The Indy Fuel had another strong week, going 2-1-0 last week and finishing out a very strong January. A team that began the month with six wins leaves it just four points out of a playoff spot, five points back of third place, and in the mix for a postseason berth. The Fuel went 9-1-1 in the last 11 games of January, and have a three-game weekend coming up against divisional foes.
Current record: 15-22-7, 6th ECHL North (standings)
Last week: The Fuel continued their strong play, rallying to beat Gwinnett 3-2 on Pete Massar’s OT goal on Wednesday, then seeing a rally fall just short in a 3-2 loss to Reading on Friday before Mac Carruth had a 41-save shutout in a 3-0 win over Elmira on Saturday. Ten different players got on the scoresheet in the team’s eight goals over the week, with Garett Bembridge tallying 2 goals and 2 assists, Vincent Arseneau two goals and an an assist and Nick Jones three assists. Kyle Stroh and Pete Massar had a goal and an assist each. … Mac Carruth stopped 72 of the 74 shots he saw over the week, a .973 save percentage. Shane Owen stopped 23 of 26 in a solid performance against Reading on Friday.
Fuel bits: Mac Carruth is up to 11th in the ECHL in GAA (2.53) and is ninth in save percentage (.913). He now has an 8-9-4 record and has won seven straight starts. … Kyle Stroh was +11 for the month of January, one of the top-five totals in the ECHL. Stroh has points in nine of his last 10 games. … Garett Bembridge is up to 17-17-34, including 15-13-28 in 34 games with the Fuel. He has a seven-game scoring streak going. … Mike Duco has tallied a point in four straight games and is now 10-11-21 for the year. … Vincent Arseneau continues to pile up points, with 4-3-7 in 10 games for the Fuel, including two goals last week. … Nick Bruneteau is third among ECHL rookies in assists (21) and 17th among ECHL defensemen in points (24) . … Rhett Bly is fourth among rookies in PP assists (9). … The Fuel are the league’s sixth-least penalized team (13.75 PIM/game). … Since coming to the Fuel, goaltender Shane Owen has a 2.01 GAA. Carruth was 7-2-0 with a 1.45 GAA in the month and should get serious consideration for Goaltender of the Month honors. The tandem has been spectacular in January. … Indy ranks sixth in the ECHL on the PP (19.4) and 17th on the PK (82.2). … The Fuel’s four-game road winning streak is the second-longest active streak in the league, behind Reading’s six. The Fuel have gained points in six straight road games, tying Reading for the longest streak in the ECHL without a regulation loss on the road.
This week’s games
Friday/Saturday: at Evansville IceMen (12-26-6), 8:15 p.m. (both nights), Ford Center. Radio: WXNT-1430
Series record: The Fuel are 4-1-1 against Evansville
Previous meetings: 10/25 at EVV: EVV 4-2; 10/31 at IND: Fuel 4-3 SO; 11/1 at EVV: EVV 4-3 OT; 12/3 at IND: Fuel 5-3; 1/24 at IND: Fuel 4-1; 1/25 at EVV: Fuel 2-1 OT.
The series resumed with two games a little over a week ago, and they’ll continue with two games this week. There will be two more meetings between the two squads coming up in March after this weekend. In the last meetings, Kyle Stroh had a big weekend, with a hat trick on Saturday and the game-winning goal in OT on Sunday. Mike Duco also had a goal and an assist on the weekend. Mac Carruth (27-of-28) and Shane Owen (30-of-31) were both stellar in net. The Fuel were able to beat both Evansville goalies, Chris Dridger on Saturday and Scott Greenham on Sunday. … Evansville snapped a nine-game skid last Friday, beating Gwinnett 4-1, but the IceMen went 1-2-0 on the week, falling 7-2 to Reading and 5-3 to Gwinnett. … Evansville’s PK was strong on the week, killing off 18-of-19 chances, including all 10 Gwinnett power plays in the 4-1 Friday win … Robin Soudek (3G/A), Thomas Frazee (2G/A) and Jarret Lukin (G/2A) led the IceMen in scoring last week. … Evansville’s Kevin Harvey is 2nd in the ECHL in PIM (187). … Brandon Wong leads Evansville in scoring (14-19-33). Soudek has an 11-14-25 line for three different teams this season. Frazee is 14-10-24 with Fort Wayne and Evansville and was recently acquired by the IceMen. … Driedger leads the ECHL in goaltending losses (19). … Evansville’s minus-19 goal differential in the first period is 27th in the ECHL, ahead of Brampton (-26). They’re minus-18 in the second, ahead of Stockton (-19), but are just minus-3 in the third. Evansville ranks ninth in the ECHL in PIM (18.59). … The IceMen are 26th in the league in scoring (2.50) and 25th in goals allowed (3.52). The IceMen rank 21st on the PP (14.2) and 14th on the PK (82.7)
