolis native who has been an emergency backup for the team, to a player contract on Wednesday.
Current Fuel roster
7 Dean Chelios (6-2, 185, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.). Age: 25. Shoots: L. Last team: Toledo Walleye (ECHL) (Fuel)
9 Rhett Bly (5-10, 185, Regina, Sask.). Age: 25. Shoots: L. Last team: Merrimack (NCAA) (Fuel)
12 Klarc Wilson (6-2, 206, Edmonton, Alb.). Age: 21. Shoots: R. Last team: Prince George Cougars (WHL) (Fuel)
*14 (C) Mike Duco (5-10, 200, Toronto, Ont.). Age: 27. Shoots: R. Last team: Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) (Fuel)
16 Pete Massar (5-9, 180, Williston, Vt.). Age: 25. Shoots: R. Last team: Missouri Mavericks (CHL) (Fuel)
19 Patrick Cullen (5-11, 189, Washington, DC). Age: 25. Shoots: L. Last team: Dresden (Germany-2) (Fuel)
20 Matt White (6-2, 198, McMurray, Pa.). Age: 23. Shoots: L. Last team: Vermont (NCAA) (Fuel)
27 Robert Czarnik (6-0, 188, Detroit, Mich.). Age: 24. Shoots: R. Last team: Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL) (Fuel)
*41 (A) Garret Bembridge (6-0, 180, Saskatoon, Sask.). Age: 33. Shoots: R. Last team: Missouri Mavericks (ECHL) (Fuel)
*88 (A) Garrett Klotz (6-6, 250, Regina, Sask.). Age: 25. Shoots: L. Last team: Allen Americans (CHL) (Fuel)
2 Anders Franzon (6-3, 196, Plattsburgh, NY). Age: 25. Shoots: R. Last team: Missouri Mavericks (CHL) (Fuel)
4 Nick Bruneteau (5-10, 182, Omaha, Neb.). Age: 22. Shoots: R. Last team: Reading Royals (ECHL) (Fuel)
6 Mathieu Brisebois (5-11, 180, Mont St-Hilaire, Que.). Age: 22. Shoots: R. Last team: Rockford IceHogs (AHL) (Blackhawks)
10 Dan Ford (6-1, 195, Skaneateles, NY.). Age: 24. Shoots: L. Last team: Reading (ECHL) (Fuel)
24 Kirill Gotovets (5-11, 194, Minsk, Belarus). Age: 23. Shoots: L. Last team: Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) (Rockford IceHogs)
25 Justin Holl (6-3, 195, Tonka Bay, Minn.). Age: 22. Shoots: R. Last team: Minnesota (NCAA) (Rockford IceHogs)
1 Cody Reichard (5-11, 165, Celina, Ohio). Age: 27. Catches: L. Last team: Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) (Fuel)
30 Jordan Tibbett (6-1, 185, Indianapolis). Age: 24. Catches: L. Last team: Mercyhurst (NCAA) (Fuel)
21-day IR (3)
8 Ildar Telyakov (6-9, 216, St. Petersburg, Russia). Age: 23. Shoots: L. Last team: St. Charles Chill (CHL) (Fuel) D
15 Travis Ouellette (5-11, 165, Windsor, Ont.). Age: 25. Shoots: R. Last team: Greenville Road Warriors (ECHL) (Fuel) F
21 Johnny McGuire (6-1, 205, Peterborough, Ont.). Age: 21. Shoots: R. Last team: Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) (Fuel) F