The Indy Fuel finished the 2022-23 regular season with a 43-24-5 record as they finished in third place in the Central Divison, which was good enough to set up a first-round matchup with the Toledo Walleye in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Despite a solid regular season, the Walleye would make easy work of the Fuel sweeping them in four games, which ironically was the Fuel’s longest losing streak. The Fuel got off to a hot start early in the season as they picked up points in seven of their first ten games, and as they say, it’s not about how you start it’s about how you finish, and the Fuel would pick up points in five of their last seven games to wrap up the season. It was a strong season for Duncan Dalmao in his first year as the team’s head coach, who led the Fuel to a franchise record 43 wins and 23 wins away from Indiana Farmers Coliseum; the team also set a record for 244 goals this season. Dalmao was rewarded with a two-year extension at the end of the season.
Indy finished the season with four 20-goal scorers, three of which were averaging over a point a game. Chad Yetman led Indy in goals as he put up 26 goals and 33 assists in 60 games; Alex Wideman led the Fuel in points with 72 points in 69 games, with 22 of those points coming on shots that lit up the lamp. Colin Bilek led the Fuel in PP goals as 9 of his 21 goals during the 2022-23 season came with the man advantage.
In goal, it was Zach Driscoll who saw the most amount of playing time as he played in 42 games, putting up a 21-17-3 record with a 3.03 GAA and.899 SV%; however, it was Mitchell Weeks and Cam Gray who’d shine in Indy’s net. Weeks played in 22 games, putting up a record of 15-5-1 with a 2.35 GAA and .916 SV%. Cam Gray started his season with the Fuel but didn’t see any playing time in the first month of the season would head down to the SPHL, where he’d see three games of action before returning to the Fuel when the calendar year flipped. In 11 games with the Fuel, Gray went 7-2-1 with a 2.90 GAA and .900 SV%.
What’s Ahead For The Fuel
One of the most significant losses for the Fuel next season will be the loss of their captain Cliff Watson as he is heading overseas to Norway, Watson spent parts of the last four seasons with Indy. In 91 games with the Fuel, Watson had 12 goals and 39 assists for 51 points. After spending the 2021-22 season as a co-captain along with Keoni Texeira, Watson was named captain of the Fuel for the 2022-23 season. The Fuel have a young coach in Duncan Dalmao, who showed a lot of promise in his first year as a head coach with the Fuel and has shown the organization that he’s the right man for the job. If the Fuel can keep a couple of their core guys from last year, they should be back in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. It also helps the Fuel that they are affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks and Rockford Ice Hogs as the entire organization is looking to get younger, and players will tend to trickle down. Next season will be the Fuel’s last season at the Farmers Coliseum before the move to Fishers.