INDIANAPOLIS, IN – It has been an interesting month of December for the Indy Fuel. From November 25th to December 30th, Indy was winless in 14 straight games. The December 30th game against the Cincinnati Cyclones gave the Fuel their first win in over a month in front of their largest crowd of the season.

With a rough month of December over, Indy is looking to turn their fortunes around in 2017. With roster moves and improving chemistry, Indy is trying to find consistency in winning throughout the remainder of the season.

New Years Update:

Five in Six: Indy played five games in six days against Fort Wayne, Quad City, Cincinnati (2) and Brampton. The first game between Indy and Fort Wayne was a barn burner. Indy got out to a 6-4 lead after the second period and then Fort Wayne scored four straight goals in the final period to take an 8-6 win in the first of five games in six days for the Fuel. Josh Shalla scored four goals against the Komets, including a first-period hat-trick. His first in a Fuel uniform and the first this season for Indy.

Josh Shalla waits for a pass in front of the net. Photo courtesy of Whiteshark Photography

Quad City was where Indy’s fortunes seemed to take a turn for the better. The Fuel put up 33 shots on the Mallards and Shalla continued his scoring along with Ryan Keller. Both players had a goal in the final period, sending the game to overtime and a shootout. Quad City would take the game in a shootout but Indy earned a point for the first time since November 25th.

Cincinnati and Indy had a home-and-home series over the past weekend. Friday night at the Coliseum, in front of the biggest crowd of the season, Indy snapped their winless skid. A crowd of 5,294 saw the Fuel earn a 3-2 win over the Cyclones and their first home win since November 23rd. The second half of the home-and-home wasn’t so great for the Fuel, they fell 3-2, seeing goals from Bryn Chyzyk and a beauty from Kevin Lynch.
Highlights of Indy’s win against Cincinnati on December 30th

Roster Moves: After the holiday break, Indy made several roster moves. The first, a loan from the SPHL’s Macon Mayhem. Macon loaned forward Collin MacDonald to the Fuel. MacDonald earned 17 points (7g, 10a) in 18 games for the Mayhem and has also played two games for the Florida Everblades, earning one assist.

Indy claimed defenseman Brandon Martell off of waivers from the Tulsa Oilers. In addition to claiming Martell, Indy traded future considerations to the Orlando Solar Bears in exchange for forward Brock Montgomery. Martell is a 6-3 defenseman that has tallied four assists in 23 games for Tulsa. Montgomery comes from Orlando where he earned six points in 12 games for the Solar Bears. The 6-2, 209 pound forward adds more size to the Fuel lineup.

Collin MacDonald fights for a puck against the Cyclones. Photo courtesy of Whiteshark Photography

The most recent move made by the Fuel was signing rookie Nick Betz from Acadia University in Nova Scotia. Betz played four seasons with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. There, he tallied 144 points (55g, 89a) in 299 OHL games. While in Erie, Betz played alongside current Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid. According to Tyler Parchem at Eliteprospects.com,Betz has terrific size and an excellent net presence. He is not the best skater, but was a key contributor in Erie’s secondary scoring group this season thanks to his powerful shot.”

Indy’s American Hockey League affiliate, Rockford IceHogs recalled defensemen Nick Mattson and Jonathan Carlsson. Carlsson has 11 points (1g, 10a) in 28 games with the Fuel while Mattson has tallied 12 points (1g, 11a) in 32 games.

New Year’s Resolution: Indy will look to change their fortunes in the new year. Head Coach Bernie John has made several roster moves to improve the team’s scoring but the defense still struggles at times. Playing five games in six days to end 2016, it was obvious that the fatigue began to set in for the Fuel. With a new roster and players starting to gain chemistry, Indy is looking for some consistent winning throughout the rest of the season. Playoffs are unlikely but with scoring depth and a healthy roster, Indy’s New Year’s resolution will be to consistently win for the rest of the season.

Fuel Roster:

Forwards (13):

  • Nick Betz (6-5, 226, Mt. Clemens, Mich.). Age: 21. Shoots: R.
  • Ryan Keller (6-2, 195, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.). Age: 23. Shoots: L.
  • Tristan King (6-1, 190, Minneapolis, Minn.). Age: 26. Shoots: R.
  • Kevin Lynch (6-1, 205, Grosse Pointe, Mich.). Age: 25. Shoots: R.
  • (RFD) Bryn Chyzyk (6-0, 190, Varden, Man.). Age: 23. Shoots: L.
  • Patrick D’Amico (6-0, 211, Winnipeg, Man.). Age: 21. Shoots: L.
  • Alex Guptill (6-3, 190, Burlington, Ont.). Age: 24. Shoots: L.
  • Collin MacDonald (6-2, 200, West Milford, NJ). Age: 24. Shoots: L.
  • Brock Montgomery (6-3, 216, Moose Jaw, Sask.). Age: 24. Shoots: R.
  • Alex Wideman (5-7, 150, St. Louis, Mo.). Age: 24. Shoots: L.
  • Brady Ramsay (5-11, 190, Lethbridge, Alb.). Age: 23. Shoots: R.
  • Matt Rupert (5-9, 188, Grand Bend, Ont.). Age: 22. Shoots: L.
  • Josh Shalla (6-1, 198, Whitby, Ont.). Age: 25. Shoots: L.

Defensemen (5):

  • Zach Miskovic (6-1, 197, River Forest, Ill.). Age: 31. Shoots: R.
  • Brandon Martell (6-2, 210, Andover, Minn.). Age: 28. Shoots: L.
  • (RFD) Robin Press (6-2, 187, Uppsala, Sweden). Age: 21. Shoots: R.
  • Chris Williams (6-2, 220, Pottstown, Pa.). Age: 25. Shoots: R.
  • Matt Stanisz (6-1, 205, Burlington, Ont.). Age: 26. Shoots: L.

Goaltenders (2):

  • (RFD) Jake Hildebrand (5-11, 182, Butler, Pa.). Age: 23. Catches: L.
  • (RFD) Eric Levine (6-3, 185, Wheeling, Ill.). Age: 27. Catches: L.

21-day IR (2):

  • Raphael Corriveau (6-4, 203, Levis, Quebec). Age: 22. Shoots: R.
  • Cody Sharib (6-2, 209, Needham, Mass). Age: 25. Shoots: L.

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