PREVIEW: Indy Fuel vs. Wheeling Nailers


Wheeling Nailers (15-11-2-0) at Indy Fuel (14-13-0-0)
7:05 PM Eastern
Indiana Farmers Coliseum
Watch Live: ECHL.TV

Team Statistics:

Power Play
Indy (15.1%, 21st)
Wheeling (20.7%, 3rd)

Penalty Kill
Indy (83.1%, 20th)
Wheeling (85.7%, 8th)

Shots For/Against Per Game
Indy (28.0, 26th – 32.7, 17th)
Wheeling (32.8, 8th – 28.5, 4th)

Indy (11.6%, T-3rd)
Wheeling (10.9%, T-8th)

Avg. Height/Weight
Indy – 6’1”, 194 lbs
Wheeling – 6’1”, 195 lbs


The Indy Fuel are looking to keep rolling following a 5-4 victory in Kalamazoo against their division rivals, the Kalamazoo Wings.

In that game, captain Zach Miskovic was taken off on a stretcher following a hit from behind that was delivered by Wings forward Zach Saar. Saar was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount by the ECHL.

Miskovic was released from the hospital and rejoined his teammates at Wings Event Center after the game. The veteran defenseman thanked the trainers and medical staff on Twitter for their help that night.

The Fuel are 1-2 this season against the Wheeling club. In their first game in Wheeling, the Fuel spoiled their home opener with a five-goal second period which carried them to a 5-3 victory.

The last two meetings in West Virginia went in Wheeling’s favor as they defeated the Fuel by a four-goal margin both times.

The Wheeling Nailers continue to be one of the hottest teams in the ECHL. They are coming in to Indiana Farmers Coliseum riding an eight-game point streak and winning eight of their last nine. They are also on a three-game road winning streak which is going to make this an even bigger challenge for the Fuel.

If there is a silver lining in all this, it would be that Nailers forward Nick Saracino just got sent up to the Binghamton Devils of the AHL. Saracino is second in the league in points (37) and was just named ECHL Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks.

Players To Watch

Indy: Labelle-Thompson-Dufour line

There is more than one player that is feeling it right now for the Fuel. This whole line has been on fire and is responsible for Indy’s five-goal outings in their last two games.

The line was first put together two games ago when they faced the Toledo Walleye on Dec. 21. Forward Mathew Thompson had just returned from injury and replaced newly acquired forward Avery Peterson as center on the line.

The line has combined for 12 points in the last two games.

Forward Kevin Dufour has scored two goals in each of the last two games and has seven points (5G, 2A) in his past four games.

Thirty-three-year-old Olivier Labelle has showed no signs of slowing down this year. He has six points (2G, 4A) in four games.

To cap it off, Thompson had a four-point outing (2G, 2A) when the line was first formed by head coach Bernie John in their game against the Walleye.

Wheeling: Cam Brown

It’s hard to tell if Brown’s success has been because of Saracino’s presence on the ice. Nevertheless, Brown has been red-hot lately.

The 25-year-old is the active point leader on the Nailers with 32 points in 28 games. Brown has six straight multi-point games and at least one point in his last ten games. In three of those ten games, he has three or more points. In two of those three games, he has had four-point outings.

The Fuel’s defense, along with goaltender Matt Tomkins, is going to have to be sharp tonight in front of a blazing hot Nailers’ offense.

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