INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The regular season is right around the corner, Friday night to be precise. The Indy Fuel hosted their media day on Tuesday morning and The Sin Bin was there to talk to coaches and players about the upcoming season.
The Fuel played a home-and-home series with the Fort Wayne Komets over the weekend as preseason exhibitions to prepare for Friday’s home opener in Wichita. Head Coach Bernie John expressed his thoughts on this past weekend’s games against the Komets.
“I thought we played really well in Fort Wayne, we were just really young and made a little bit of rookie mistakes and they had a veteran group and when you have that, it exposed things and have opportunities to score but I thought our group played good as well, we outshot them, we played hard and that’s the way we gotta play every night.”
Last season was a disappointing season for the Indy Fuel. In three seasons, the Fuel have never made the playoffs. Assistant Coach Ryan McGinnis made sure the expectations are very clear. “The inaugural piece of it is over and we made sure it was clear that we’re turning the page on that,” said McGinnis, “We need to be a playoff team and our expectations are high.”
This team is built a little bit differently than the past few teams. John spoke about what kind of team that Indianapolis hockey fans should expect to see hit the ice this Friday.
“We want to play with a little bit of pace. We’ve added some young guys that should play with some toughness and some meanness hopefully but we’ll see how that pans out. We want to play with pace to our game. We’ve been practicing fast all week and trying to get to where we put teams on their heels… This year our mindset is to get more shots. We want to average 35-40 shots per game and then we want to get to the dirty areas to score goals.”
The Fuel receive several players from the Rockford IceHogs every season. This year goaltenders Collin Delia and Matt Tomkins will be seeing time in Indianapolis as well as defenseman Brandon Anselmini and forwards Radovan Bondra, Alex Wideman and Tommy Olczyk. “First-year pro for a lot of guys is a battle,” said Olczyk speaking about playing for Alaska last season, “But I got that year under my belt and coming in here, I’m confident in my ability to play at this level and help the team make the playoffs. Because at the end of the day, that’s our goal”.
“Finding out what Rockford is going to give us, that’s always a key as far as those things.” said John. “We’ll kind of see, it’s always tinkering, every day there’s something happening. We could have Friday night’s lineup ready to go and get a few phone calls and have to change it all up before it starts”.
Indy released forwards Austin Hervey and Joseph Widmar on Tuesday as well as added defenseman Chris Williams to the team suspension list. The roster needs to be cut down to 21 active players and two reserve players by Friday night so Bernie John will have his hands full when it comes to making the final decisions on the opening night roster.
Indy Fuel Preseason Roster
|Etienne Marcoux||G||6’0||168||L||29-Sep||Laval, QC||Tryout|
|Matt Tomkins||G||6’3||206||L||6/19/94||Sherwood Park, AB||2012 CHI (7, 199)||Rockford|
|Collin Delia||G||6’2||201||L||6/20/94||Rancho Cucamonga, CA||Rockford|
|Defensemen||Brandon Anselmini||D||5’10||183||L||4/10/93||Guelph, ONT||Rockford|
|Travis Armstrong||D||6’5||215||L||4/23/90||Smith Falls, ONT||SPC|
|Zach Miskovic||D||6’1||197||L||5/8/85||River Forest, IL||SPC|
|Nolan Descoteaux||D||6’1||205||L||10/16/89||Dallas, TX||SPC|
|Jack Burton||D||6’3||209||R||9/25/92||Reiserstown, MD||SPC|
|Anthony Cortese||D||5’11||190||R||1/12/94||Pierrefonds, QC||SPC|
|Troy Vance||D||6’5||205||L||9/21/93||Goshen, NY||2011 DAL (5, 135)||SPC|
|Garrett Clarke||D||6’0||198||L||11/3/92||Windsor, ONT||SPC|
|Forwards||Nick Bligh||C||6’0||185||R||1/16/93||Boston, MA||SPC|
|Radovan Bondra||RW/LW||6’5||216||L||1/27/97||Rebisov, SVK||2015 CHI (5, 151)||Rockford|
|Matt Johnson||F||6’1||209||L||6/25/91||Clinton Township, MI||SPC|
|Michael Neal||LW||6’2||187||L||4/3/89||Whitby, ONT||SPC|
|Tommy Olczyk||C||5’10||190||L||11/10/90||Long Grove, IL||Rockford|
|Cam Reid||C||6’2||187||L||8/25/91||Delta, BC||2009 NSH (7, 192)||SPC|
|Connor Reilly||C/LW||6’0||181||L||10/1/91||Chanhassen, MN||SPC|
|Ryan Rupert||C/LW||5’8||185||L||6/2/94||London, ONT||2012 TOR (6, 157)||SPC|
|Matt Rupert||C||5’9||185||L||6/2/94||London, ONT||SPC|
|Andrew Schmit||RW||6’5||225||R||8/22/91||Grafton, WI||SPC|
|Reed Seckel||LW||5’10||183||L||8/28/89||Melvin, MI||SPC|
|Will Smith||LW||5’11||174||L||3/13/96||East Longmeadow, MA||Tryout|
|Geoff Walker||RW||6’3||225||R||12/9/87||Charlottetown, PE||SPC|
|Alex Wideman||RW/LW||5’7||161||L||12/13/91||St. Louis, MO||Rockford|