The Indy Fuel (and the rest of the ECHL) are enjoying a little break from the schedule to enjoy the Christmas holiday, but hockey heats up quickly this weekend with two home games against the Cincinnati Cyclones, which will begin a busy stretch that will see the Fuel play 17 games in a 5-week span, including 10 in the friendly confines of the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Current record: 5-16-5 (7th, ECHL North)
Last week: Indy is coming off an 0-4-0 week, where the Fuel played Orlando, Reading, Toledo and Fort Wayne. They saw some good points – led for much of the way against Reading, generated a number of great chances against Toledo and were even at even strength against Fort Wayne. On the week, Robert Czarnik led the team with two goals and an assist. Dillon Fournier scored twice. Mike Duco, Justin Holl and Dean Chelios all had two assists, and Matt White had a goal and an assist. Mac Carruth made three starts. Indy was 1/14 on the PP, and 14/16 on the PK.
Fuel bits: Indy has the ECHL’s third-best PP (22.2%) and is 26th on the PK (79.1%). The Fuel are seventh in the league in shorthanded goals. Robert Czarnik has continued his strong play and now has 14 goals and 10 assists in 25 games. Garett Bembridge (6-6-12 in 16 games with the Fuel) has come on of late, but the Fuel are also getting a lot of recent production from the blueline. Dillon Fournier has three points in his last five games, including two goals this past week. Nick Bruneteau (12 assists) and Mathieu Brisebois (10 assists) are both in the double-digit assist club, as is Justin Holl. Matt White leads ECHL rookies with 2 shorthanded goals, and he and Patrick Cullen are tied for the lead among rookies with two shorthanded points each. The Fuel are the ECHL’s third-least penalized team, taking 11.92 PIM per game.
This week’s schedule
Friday/Saturday: vs. Cincinnati (7:35 p.m. each night, Indiana Farmers Coliseum). TV: HTSN-6.2. Radio: WXNT-1430
Season series: Indy trails 1-2-0
Previous meetings: 11/25 at CIN: CIN 3-1; 11/28 at IND: CIN 3-2; 11/29 at IND: IND 5-3This is a huge weekend for the Fuel as the team looks to climb the North Division standings, with a pair of four-point games against a division opponent that’s within reach. In the head-to-head meetings this season, Garett Bembridge has three goals, while Mike Duco and Mathieu Brisebois have two goals each for the Fuel. Cincinnati’s eight goals have been scored by seven different players, with Bryan Froese tallying two goals. Froese is currently not on the Cyclones’ roster. Rob Madore has played all three H2H games in net for Cincinnati, with a .889 save % and a 2.69 GAA. For the Fuel, Cody Reichard is 1-0, having stopped 28-31 shots, Mac Carruth is 0-2-0 with a 2.52 GAA and a .909 save %. Cincinnati is a strong second-period team, outscoring foes 31-13 in the middle 20 minutes, but the Fuel poured on four first-period goals in the most recent matchup on Nov. 29. Josh Shalla is the leading active scorer for the Cyclones with 12-9-21. Zach Budish has a 4-13-17 line. Madore is 7-6-3 with a 2.71 GAA so far on the season. Last week, the Cyclones went 1-2, losing 3-0 to Greenville on Wednesday before two games with Elmira over the weekend — a 3-2 loss and a 2-0 win. Stephan Vigier had two of the team’s four goals on the week. Madore played all three games in goal, and had the shutout on Saturday. Cincinnati has the ECHL’s 20th-best PP (14.8%) and is 21st on the PK (81.3%). Cincinnati is the ECHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers.
Roster moves: The ECHL Christmas trade/waiver freeze is in effect. Last week, the Fuel made a number of roster moves, trading Travis Ouellette to Gwinnett for the rights to Bobby Hughes, releasing goaltender Eric Levine when the Blackhawks reassigned goaltender Mac Carruth to Indy on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, Rockford called up winger Jamie Wise. The Fuel loaned goaltender Cody Reichard to AHL Grand Rapids on Saturday and signed Jordan Tibbett as an emergency backup. The Fuel also activated forward Johnny McGuire from the 21-day 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)
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)
21 Johnny McGuire (6-1, 205, Peterborough, Ont.). Age: 21. Shoots: R. Last team: Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) (Fuel) F
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)
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)
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)
25 Justin Holl (6-3, 195, Tonka Bay, Minn.). Age: 22. Shoots: R. Last team: Minnesota (NCAA) (Rockford IceHogs)
30 Jordan Tibbett (6-1, 185, Indianapolis). Age: 24. Catches: L. Last team: Mercyhurst (NCAA) (Fuel-emergency backup)
35 Mac Carruth (6-2, 160, Jackson, Wyo.). Age: 22. Catches: L. Last team: Rockford IceHogs (AHL) (Blackhawks)
*88 (A) Garrett Klotz (6-6, 250, Regina, Sask.). Age: 25. Shoots: L. Last team: Allen Americans (CHL) (Fuel)
21-day IR (1)
8 Ildar Telyakov (6-9, 216, St. Petersburg, Russia). Age: 23. Shoots: L. Last team: St. Charles Chill (CHL) (Fuel) D
Suspended list (1)
Bobby Hughes (6-0, 185, Richmond Hill, Ont.). Age: 27. Shoots: L. Last team: Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL) (Fuel) F
– See more at: http://indypuck.com/2014/12/17/fuel-weekly-preview-9/#sthash.UzuXlvdz.dpuf