The Indy Fuel had a solid week that may not show in the 1-2-0 record from last weekend. They had a solid defensive effort and a couple of odd bounces in a 4-1 loss to Cincinnati, then put together a very good 60-minute effort that saw a late comeback by the ECHL’s best team in a 4-2 defeat to Toledo on Saturday, but the Fuel rallied on Sunday for a 3-0 shutout of Wheeling that saw Shane Owen post the first shutout in franchise history and give the team a solid springboard into the last four games of the current six-game roadtrip, which continues this week with four games in five days, all against teams the Fuel will be facing for the first time this season.
Last week: As noted above, Indy went 1-2-0 last week. The Fuel had tremendous balance, as 13 different skaters registered a point on the weekend in the three games, as Indy scored six goals. Garett Bembridge and Rhett Bly each had a goal and an assist on the weekend. Nicklas Lindberg scored his first goal as a member of the Fuel in his first game of the season. Mike Duco, Pete Massar and Kirill Gotovets also scored for Indy. Robert Czarnik, Nick Bruneteau, Justin Holl, Dean Chelios, Evan Vossen, Sam Posa and Matt White had assists. … Indy’s PK was 10-for-1o on the weekend. Owen stopped 50 of the 53 shots he saw over the weekend, while Mac Carruth stopped 20-of-23 against Toledo. …
Record: 7-21-6, 7th ECHL North
Fuel bits: An ECHL power rankings list noted the Fuel have played one of the toughest schedules in the league so far. … Matt White remains in the ECHL rookie lead in shorthanded goals with two. … Indy is the league’s fifth-least penalized team, at 13.26 PIM a game. … The Fuel have the league’s sixth-best PP (20.0), and are now 23rd on the PK (80.2). … Robert Czarnik leads the team in scoring (17-13-30). Garett Bembridge (12-12-24, 10-8-18 in 24 games with Indy) reached the 10-goal mark with the Fuel. Nick Bruneteau (2-15-17) continues to pile up assists, as does Justin Holl (3-12-15). … Mike Duco’s goal gave him eight for the year. … Duco leads the team with six power play goals – six of his eight tallies and nine of his 16 points have come with the man advantage. … Mathieu Brisebois is also a strong PP specialist, with a goal and seven assists on the PP. He is 2-12-14 overall. … Owen is 1-1-0 witha 1.52 GAA in two starts with the Fuel, while Mac Carruth possesses a 3.28 GAA.
This week’s games
Thursday/Friday: at Greenville Road Warriors (23-13-1), 7 p.m., Bon Secours Wellness Center. Radio: WXNT-1430
The weekend begins with a back-to-back against the East Division’s second-place team. Greenville went 2-1-0 last weekend, but both wins were in shootouts – 3-2 tilts against Fort Wayne and South Carolina. The Road Warriors also dropped a 4-1 decision to Fort Wayne to begin the weekend … Ryan Hegarty and Trevor Parkes each had a goal and two assists in the three games. Goaltender Jeff Malcolm got both wins and saw a ton of rubber – stopping 73 of 77 shots. Jeff Missiaen had the first start and stopped 32 of 36 in the loss to Fort Wayne. … Greenville is 4-4-0 in its last eight. … Malcolm (14-7-1, 2.51) is 11th in the ECHL in GAA, and 4th in save percentage (.921). … Vinny Saponari (10-19-29) leads the team in scoring. Parkes (9-16-25) and Kyle Jean (10-13-23) are also threats. … Greenville is good when scoring first, at 15-1-1, the league’s third-best record in that situation. … Greenville is one of the league’s best third-period teams. The 47 goals scored in the third leads the ECHL, and the +13 goal differential is second to Toledo’s +19 in the third period. … The Road Warriors are undefeated when leading after one (11-0-0) and two (12-0-0)…. The Road Warriors are 27th in the league on the PP (11.6) and fifth on the PK (85.5). … Greenville is the ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers. … The teams will meet again on March 21 in Greenville for the third and final meeting between the teams. Greenville is the one Eastern Conference team not scheduled to come to Indy this year.