Sunday vs. Kalamazoo Wings (19-16-3), 3:05 p.m., Indiana Farmers Coliseum. TV: HTSN-6.2. Radio: WXNT-1430
Series record: Indy trails 0-0-1
Previous meetings: 10/22 at IND: KAL 5-4 OT
This is just the teams’ second meeting this year, but they’ll be very familiar with each other down the stretch. Five of the Fuel’s last 26 games are against the K-Wings, starting with a Boy Scout Day matinee at the Coliseum. In fact, Kalamazoo is the visitor for two of the Fuel’s three home games this month, returning to Indy on Feb. 25. The Fuel will head to Wings Stadium for the first time this season twice in March … Joel Martin is 15th in the ECHL in GAA (2.65), and has a 14-9-2 record and a .911 save percentage. … Curtis Valk (11-19-30) is 10th among ECHL rookies in scoring. Former Indiana Ice player Eric Kattelus is the team’s second-leading scorer, at 5-24-29. Dane Fox and Matt Caria each have 13 goals. … Ludwig Bloomstrand’s 3-game goal streak enters the week as the longest active streak in the ECHL … The K-Wings’ roster features a couple of familiar faces – Kattelus and defenseman Ildar Telyakov, who started the year with the Fuel … Kalamazoo is one of the league’s least-penalized teams, with 13.47 PIM/game ranking fourth-fewest in the league, and the K-Wings also rank last in opponent PIM. … Kalamazoo has a better record on the road (9-6-1) than at home (10-10-2). The time to strike on the Wings is in the second period, as they’re minus-11 in goal differential. That turns around in the third, where the Wings are plus-9. … The Wings are 14th in the league in scoring (2.95) and goals allowed (3.03). … Kalamazoo is undefeated (11-0-0) when leading after two … The Wings rank 18th on the PP (15.2) and 3rd on the PK (86.7).
Roster moves: Defenseman Dillon Fournier was called up to AHL Rockford, his second such callup of the year. The Fuel also moved several players on and off of the reserve list.
Current unofficial roster
9 Rhett Bly (5-10, 185, Regina, Sask.). Age: 25. Shoots: L. Last team: Merrimack (NCAA) (Fuel)
11 Kyle Stroh (6-1, 185, Vibank, Sask.). Age: 26. Shoots: R. Last team: Rapid City Rush (ECHL) (Fuel)
12 Evan Vossen (6-0, 196, Swift Current, Sask.). Age: 28. Shoots: L. Last team: Missouri Mavericks (ECHL) (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) F
*19 Nicklas Lindberg (5-11, 190, Stockholm, Sweden). Age: 34. Shoots: L. Last team: St. Charles Chill (CHL) (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)
27 Vincent Arseneau (6-2, 200, Iles-de-la-Madeline, Quebec). Age: 22. Shoots: L. Last team: Ontario Reign (ECHL) (Manchester Monarchs)
*41 (A) Garett 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) F
2 Anders Franzon (6-3, 196, Plattsburgh, NY). Age: 26. 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: L. Last team: Worcester Sharks (AHL) (Worcester Sharks)
10 Dan Ford (6-1, 195, Skaneateles, NY). Age: 24. Shoots: L. Last team: Reading Royals (ECHL) (Fuel)
15 Sam Posa (5-10, 176, Grand Blanc, Mich.). Age: 22. Shoots: L. Last team: University of Windsor (OUAA) (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: 23. Shoots: R. Last team: Minnesota (NCAA) (Rockford IceHogs)
1 Shane Owen (6-2, 195, Markham, Ont.). Age: 24. Catches: L. Last team: Stockton Thunder (ECHL) (Fuel)
35 Mac Carruth (6-2, 160, Jackson, Wyo.). Age: 22. Catches: L. Last team: Rockford IceHogs (AHL) (Blackhawks)
7 Dean Chelios (6-2, 185, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.). Age: 25. Shoots: L. Last team: Toledo Walleye (ECHL) (Fuel)
21-day IR (1)
22 Jonathan Parker (5-10, 195, Solana Beach, Calif.). Age: 23. Shoots: R. Last team: Colorado Eagles (ECHL) (Fuel)