FANIMATION GAME PREVIEW: FUEL VS. OILERS
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15 - 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 (12-12-0-0) wrap up a two-game series with the Tulsa Oilers (13-7-4-2) Saturday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The second of three straight home games for the Fuel is slated for a 7:35 p.m. ET start time, on Teddy Bear Toss night in the Circle City. Fans are invited to bring a new stuffed animal to the game to throw onto the ice surface after Indy's first goal, with all of the collected critters being donated to the RTV6 Toy Drive.
Saturday's tilt is the last of two scheduled meetings this season between the Fuel and Oilers. Indy has won each of its last four encounters with Tulsa on home ice, dating back to October of the 2016-17 campaign. The Fuel hold a 5-3-0-0 record in eight all-time meetings against the Oilers.
LAST TIME OUT: Olivier Labelle's game-winning goal at 4:40 of overtime was the difference Friday night, as Indy kicked off the weekend doubleheader with a 2-1 walk-off victory over Tulsa. Labelle converted a cross-ice feed from Kevin Dufour to cap off a 3-on-1 counterattack, improving the Fuel's record to 3-0 in games decided beyond regulation time. Both teams traded first period goals in what was a tight defensive game; Scott Henegar put the Oilers on top first before Quentin Shore netted the equalizer for Indy. Goaltender Matt Tomkins was superb for the home team, stopping 26 of 27 shots, including 13 across the third period and overtime.
LIKE HE NEVER LEFT: Making his first appearance in the Fuel lineup since Nov. 2, forward Quentin Shore wasted no time making an impact. The speedy forward got Indy on the board late in the first period, stealing the puck on his defensive blueline before beating goaltender Devin Williams on a 160-foot breakaway. Shore's returned to action Friday after missing each of Indy's last 15 games with an upper body injury. Also back on the ice to start the weekend was Fuel leading scorer Josh Shalla, who sat out the last three games due to injury.
HOME ICE STILL NICE: Indiana Farmers Coliseum continued to be a friendly place for the Fuel, who improved to 9-3-0-0 on home ice in 2018-19 with Friday's overtime victory. Indy has now won six of the club's last seven games in the Circle City dating back to the beginning of November, with the only blemish coming during a 3-0 loss to the Western Conference-leading Cincinnati Cyclones on Nov. 23. The Fuel get to continue to enjoy the amenities of their own building over the next month, with nine of their next 12 games taking place in Indianapolis through Jan. 11.
TOMMER TIME: With a 26-save performance on Friday night, goaltender Matt Tomkins improved to 3-0 over his last three starts between the pipes for the Fuel. The second year netminder is 5-3-0 over his last eight appearances since Nov. 16, giving up two goals or fewer five times during that span. During his current three game winning streak, Tomkins is boasting a 1.90 goals against average and a .935 save percentage.
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