Indy Fuel’s 2015-16 in review

The Indy Fuel recently completed the franchise’s sophomore season. As is typical for a second season, it featured a lot of ups and downs. The season started and finished with more than 6,000 people in the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, looking forward to the next season with a lot of optimism. And on both nights, the Fuel gave the crowd a lot of reason to hope. It featured a lot of new faces coming to the team to start the year – and more to finish it, with Zach Miskovic being minted as the new captain, Cody Sharib and Daniel Ciampini emerging as scorers, and Rhett Bly becoming an alternate captain as a second-year pro. The Fuel had a strong start, and bounced back from a rough December with a very strong January, and a solid push at the end of the season under coach Bernie John created a lot of momentum for Year 3. Here are some of the highlights of Year 2.

October 16: Dylan Clarke scores 1:18 into the season to get the Fuel started and two shootout goals – the clincher coming from Kyle Stroh – give Indy an opening-night victory 3-2 over Toledo in front of 6,112 at the Coliseum. The night gives the Fuel their first opening-night victory, and also introduces new captain Zach Miskovic to the city. Garett Bembridge and Kevin Quick are named alternate captains.

Alex Lavoie takes a shot during the Fuel's victory Sunday over Quad City. Photo by Whiteshark Photography.

Alex Lavoie takes a shot during an early-season game. Lavoie led the Fuel in scoring and assists in the team’s second season. Photo by Whiteshark Photography.

October 24: Dylan Clarke has a four-point game with a goal and three assists against Fort Wayne. His third-period tally gives Indy a lead, but the Komets rally in the final minute to beat Indy in OT 6-5. Rhett Bly also scores on a penalty shot in the contest.

October 27: The Fuel launch 50 shots at Joel Martin, but fall in a 4-3 game. Martin stops all 20 first-period Fuel shots and 13 of 14 in the second. The Fuel pump 16 more in the third and score twice on goals by Dylan Clarke and Peter Schneider, but can’t get the equalizer.

October 30: Josh Brittain and Cody Sharib score 1:07 apart in the first period to give the Fuel a quick lead. After Fort Wayne ties the game, Peter Schneider scores shorthanded with 3:03 left in the second and Brittain follows up exactly two minutes later to give the Fuel a 4-2 win against the Komets.

November 4: Mac Carruth stops 22 shots for the Fuel’s first shutout of the year, blanking Evansville 3-0. Kyle Stroh, Garett Bembridge and Dylan Clarke provide the offense. Clarke (G/A), Ben Marshall (2A) and Kevin Quick (2A) all tally two points.

November 13: Daniel Ciampini scores with :39 left Garett Bembridge tallies his second goal of the game with :10 left in the second period, giving the Fuel a 3-2 lead that Shane Owen would make stand up in a victory over Alaska. Daniel Ciampini adds a goal and an assist.

November 20: Matt White wins two draws cleanly and both end up in goals – by Sam Jardine and Ben Marshall – as the Fuel snap Cincinnati’s long home winning streak with a 2-1 victory. Shane Owen stops 27.

November 21: Peter Schneider scores the game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Quad City, the Fuel’s fifth straight win.

December 12: The Fuel host their first-ever “Teddy Bear Toss” game, bringing out hundreds of teddy bears after Alex Lavoie scores 5:20 into the game. Fort Wayne rallies to win 3-2.

Fuel defenseman Sam Jardine assists with the Teddy Bear Toss collection by wearing one of the donations. (Photo by Whiteshark Photography).

Fuel defenseman Sam Jardine assists with the Teddy Bear Toss collection by wearing one of the donations. Photo by Whiteshark Photography.

December 20: Zach Miskovic scores an unassisted goal :16 into the second period to tie the game at 1-1, but the Fuel fall 4-3 to Toledo.

December 26: The Fuel score three times in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and beat Quad City 4-1. Peter Schneider scores twice. Zach Miskovic has a goal and an assist and Nick Mattson has two assists.

December 29: Garett Bembridge has a goal and two assists to lead the Fuel in a 5-1 win at Cincinnati, the team’s third straight victory. Cody Sharib adds a goal and an assist, while Peter Schneider and Derek Roehl each have two assists.

January 9: Shane Owen stops 32 Evansville shots to backstop a 3-0 shutout. Adam Lapsansky scores his first goal with the Fuel and Derek Roehl tallies twice, with a shorthanded and a power play goal.

January 10: Nick Petrecki joins the team in a trade from Elmira. The physical defenseman and former San Jose Shark becomes a leader on the Fuel’s back end, and will become the team’s captain at the end of the season after Zach Miskovic’s loan to the AHL.

January 22: Daniel Ciampini and Cody Sharib score :52 apart in the first period to give the Fuel a two-goal lead just 3:14 in. Mac Carruth makes 29 saves to make it stand up in a 2-1 win over Quad City, the team’s fifth win in seven games.

January 23: Both teams have to use emergency backups after overnight callups, so the Fuel dress digital content director Brent Hollerud and the Quad City Mallards dress former Indianapolis Ice netminder Jamie Morris. Neither is needed as the Fuel win 3-1 on goals by Michael Colantone, Matt White and Rhett Bly. Cody Sharib has two assists.

January 24: The Fuel win their fourth straight, beating Fort Wayne 3-2. Rhett Bly’s goal :19 into the third period breaks the tie. Adam Lapsansky scores twice and Daniel Ciampini has two assists.

