INDIANAPOLIS – After snapping their seven-game winless streak, the Indy Fuel will open a four-game homestand at Indiana Farmers Coliseum against the Wheeling Nailers and Atlanta Gladiators.
This weekend will be Indy’s first meeting with both Wheeling and Atlanta. Indy is coming off of three games against the Alaska Aces. Indy won two-of-three games in Alaska, earning goaltender Jake Hildebrand his second ECHL Goaltender of the Week nomination. Friday’s game is the first of two meetings between Indy and Wheeling and Saturday and Sunday will be the only two meetings between Indy and Atlanta.
Who to watch:
Nailers forward Jordan Kwas (5g, 5a) comes into Friday on a five-game point streak. Josh Shalla leads the Nailers forwards in points with eight goals and five assists. Tied with Shalla is defensemen Kevin Schulze with eight points in his last three games, putting him at two goals and 11 assists on the year. Doug Carr has played the majority of Wheeling’s games between the pipes. The 6-foot-1 goaltender has posted a 2.85 GAA and a .907 save percentage.
Indy will host the Gladiators for the first time this season. Saturday and Sunday will be the only time the two meet all season. Justin Buzzeo — reigning ECHL Player of the Week — leads the Gladiators and the ECHL in scoring with 21 points (7g, 14a) in his first 15 games. Blake Kessel leads Atlanta’s defensemen with 16 points (5g, 11a). Kessel’s 16 points put him in the league lead for points by defensemen.
Tyler Currier holds onto the Fuel point lead with three goals and four assists in 11 games. Forward Anthony Beauregard scored goals in both wins against Alaska, including the shootout win Friday’s victory. The Fuel is 3-0-0-0 when Beauregard scores a goal. Goaltender Jake Hildebrand was named CCM/ECHL Goaltender of the Week for the second time this season after stopping 64 of 66 Alaska shots, earning two victories in a row last weekend.
The Fuel currently occupies last place in the ECHL’s Central Division. This weekend will give them the chance to get back into the race with other Western Conference foes. Indy is looking for their first home win since Opening Night on October 14 against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Including this weekend Indy will play seven of their next eight games at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.