The Indy Fuel embark on a three-game Florida road swing starting Friday night, as they travel to face the Florida Everblades for two games. They’ll finish the swing Monday in Orlando – a game that was moved from its originally-scheduled Thursday date due to the ECHL having to juggle some games to accommodate the NBA schedule, as the Solar Bears and Magic share an arena.
Current record: 5-11-4, 7th North Division. Current standings
Last week: The Fuel went 1-2-0 and played some pretty solid hockey. They beat Evansville 5-3 on Wednesday, building leads of 3-1 and 4-2 before Adam McKenzie’s second goal in as many games provided the clincher. Over the weekend, the Fuel played two division leaders. On Friday, the Fuel nearly rallied back from a 6-3 third-period deficit, but fell to the Florida Everblades 7-6. The week ended with a 5-1 loss to Fort Wayne. Even in the losses, the Fuel saw some positives – scoring six goals and providing a lot of offense against one of the best teams in the ECHL and rallying in the third, and on Saturday, holding another division leader to 25 shots. Veteran forward Garett Bembridge has a five-game goal streak going, the longest streak in the ECHL this season. He had a goal and three assists against Evansville, and finished the week with three goals and three assists. Robert Czarnik had his six-game scoring streak snapped on Friday, but he had two goals against Evansville and an assist against Fort Wayne. Nick Bruneteau had five assists on the weekend, including three against Florida. Dean Chelios also had a big week with a goal and three assists. Pete Massar made his return to the lineup for the first time since October and had a goal against Florida. Cody Reichard played eight of the nine periods in goal and Indy native Jordan Tibbett made his professional debut on Friday, stopping five shots in the third period against Florida. The Fuel again won or tied the third period in each game, the sixth straight game in which the team has either outscored its opponent or been even in the final period. The power play is now 9-for-21 in its last five games.
Fuel bits: Make sure to check out Tony Brown’s weekly release for Fuel info. ith their recent hot streak – which included a 9-18 stretch in four games – the Fuel power play is now second in the ECHL at 25.6%, behind only Toledo (32.9%). The Fuel PK is currently clicking at 78.6% (25th), but is fourth in the league in shorthanded goals (4). … Robert Czarnik (11-9-20) leads the Fuel in scoring. He has five goals and six assists in his last 11 games, tallying at least a point in nine of them. Garett Bembridge has six goals and three assists in his last five games, and is 8-8-16 for the year, including 6-4-10 with the Fuel. … Rhett Bly (4-8-12) and Mathieu Brisebois (2-10-12) also have double-digit points. Patrick Cullen (6-5-11) is tied with Bembridge for second on the team in goals. … Nick Bruneteau (1-9-10) is second in assists behind Brisebois … Anders Franzon (+3) leads the team in +/- … Cullen and Matt White each are tied for the ECHL lead among rookies for shorthanded points (2). Brisebois is tied for 12th among defensemen in scoring (2-10-12) and second among defensemen with seven PP assists. … Indy is 19th in the league in scoring (2.85) and 24th in goals allowed (3.60). … Cody Reichard (5-5-1, 3.25) leads the team in wins and goaltender games (13).
This week’s games
Friday & Saturday: at Florida Everblades (14-3-1), 7:30 p.m. (Friday), 7 p.m. (Saturday), Germain Arena. Radio: WXNT-1430
Season series: Fuel trail 0-1-0
Previous meetings: 12/5 at Indy: FLA 7-6
The Fuel conclude the brief three-game season series against Florida with a return visit to the Sunshine State. The Fuel played their best offensive game this season against the Everblades last Friday, with Mike Duco tallying two goals and an assist, Dean Chelios a goal and an assist, and defensemen Nick Bruneteau and Mathieu Brisebois each tallying three assists. Rhett Bly also had a multi-point game with two assists, including one on Anders Franzon’s third-period shorthanded goal. Garett Bembridge and Pete Massar also scored goals for Indy. The Indy special teams were just that – 4-for-6 on the night on the PP and the PK unit provided a goal. Florida was led by Gabriel Desjardins, who had two goals. Forward Chris Kushneriuk and Alex Lavoie joined defenseman Cameron Burt in tallying a goal and an assist each. Defenseman Mike Little, who had an assist in Indy last week, leads the Everblades in scoring (2-15-17). He is second among rookies in total points and first in assists in the ECHL. Desjardins (7-5-12) is the leading goal scorer. Adam Brace (6-9-15) is second on the team in goals and points. Defenseman Matt Mangene, who had two assists in Indy, is also second on the team in points (4-11-15). Goaltender Allen York is second in the ECHL in goals against average (2.13). He is 9-2-1 on the year. Burt leads the ECHL in +/- (+16). Florida is 12-1-0 when scoring first. The Everblades are fourth in the ECHL in goals per game (3.83) and second in goals against (2.56). Florida is #5 in the ECHL on the PP (21.6%) and #24 on the PK (79.2). Florida has won two straight, having also beaten Kalamazoo 3-1 last Wednesday. The Everblades are the ECHL affiliates of the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning (and their AHL affiliates). The Everblades will host Elmira on Wednesday before facing the Fuel.
