FANIMATION GAME PREVIEW: FUEL AT GRIZZLIES
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 - 9:05 P.M.
MAVERIK CENTER, WEST VALLEY CITY, UTAH
BROADCAST INFO: ECHL.TV
THE MATCHUP: After each taking one of the first two games of a three-game set, the Indy Fuel (7-6-0-0) and Utah Grizzlies (8-2-3-0) meet one more time Saturday night at Maverik Center. The rubber match from West Valley City is slated for a 9:05 p.m. ET start time, with live coverage available through ECHL.TV.
With a 3-2 victory Friday night, Indy takes a 2-1 lead in the four-game season slate with the Grizzlies, which wraps up on Saturday. Fuel forward Matt Rupert leads both teams with five points in the first three games of the season series.
LAST TIME OUT: Indy dealt Utah its second regulation loss of the season Friday, scoring once in each period en route to a 3-2 victory at Maverik Center. Kevin Dufour's goal at 3:52 of the third period proved to be the game-winning tally, after the Grizzlies netted a late tally to cut a 3-1 lead to 3-2. Josh Shalla and Matt Rupert also scored for the Fuel, who received another strong 28-save performance - and a primary assist - from goaltender Matt Tomkins.
RIDING THE SEE-SAW: Friday's win continued a pattern of alternating wins and losses for the Fuel, who enter Saturday looking for consecutive victories for the first time since they strung together three straight from Oct. 13 to Oct. 20. Indy has been excellent at bouncing back after setbacks to start the season, with a 5-1 record in games following a loss.
LET'S GET STREAKY: While the Fuel are hoping to start a run in the win column on Saturday, a couple of Indy players already find themselves on hot streaks. Forward Kevin Dufour has now scored a goal in three straight games, increasing his total to five goals and two assists over his last five outings. After a two-game scoreless stretch, Fuel leading scorer Josh Shalla is picking up steam again with goals in back-to-back games, while rookie forward Connor Moynihan increased a point streak to three games with an assist on Friday.
STANDINGS CHECK: Friday's victory helped the Fuel maintain third place in the Central Division standings after a busy day around the ECHL. With 14 points in 13 games played, Indy holds a four point lead over fourth place Fort Wayne, while Toledo (21 points) and Cincinnati (20 points) are jockying for position atop the division. Kalamazoo (9 points) and Wheeling (7 points) round out the Central standings. Following this week's trip in Utah, the Fuel will play eight of its next nine games against divisional opponents, starting next week with home tilts against Toledo, Cincinnati and Kalamazoo.