The Fuel are off to the hottest start in franchise history, standing at 5–0–0 to open the season.
Friday, Dec. 18 — Fuel 4, Kansas City Mavericks 3
The Fuel needed a third-period comeback to stay undefeated.
In the first period, after trading high-danger chances, Indy defenseman Keoni Texeira blasted a shot at Mavericks goalie Taran Kozun. Kozun gave up a juicy rebound that Indy right wing Matthew Marcinew, who banged home the putback for the goal. The Fuel would retain a one-goal lead for the remainder of the period.
In the second period, the Mavericks got back into the game. Kansas City forward Ross Olsson snuck a long wrist shot past Fuel goalie Dan Bakala to level the score. This was the second goal for the veteran this year.
Later in the second period, Texeria struck again with a wrist shot goal. However, the Fuel lead was short lived. Nine seconds later, second-year Mavericks forward Bryan Lemos wired a shot past Bakala to tie the game at 2–2. After Indy defenseman Willie Raskob committed a hooking penalty, KC forward Rob Bordson diverted a shot into the Fuel net for a 3–2 Mavericks lead.
In the third period, the Fuel tried to hand the game to Mavericks, giving them seven minutes of power play time. Despite being shorthanded for most of the period, Indy would tie the game up on a nifty passing play. Marcinew saucered a cross-ice pass to forward Alex Rauter, who buried a wrist shot past Kozun.
Once again, the Fuel and Mavericks would proceed into overtime. With only one shot each in overtime, Indy forward Nic Pierog capitalized on their lone chance, beating Kozun with a wrister to give the Fuel the victory.
Marcinew named ECHL Player of the Week from Dec. 14–20
Macinew was named Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week. He recorded one goal and three assists against the Mavericks on Dec. 18. The veteran forward is tied for fourth in the ECHL with four points in three games.
In his career, Macinew has amassed 97 points in 130 games with Indy, Greenville and Manchester. He has also appeared in 41 AHL games, recording 14 points between Ontario, Springfield and Stockton.
Saturday, Dec. 26 — Fuel 2, Wheeling 1
The Fuel played their first game in a home-and-home series against the Wheeling Nailers. At Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indy would be donning Double Dare-themed jerseys for their Nickelodeon Night promotion.
Despite riding high on slime, the Fuel could not break through the Nailers defense. The first period would finish knotted at 0–0. In the second period, Indy finally got on the scoreboard with a goal from defenseman D.J. Busdeker. It was Busdeker’s first professional goal. He joined the Fuel after being reassigned from Rockford earlier this year. Immediately following the Fuel goal, Wheeling answered with a wrist shot goal from center Matthew Alfaro.
After swapping chances for 20 minutes in the third period, the Fuel and Wheeling went into overtime. It was the third time in four games that Fuel would need overtime to secure a victory. In overtime, after trading power play chances, the Fuel’s Tim Shoup sprung a streaking Peter Krieger on a breakaway. Kreiger’s first shot was denied, but his rebound struck gold. The Krieger goal secured the 2–1 win for the Fuel.
Sunday, Dec. 27 — Fuel 4, Wheeling 3
On Sunday, the Fuel finished their home-and-home with a victory over Wheeling. In the first period at WesBanco Arena, the Nailers jump on the scoresheet first. Nailers center Felix Robert blasted a one-timer past Fuel goalie Tom Aubrun. Less than four minutes later, Krieger, who scored the game-winner the night prior, whistled a power play goal past Wheeling goalie Brandon Halverson. After the power play, Marcinew took advantage of a poor Nailers line change and buried the puck for the Fuel’s second goal and a 2–1 Indy advantage.
In the second period, Nailers rookie Tyler Drevitch upper-decked a backhanded shot for the tying goal. The Fuel jumped back out to the lead again when Pierog swiped an errant puck in the Nailers zone and cashed it in for a shorthanded goal. Krieger would continue his scoring barrage with his second power play goal of the night. Kriger has three goals and two assists this season.
In the third period, Wheeling’s Matt Alfaro scored a backhanded goal to breathe life into the Nailer bench. Sadly for Wheeling, they could not complete the comeback, as the Fuel held on for the victory.
In addition to securing the victory for the Fuel, Indy also secured the first professional win for Aubrun. Aubrun had joined the Rockford IceHogs on an AHL contract this season and was reassigned to the Fuel prior to the beginning of the ECHL season.
The former Division III NCAA goalie figures to get a few more starts with Indy before the AHL season begins on Feb. 5.