Coming off of a difficult southern road trip where they were handed four straight losses, the Indy Fuel travel back to the Midwest where they will take on two Central Division opponents in the Wheeling Nailers and Cincinnati Cyclones. Indy has met the Nailers twice this season, both games in Wheeling, dropping both games in last-minute thrillers. Having played Cincinnati three times this season, all of them at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indy will travel to Heritage Bank Center? where they will look to hold on to their winning record against the Cyclones.
In this week's Fuel Insider, Assistant Coach Andy Contois spike with IndyFuelHockey.com about this past week's road trip and what he expects from the games this weekend.
You guys have dropped your last four but come back to the Midwest for two games against division opponents, how does the team bounce back?
AC: We have to stick to our game plan, which the guys did a good job of in all 4 games on the road trip. We didn't get the results we wanted but we did a lot of good things, so we will need to stay the course, against 2 really good teams this weekend.
The team is 6-3 when scoring first, why is getting the first goal so important in games with this team?
AC: Our team feds off momentum, and getting the first goal typically gives our team a secondary jolt of momentum.
Indy continues to sit top 5 or top 10 in the league in power play and penalty kill percentages, what does having those percentages do for the team's confidence in each game?
AC: Our special teams have been good early this season. The players have gone out and executed very well. It's an added boost to your team any time you can kill a penalty or create on your power play chances. Just adds confidence and energy to your bench and into your next 5v5 shifts.
The team has outscored opponents 20-16 in the first period but have been outscored in both the second and third period. How does the team adjust that going forward?
AC: We are happy with our starts, no real adjustment needs to be made we just need to play a full 60 minutes every night.
What can you expect from Wheeling and Cincinnati?
AC: Both are very well-coached teams, with some high-end offensive players. They both will look to create off the rush as well as in their structure so we will have to be good in ours to slow them down.