January 29: Indy sets a franchise record with seven goals – including four in the first period – of a 7-3 win over Evansville. Daniel Ciampini scores 1:27 in, followed by goals by Michael Colantone and two by Peter Schneider 1:20 apart late in the first. Both Schneider (2G/2A) and Adam Lapsansky (G/3A) have four-point games, and Lapsansky finishes +5. Daniel Ciampini adds two gols and an assist. Zach Miskovic and Michael Colantone each have a goal and an assist, and both Nick Petrecki and Alex Lavoie have two assists. It’s the final pro game for Evansville goaltender Cody Reichard, who played for both the Indiana Ice and Indy Fuel in his career.

January 30: The Fuel and Evansville play the “Garfield and Odie” game, with both teams wearing special uniforms. Peter Schneider scores in the third period to break a 2-all tie and give the Fuel a 3-2 victory, Indy’s sixth straight home win. The game also features NHL veteran Cedrick Desjardins making his only appearance with the Fuel. He plays 47 minutes, but has to leave with an injury. Shane Owen comes on in relief to save the game, stopping eight shots. Rhett Bly and Nick Mattson each tally a goal an dan assist.

Fuel goaltender Cedrick Desjardins makes a save with Ben Marshall (22) and Peter Schneider (7) trying to box out Evansville's Vincent Dunn.

Fuel goaltender Cedrick Desjardins makes a save with Ben Marshall (22) and Peter Schneider (7) trying to box out Evansville’s Vincent Dunn. Photo by Whiteshark Photography.

February 5: The Fuel allow just one third-period shot to Cincinnati, but it turns out to be the game-winning goal by Peter Quenneville in a 4-3 Cyclones win. It spoils a two-point night by Rhett Bly, who has a goal and an assist.

February 17: Indy builds a 5-0 second-period lead and holds on for a 5-3 win in Orlando. Brandon Wong has two goals and two assists for a four-point game. Alex Lavoie also scores twice. Zach Miskovic and Dylan Clarke add two assists each. The victory snaps a five-game road losing streak.

February 27: The Fuel play in front of the second-largest crowd in ECHL history, as 16,529 witness a game in Cincinnati. Daniel Ciampini spoils the evening for the home fans with a shootout goal in a 3-2 Fuel victory. Ciampini and Michael Colantone give Indy a 2-0 lead in regulation and Keegan Asmundson stops 31 shots.

March 4: Utah’s Alex Krushelnyski scores on a penalty shot, and it holds up to beat the Fuel 2-0. A late empty-netter extends the lead.

March 7: The Fuel announce a coaching change, as Bernie John is named interim coach for the remainder of the season, replacing Scott Hillman. Indy is 27-30-2 under Hillman’s watch.

March 11: Evansville’s Nathan Moon spoils Bernie John’s coaching debut with an overtime goal :31 in, giving the IceMen a 2-1 victory over the Fuel.

March 13: The Fuel give Bernie John his first coaching victory, beating Cincinnati 2-1. Peter Schneider has a goal and an assist and Alex Lavoie scores to give Indy a two-goal lead in the second. Keegam Asmundson stops 35.

March 24: Alex Lavoie and Daniel Ciampini each tally their third point on Ciampini’s OT winner, giving the Fuel a 4-3 win over Cincinnati. Lavoie has two goals and an assist, Ciampini a goal and two assists in the victory.

March 27: Keegan Asmundson stops 47 shots, including 18 in the second period, to backstop a 5-1 win over Cincinnati. Daniel Ciampini has his second straight three-point game with a goal and two assists. Peter Schneider adds a goal and an assist and Anders Franzon two assists. Ben Marshall and Matt White score 1:08 apart late in the first, and Ciampini and Schneider score 1:07 apart late in the second.

Bernie John (center) with Indy Fuel chairman Jim Hallett (left) and CEO Sean Hallett (right) prior to the game, as John was announced the Fuel's head coach for 2016-17.

Bernie John (center) with Indy Fuel chairman Jim Hallett (left) and CEO Sean Hallett (right) prior to the game, as John was announced the Fuel’s head coach for 2016-17. Photo by Whiteshark Photography.

April 8: The Fuel finish their second home season with a win, beating Fort Wayne 5-2 in front of 6,176 at the Coliseum. Brandon Wong and Cody Sharib score 1:08 apart in the first to get the game going. Daniel Ciampini gives Indy a 3-1 lead in the second, and both Anders Franzon and Ben Marshall add insurance goals. Keegan Asmundson stops 39 shots. Sharib, Ciampini (G/A each) and Kevin Clare (2A) all tally two-point games. Prior to the game, Bernie John is named the Fuel’s head coach for the 2016-17 season.

April 9: The Fuel’s second season ends with a 32-36-4 record after a 3-2 overtlime loss at Fort Wayne. Cody Sharib and Rhett Bly give the Fuel a lead, but Paul Crowder scores :21 into the third and :33 into OT. Terry Shafer stops 28 shots in his first career pro start. The 32 wins is a franchise record. Forty-two different players suit up for the Fuel during the season. Alex Lavoie ends the season as the team leader in points (54). Cody Sharib finishes with the lead in goals (17), one ahead of Lavoie and Peter Schneider and two ahead of Bly. Lavoie’s 38 assists also lead the team. Ben Marshall has 24 assists and 36 points to lead all ECHL rookie defensemen. Sharib and Nick Petrecki lead the team in +/ – with a +5 rating. Marshall and Bly play in all 72 games.