SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With the last week of the regular season comes the final determination on what the playoff match ups will be for both the Colorado Eagles and the Utah Grizzlies. A single point for the Eagles in the three game series played in Utah to end the season gives Colorado the sixth seed and a first round best of seven series against the Idaho Steelheads.
As it happened the Colorado Eagles dropped the first game of the series 5 to 2 in a game that was competitive only in the final period.
Former Eagle, Tommy Maxwell scored at 10:57 of the first period for the Grizzlies to start things off and Utah added four goals in the second frame by Colin Vock, Chris Donovan, David Eddy, and Berkley Scott to make any chance of pulling out a victory for the Eagles a monumental undertaking.
To their credit, Colorado did attempt a comeback in the final period when amateur signee, Brock Nixon, scored at 1:48 of the third to break the shut out and give the Eagles something positive for their efforts. Trent Daavettila made things interesting for the team later in the period by scoring the second goal but Utah’s outstanding young goalie, Ben Meisner slammed the door on the Eagles scorers and earned the 5 to 2 victory.
Game two of the series was just the opposite as Colorado turned on the scoring spigot for a total of seven goals and the Grizzlies netting four scores.
Jordan Clendenning for Utah and Michael Forney of the Eagles traded goals in the first period for a one to one tie going in to the second stanza.
Six goals were scored in the middle frame with Colorado accounting for four goals from Kevin Ulanski, Chad Costello, and two goals from the other amateur signee, Greg Gardner. Utah’s Adam Estoclet and Evan Stoflet accounted for the two home team goals in period two.
Leading five to three entering the final period he Colorado Eagles added goals from Trent Daavettila and Kyle Ostrow while the Grizzlies managed to add one more from Berkley Scott for the seven to four Eagles win.
With the victory the Colorado Eagles secured the number six seed and a confrontation with the number three seeded Idaho Steelheads in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs.
With the seeding drama settled game three of the series took on a less competitive edge with each team choosing to rest their starting goalies. All three periods saw both teams scoring a goal in each period with the four to three victory finally determined in a shoot out.
Colorado scored the first goal from Nixon in period one with Clendenning for Utah answering late in the period. The Grizzlies took a two to one lead in the second period of play with a goal from Scott. Costello responded for the Eagles to tie the game a two’s heading in to the third period. Gardner scored shorthanded for the Eagles to retake the lead at 3:02 but Brent Gwidt retied the game at 6:21. David Eddy was credited with the game winner for Utah in the shoot out.
Colorado ended their second ECHL season with a record of 34 wins, 31 losses, 3 overtime losses, and 4 shoot out losses.
After the weekend games in Salt Lake City the Colorado Eagles bussed directly up to Boise to prepare for the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
The best of seven series starts with games one and two at the Century Link Arena in Boise, Idaho on Wednesday and Thursday April 3 and 4 at 7:00 P.M. MDT. Games three and four are to be played at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado on Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7 at 7:05 P.M. MDT with game five, if needed, to be played in Loveland on Tuesday, April, 9 at 7:05 P.M. The Steelheads will host games six and seven, if needed, on April 12 and 13 in Boise at 7:00 P.M. MDT.
The playoff roster announced April 2 for the Colorado Eagles is as follows:
Jason Beatty (D)
Arthur Bidwill (D)
Collin Bowman (D)
Adam Brown (G)
Chad Costello (F)
Trent Daavettila (F)
Michael Forney (F)
Greg Gardner (F)
A.J. Hau (F)
Steve Haddon (F)
Dylan Hood (F)
Kyle Jones (G)
Jake Marto (D)
Brock Nixon (F)
Kyle Ostrow (F)
Jarrett Rush (D)
Isaac Smeltzer (D)
Aaron Schneekloth (D)
Kevin Ulanski (F)
Ray Kaunisto (F)
Jack Combs (F)
Devin DiDiomete (F)
Norm Ezekiel (F)
Ryan Schnell (F)
Cody Sol (D)
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