It’s the final week of the 2014-15 regular season, and the Indy Fuel are still in the midst of a playoff race after going 2-1-1 last week against a tough schedule – beating Fort Wayne and Elmira and taking a point from Toledo. This week, the Fuel have three games against two foes to close out the season.
Record: 29-30-10, t5th ECHL North
Last week: The Fuel had a pretty solid week, rallying to tie Toledo before falling 3-2 in a shootout, then having a rally fall short in a 4-2 loss at Cincinnati. They came back with a third-period comeback to beat Fort Wayne 3-2, and scored two third-period goals to beat Elmira 4-2. Nicklas Lindberg had three goals – two against Fort Wayne and one against Elmira. Peter Schneider, Rhett Bly and Jamie Wise all had a goal and two assists each. Nick Bruneteau and Nick Jones had two assists apiece, and Mike Duco and Chris DeSousa each had a goal and an assist. … Shane Owen was 2-1-0 on the week with a .925 save percentage, stopping 62 of 67 shots. Mac Carruth played 80 minutes and stopped 31 of 35 shots. The Fuel PP clicked at a 23.5% clip (4-17). … Anders Franzon scored the team’s fifth shorthanded goal of the year on Sunday.
Fuel bits: The Fuel are currently tied for fifth in the ECHL’s North Division, although it doesn’t currently possess any tiebreakers with the three teams it can catch. The Fuel are five points back of Kalamazoo and three back of Cincinnati, and tied with Wheeling. Wheeling has four games left, all other teams have three. … If Matt White plays in all three games this week, he will become the Fuel’s ironman, having suited up in all 72 games this season. … Nick Bruneteau is fifth in the league among rookies in assists (35), and tied for 13th among defensemen in points (3-35-38), and leads ECHL rookies in PP assists (16) and points (17). Pete Massar is second among rookies in PP assists with 14. … The Fuel lead the ECHL in OT games with 19. They are 9-10 in those games. … The Fuel have the league’s fourth-best PP (20.6) and rank 16th on the PK (82.4). … The Fuel have been good at protecting a lead, going 18-1-5 when leading after two. … Garett Bembridge has 50 points with the Fuel (25-25-50) and 56 overall (27-29-56) to lead the team in points. Kyle Stroh is the team’s other 20-goal scorer (22-21-43 overall, 15-14-29 with Fuel). Mike Duco is knocking on the door of 20 goals, with a 17-17-34 line. Bruneteau continues to lead the team in assists with 38. … Mac Carruth (15-13-6, 2.60) is 12th in the league in GAA. Shane Owen is now 9-6-2, 2.27 with Indy.
This week’s games
Wednesday: vs. Kalamazoo Wings (34-29-5), 7:05 p.m., Indiana Farmers Coliseum. TV: HTSN-6.2. Radio: WXNT-1430
Season series: Indy is 2-2-1 against KalamazooThis is a big game for both teams. Kalamazoo can get very close to clinching a playoff spot with a win, while the Fuel need two points to stay in the race. Indy is currently five points back of the third-place K-Wings, and can mathematically catch Kalamazoo if the Fuel win out and Kalamazoo loses out. … Goaltender Joel Martin (29-19-4, 2.89) is the league’s workhorse, having played 3133 minutes in goal, a league-high. He is also third in wins (29). … Dane Fox is third among ECHL rookies in PP goals (7). … Kalamazoo is 15-16-3 away from home. … The K-Wings rank 17th in the league on the PP (16.5) and ninth on the PK (83.8). … Kalamazoo is also dangerous shorthanded – the Wings have scored 11 shorthanded goals and allowed just three. … The time to catch the K-Wings is in the second period, where they have a minus-17 goal differential. If they have a lead going into the third, they usually hold it – they are 22-1-0 when leading after two. … Matt Caria (25-28-53) leads the K-Wings in scoring. Gergo Nagy (16-32-48) leads the team in assists, and Ludwig Blomstrand (33-12-45) is the top goal-scorer. Ten of his goals have come on the PP. Sam Ftorek – the 41-year-old son of WHA/NHL veteran Robbie Ftorek – has 30 assists and 33 points. The K-Wings are the ECHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Friday/Saturday: at Reading Royals (44-19-6), 7:30 p.m. (Fri), 7:05 p.m. (Sat), Santander Arena. Radio: WXNT-1430