Saturday: at South Carolina Stingrays (17-12-6), 7:05 p.m., North Charleston Coliseum. Radio: WXNT-1430
The Stingrays come into the week with a 1-1-1 record last week, splitting two games with Gwinnett (2-1 SOW, 4-3 L) and falling to cross-state rival Greenville 3-2 in a shootout on Sunday. Braden Pimm had a goal and an assist, as did forward John Mitchell. Caleb Herbert had two goals in the three games. … Adam Morrison stopped 24-of-26 in the 3-2 SOL to Greenville, while Jeff Jakaitis stopped 48-of-51 in the two games against Greenville … South Carolina has the ECHL’s top goaltending tandem. Adam Morrison (8-3-1, 1.89) leads the league in GAA and save percentage (.930). Jeff Jakaitis (8-3-2, 2.04) is third in GAA and fourth in save percentage (.921). As a result, the Stingrays are the league’s second-stingiest team in goals allowed (2.57), a fraction of a point behind leader Ontario. … The Stingrays are 23rd in the ECHL on the PP (13.0), but fourth on the PK (87.1) … Leading scorer Wayne Simpson (9-15-24) is currently inactive. Braden Pimm (11-8-19) is the leading goal scorer and the lone double-figure goal scorer. Cody Sylester (7-10-5) and Caeb Herbert (9-4-13 in 16 games) are also key scorers for the Stingrays.. … The Stingrays will play Toledo on Friday before facing the Fuel. … South Carolina is the ECHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins. … The teams will meet again on March 20 in South Carolina for the second of three meetings. The Stingrays will come to the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 28 for their only appearance in Indy.
Monday: at Gwinnett Gladiators (11-20-2), 12:35 p.m., The Arena at Gwinnett Center. Radio: WXNT-1430
This is a rare weekday matinee, as the two teams will play on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Gladiators come into the week after going 1-1-1 on the week previously, splitting two games with South Carolina (2-1 SOL, 4-3 W) and falling 4-3 to Fort Wayne, all at home. … Joe Stejskal had a goal and three assists, Casey Pierro-Zabotel two goal and three assists and Sean Berkstresser two goals and an assist on the weekend. Forward Casey Pierro-Zabotel (12-23-35) is 14th in the ECHL in scoring, and second in PP points (14). … Mike Lee made two starts and stopped 58-of-63 shots in going 0-1-1. … Adam Brown backstopped the 4-3 win and stopped 34-of-37. … Garry Nunn (6-19-25), Brenden Walker (7-13-20) and Marshall Everson (6-10-16) are also among the Gladiators’ top scorers. … Adam Brown (4-6-0, 3.37) and Mike Lee (1-3-1, 2.98) are the team’s current goaltenders. Lee’s name might be familiar to local hockey fans – he was the starting goaltender for the Fargo Force against the Indiana Ice in the 2009 Clark Cup Final. … Gwinnett also has a pair of familiar faces in former Ice players Will MacDonald, who has five points in 21 games, and Tristin Llewellyn, who is 4-11-15 in 30 games. … The Gladiators are fifth in the ECHL on the PP (20.5) and 28th on the PK (78.8). … While this will be the Fuel’s fourth game in five days, Gwinnett will play just once prior to the game with Indy – Saturday at Florida. … Gwinnett is the ECHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes. … The teams will meet again Jan. 28 in Indy, which will be the second and final meeting between the teams.
Roster moves: Since the last weekly update, the Fuel made two more roster moves – trading goaltender Cody Reichard to Stockton for Shane Owen, and adding forward Jonathan Parker from Colorado for future considerations. Parker (10-16-26 in 27 games) has not yet been added to the active roster.
Coming up: The Fuel return home next weekend for a stretch of six games in nine days, five of which will be at home. Indy hosts the Allen Americans on Friday, Jan. 23, then plays a home-and-home with Evansville, with the Saturday, Jan. 24 game in Indy and the Sunday, Jan. 25 game in Evansville.