Monday: at Orlando Solar Bears (11-10-2), 7 p.m., Amway Center. Radio: WXNT-1430
Season series: Fuel trail 0-1-0
Previous meetings: 11/19 at Indy: ORL 4-1Another legacy matchup between the Fuel and an old friend from the old International Hockey League — at least in name. The teams met on Nov. 19, and Orlando’s Greg Miller and Denver Manderson each had a goal and an assist in the game. Forward Mike Ullrich added two assists for Orlando, which launched 42 shots on the Fuel net. Mac Carruth was in net for Indy that night and stopped 38. Matt White had a shorthanded goal for Indy in that game. Maxime Clermont made 21 saves in the Orlando net that evening. That game was in the midst of the Solar Bears’ mega-road trip — a 13-game roadie that began Nov. 11. Orlando went 8-5 on the trip. However, they have lost four of five, including a sweep last weekend in Greenville by scores of 4-1 and 7-2. Manderson, Mickey Lang and Brock Montgomery scored the goals. Clermont and Garrett Sparks shared the net on Saturday in the 7-2 loss. Kent Patterson stopped 33 shots on Friday in the 4-1 game. Miller (13-14-27) is third in the ECHL in scoring, and Manderson (9-17-26) is fourth. Manderson is also tied for third in assists, and Miller second in goals. Orlando is sixth in the league in goals per game (3.43) and 23rd in goals against (3.52). The Solar Bears also get off a lot of shots — 32.5 a game. They had 44 in Friday’s 4-1 loss to Greenville. Orlando is 10th on the PP (18.0%) and 23rd on the PK (80.3%). The Solar Bears are coached by former Indianapolis Ice defenseman Vince Williams. The Solar Bears are the ECHL affiliates of the Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL Toronto Marlies. Orlando faces Elmira on Tuesday and Thursday before meeting the Fuel.
Coming up: Indy returns home next week for two games – the Fuel will host Reading on Dec. 17, then will face Toledo at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Dec. 19. It will be the first visits to Indy by each team. On Saturday, Dec. 20, the Fuel will travel to Fort Wayne for the second of three December meetings between the Fuel and Komets.
Transactions: The Fuel made a couple of moves Monday. Defenseman Nick Jones (1-5-6 in 14 games) was returned to the team from the AHL Worcester Sharks. The Fuel also signed goaltender Eric Levine on Monday. He is a second-year pro who has played much of this season with the SPHL Peoria Rivermen, where he has gone 4-1-1 with a 2.09 GAA and a .920 save percentage. He also played one game for the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets this season, stopping 19 of 20 shots and getting the win. Levine went 11-8-4 with a 2.70 GAA and a .912 save percentage in 23 games in Peoria last year. The Wheeling, Ill. native played four years at Robert Morris University, going 19-12-4 with a 2.55 GAA and a .929 save percentage as a starter his senior year of 2012-13. Levine is 6-3, 180, and is 26 years old. The Fuel also released defenseman Adam McKenzie, a full-time graduate student who played the recent homestand with the team and scored two goals. TUESDAY PM UPDATE: The Blackhawks/IceHogs/Fuel organization made a couple more moves. Defenseman Mathieu Brisebois was called up to Rockford. In return, forward Jamie Wise and defenseman Dillon Fournier were assigned to the Fuel from Rockford. Goaltender Jordan Tibbett was released. The Fuel now have 20 active players, with three currently on IR. WEDNESDAY PM UPDATE: Garrett Klotz and Justin Holl were placed on reserve, while forward Travis Ouellette was activated from IR.
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)
15 Travis Ouellette (5-11, 165, Windsor, Ont.). Age: 25. Shoots: R. Last team: Greenville Road Warriors (ECHL) (Fuel)
16 Pete Massar (5-9, 180, Williston, Vt.). Age: 25. Shoots: R. Last team: Missouri Mavericks (CHL) (Fuel)
18 Jamie Wise (6-0, 205, Stouffville, Ont.). Age: 23. Shoots: R. Last team: Ryerson University (OUAA) (Rockford IceHogs)
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) Garett Bembridge (6-0, 180, Saskatoon, Sask.). Age: 33. Shoots: R. Last team: Missouri Mavericks (ECHL) (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)
5 Nick Jones (6-2, 200, Cranberry, Pa.). Age: 24. Shoots: R. Last team: Worcester Sharks (AHL) (Worcester Sharks)
10 Dan Ford (6-1, 195, Skaneateles, NY.). Age: 24. Shoots: L. Last team: Reading (ECHL) (Fuel)
23 Dillon Fournier (6-2, 187, Montreal, PQ). Age: 20. Shoots: L. Last team: Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) (Blackhawks)
24 Kirill Gotovets (5-11, 194, Minsk, Belarus). Age: 23. Shoots: L. Last team: Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) (Rockford IceHogs)
1 Cody Reichard (5-11, 165, Celina, Ohio). Age: 27. Catches: L. Last team: Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) (Fuel)
33 Eric Levine (6-3, 180, Wheeling, Ill.). Age: 26. Catches: L. Last team: Peoria Rivermen (SPHL) (Fuel)
25 Justin Holl (6-3, 195, Tonka Bay, Minn.). Age: 22. Shoots: R. Last team: Minnesota (NCAA) (Rockford IceHogs)
*88 (A) Garrett Klotz (6-6, 250, Regina, Sask.). Age: 25. Shoots: L. Last team: Allen Americans (CHL) (Fuel)
21-day IR (2)
8 Ildar Telyakov (6-9, 216, St. Petersburg, Russia). Age: 23. Shoots: L. Last team: St. Charles Chill (CHL) (Fuel) D
21 Johnny McGuire (6-1, 205, Peterborough, Ont.). Age: 21. Shoots: R. Last team: Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) (Fuel) F