Season series: Indy is 0-6-0 against Reading
Despite having a .681 points percentage, Reading is in third place in the East Division, although the Royals are just one point back of second-place South Carolina with two games in hand. The Royals are playing for home ice in a series with the Stingrays, as it’s guaranteed those two will play each other in the first round. … All six games between the Fuel and Royals have been decided by one goal (discounting empty-netters), including a 3-2 win by Reading on March 28 at the Coliseum, a game in which Martin Ouellette had 40 saves for the Royals. … Olivier Labelle (29-40-69) is tied for 11th in the ECHL in scoring. Adam Hughesman (23-43-66) is 18th. Pat Mullane (23-39-62), David Marshall (23-27-50) and Sean Wiles (23-19-42) are also active 20-goal scorers. … D Maxim Lamarche has a +22 rating. … Connor Knapp (23-10-4, 2.64) is tied for 13th in the ECHL in GAA. His .912 save percentage is also among the league leaders. Ouellette is 17-19-2 with a 2.90 GAA. … Bryant Molle leads ECHL defensemen with four shorthanded assists. … Don’t expect the Royals to spend much time in the penalty box – they are 26th in the ECHL in PIM with 13.13/game. … The Royals rank sixth in the league on the PP (19.7) and 10th on the PK (83.7). … Reading is the league’s highest-scoring third period team, and has the second-best goal differential in the third with 92 goals and a +23 differential. … Reading is the league’s fourth-best offensive team (3.68 goals/game) and 12th in GA (2.96). The Royals are the ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Scoreboard watching: Cincinnati has two games in Fort Wayne and one in Toledo starting Wednesday. … Wheeling hosts Reading Wednesday, plays a home-and-home with Elmira Friday-Saturday, then visits Brampton Sunday.
Roster moves: No changes to the roster/reserve lists from last week.
7 Peter Schneider (5-11, 185, Vienna, Austria). Age: 23. Shoots: R. Last team: Notre Dame (NCAA) (Fuel)
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)
18 Jamie Wise (6-0, 205, Stouffville, Ont.). Age: 24. Shoots: L. Last team: Rockford IceHogs (AHL) (Rockford)
*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)
28 Chris DeSousa (5-9, 190, Mississauga, Ont.). Age: 24. Shoots: L. Last team: Univ. of Prince Edward Island (CIS) (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: 26. Shoots: R. Last team: Missouri Mavericks (CHL) (Fuel)
4 (A) 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)
15 Saverio Posa (5-10, 176, Grand Blanc, Mich.). Age: 22. Shoots: L. Last team: University of Windsor (CIS) (Fuel)
24 Kirill Gotovets (5-11, 194, Minsk, Belarus). Age: 23. Shoots: L. Last team: Rockford IceHogs (AHL) (Rockford)
25 Justin Holl (6-3, 195, Tonka Bay, Minn.). Age: 23. Shoots: R. Last team: Minnesota (NCAA) (Rockford)
27 Doug Jessey (6-2, 212, Langdon, Alb.). Age: 23. Shoots: R. Last team: Canisius (NCAA) (Fuel)
35 Mac Carruth (6-2, 160, Jackson, Wyo.). Age: 22. Catches: L. Last team: Rockford IceHogs (AHL) (Blackhawks)
50 Shane Owen (6-2, 195, Markham, Ont.). Age: 24. Catches: L. Last team: Stockton Thunder (ECHL) (Fuel)
6 Andy Simpson (5-10, 192, St. Louis, Mo.). Age: 24. Shoots: R. Last team: Dartmouth (NCAA) (Fuel)
21 Johnny McGuire (6-1, 205, Peterborough, Ont.). Age: 21. Shoots: R. Last team: Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) (Fuel)
21-day IR (1)
57 Jonathan Parker (5-10, 195, Solana Beach, Calif.). Age: 23. Shoots: R. Last team: Colorado Eagles (ECHL) (Fuel)
In AHL: Dillon Fournier (Rockford)