FANIMATION GAME PREVIEW: FUEL VS. CYCLONES
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10 - 7:35 P.M.
INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM, INDIANAPOLIS
TICKETS: TICKETMASTER, INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM BOX OFFICE
BROADCAST INFO: INDYFUELHOCKEY.COM, ECHL.TV
THE MATCHUP: The Indy Fuel (5-5-0-0) look to salvage a weekend split against the Cincinnati Cyclones (7-2-2-0) as they finish a weekend doubleheader Saturday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Fuel look to continue their success on home ice in the early stages of the 2018-19 season, while the Cyclones arrive to Central Indiana searching for their fourth straight victory.
The two teams are tied 1-1 heading into the third of 12 meetings in 2018-19. Indy opened the season series with a 4-1 victory at Indiana Farmers Coliseum back on Oct. 19, before Cincinnati evened things up Friday night in Ohio. The Fuel hold a slight edge in the all-time series between the Central Division rivals with a 23-20-1-0 record, including a 16-7-1-0 mark on home ice.
LAST TIME OUT: The Fuel dropped the first half of the weekend home-and-home series Friday night in a 5-2 loss to the Cyclones at U.S. Bank Arena. Cincinnati scored four times in the second period - including three goals in a span of 2:15 - to take control of the game. Forward Myles Powell scored a pair of shorthanded markers, while linemate Vasili Glotov marked three assists for the Cyclones. Matt Rupert accounted for both of Indy's goals in the loss, as Olivier Labelle picked up a pair of assists.
THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY: Where Indy has shown that it is capable of putting large numbers on the scoreboard offensively, the club has also spotted a handful of big periods to its opponents as of late. In three of the their last four losses, the Fuel have been on the wrong side of a four-goal period - including a four-goal second frame from Cincinnati on Friday. The second period has proved to be the swing period for Indy so far this season; over the club's five wins the Fuel have outscored opponents by a 16-4 margin, whereas they have been outscored 11-4 during their five losses.
RUPES THERE IT IS: Fuel forward Matt Rupert (6g, 5a) snapped a two-game scoreless streak with two goals on Friday in Cincinnati, his third multi-point outing of the season. Rupert now leads all Indy skaters with six goals on the season, with four of them coming via a primary assist from his twin brother Ryan Rupert (2g, 10a). Through 10 games, the Ruperts rank second and third in team scoring behind Josh Shalla, with Ryan's 12 points just one point better than Matt's 11. Ryan's 10 helpers on the year is tied for the most on the Fuel roster with Shalla.
NOT TOO LABBY: The complementary piece to the Rupert twins, veteran forward Olivier Labelle has also been a go-to offensive weapon for Indy. Labelle has tallied points in four straight contests, tallying three goals and four assists over that span. Already eclipsing the 500-professional point mark this season, the 13-year pro is on the doorstep of another career milestone. Labelle's next point will be the 350th of his ECHL career, as the native of St. Eustache, Quebec enters Saturday with 175 goals and 174 assists in 412 career ECHL contests.