LOVELAND, Colo – In the past month, the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL havecontinued their up and own play however, they did manage to break through and win three games on the opposing teams’ ice. The cumulative record for the past month is 7 wins, 7 losses and one overtime loss with 3 of the wins and the overtime loss tallied on the road.
Anchorage, Alaska was the destination for the Eagles three-game mid-November road trip. Game one of the series saw Colorado get on the board first with Kevin Ulanski recording his first goal of the season while defenseman, Cody Sol scored his second and Joey Sides brought his goal count up to nine. Despite a hard working effort the Eagles lost 4 to 3 to the Aces who managed to score a shorthanded goal and capitalize on two of their three power plays with the game winner going to locked out NHL player, Scott Gomez.
The second game of the series yielded a 5 to 4 overtime loss for the Eagles on Friday, Nov. 16. That single precious point would be all the Eagles would get in Alaska this trip. Trent Daavetilla, Jack Combs, and Dylan Hood all scored for Colorado in the first period along with a goal by Alaska’s Zach Harrison. The lone goal in the second period was recorded by Nate Thompson of the Aces at 17:17 to cut the Eagles lead to 3 to 2 going into the final frame where Thonpson, Kane, and Lafranchise scored for the Aces and Michael Forney tallied for the visitors to end the regulation time tied at 4 apiece. Lafranchise won the game for Alaska at the the 3:53 mark of the Overtime period.
Another 4 to 3 loss in Anchorage on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 was the opposite of the first game of the series. A great effort to battle back from an early deficit came up a short in the loss. Joey Crabb scored the lone goal of the first period for Alaska, with Thompson and Gomez adding a goal each pushing the lead to 3 to 0 before Colorado’s Dylan Hood got the Eagles on the board. Alaska answered back with a goal from Nick Mazzoloni to restore the three goal lead at the end of two periods. Jack Combs and Kyle Ostrow tallied for the Eagles to bring them within one but Colorado was not able to get the equalizer.
A return home to the friendly confines of the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado to face their only Eastern Conference opponent, the Florida Everblades, on Nov 21. 23, and 24 was next up for the Eagles. After skating to a 0 to 0 tie through one period of play in the first game of the three game series the second period saw a total of seven goals scored with Colorado’s Forney rippling the net twice and Combs scoring once. However the Everblades unleashed a four-goal frenzy from Sutter, Milan, Kvisto and Rutherford to gain a four to three advantage after two periods of play. Florida extended their goal total by three in the third period to defeat Colorado seven to four.
On Friday Nov. 23, Florida came out firing in the second game of the series and took an early lead against the Eagles when Bogosian beat Jones at 1:14 of the first period. Colorado’s Combs took advantage of two power plays later in the period to post his golas number 12 and 13 for the season and give the Eagles a short lived 2 to 1 lead. before Marquardt tied it up for the Everblades late in the period.
In the middle frame, the Eagles scored twice with Costello and Trent Daavetilla each recording their seventh goals of the season to give Colorado a 4 to 2 advantage. Two power play goals from Salters and Roy negated that lead and once again the teams ended the period even.
Florida scored first with a power play goal by Hutchings to regain the lead at 4:47 of the third period. Daavetilla answered back for the Eagles less than a minute later to even the game up at 5 each. The tie score continued through the remainder of the third period and throughout the 5 minute overtime leading to a shootout.
Trivino, the third shooter, scored for the Everblades with Costello and Joey Sides, the third and fourth shooters for the Eagles, both scored to giving the 6 to 5 win to the home team.
Game three of the series on Saturday Nov. 25 saw the Eagles take a first period lead on a power play goal from Michael Forney, his 14th goal of the season, at 7:49. The Everblades failed to respond and the second frame started with Forney netting #15 on the year to expand the Eagles lead to 2 to 0. Florida’s Irwin got the visitors on the board at 16:21 of the second period to half the Eagles lead but two minutes later Costello scored to reinstate the Colorado two goal lead. An empty net goal at 19:44 of the third frame from Daavetilla sealed the victory for the Eagles.
Next up was another Wednesday, Friday and Saturday series, this time at the Century Link Arena in Boise Idaho against the Steelheads. On Wednesday Nov, 28 Idaho scored the first two goals of game one. Goal number one on a shorthanded opportunity from Fyten and the second at full strength from the Steelheads Smith at 16:46. Colorado halved the score less than a minute later with Riley Nelson’s fourth goal of the season. Period two saw Idaho go up 3 to 1 with a goal from Carroll at 15:10. The Eagles closed the gap in the third period by scoring the first two goals to tie the score. Combs recorded #14 and Forney added #16 to his goal total on the season and Colorado was right back in the game however a power play goal at 15:01 assured the Steelheads the 4 to 3 win.
In a repeat of the first game of the series, the Friday night game saw the Steelheads take a two goal lead in the first period on shots by Smith and Mouillierat. Colorado did not answer until early in the second period when Forney cut into the Steelhead lead but was quickly answered by Smith’s second goal of the night. Going in to the third period down by two goals, Costello scored first for Colorado to bring the visitors to with one but Mouillierat’s empty netter at 19:24 put the victory out of reach for the Eagles who fall 4 to 2.
Idaho completed the sweep with a dominating 7 to 1 performance on Saturday night Dec. 1. Scoring goals for the Steelheads were, Mouillierat, de Kostrozza with two goals, Coyle, Foster, Tousignant, and Fyten. The Eagles lone goal was scored by Cody Sol in the first period. Aside from the number of goals the biggest discrepancy was the power play efficiency with Idaho converting 4 of 4 Power Plays to Colorado’s 0 for 5 effort.
After a brief stop at home with no games scheduled the Colorado Eagles headed to San Francisco for a two game set with the Bulls on Dec 7 and 8.
In an 11 shot first period, Colorado scored the only goal when Costello beat the Bulls goalie, Heemskerk, on a power play at 10:07. The Eagles Ryan Schnell, Costello, and Teagan Moore all lit the lamp in the second period while San Francisco remained scoreless. At 4:12 of the final frame the Bulls Morison finally broke through on Eagles goalie Kyle Jones to end the shutout. A late goal by Schnell accounted for the final 5 to 1 victory for the visiting Eagles.
Colorado played a cautious first period taking only six shots against the Bulls in the second game on Saturday Dec. 8. San Francisco tallied ten shots but neither team found the back of the net. The Eagles ramped up the shots in period two and one by Kevin Ulanski found its way into the net at 10:02 to put the Eagles up 1 to 0 heading in to the final frame. Jack Combs rattled the twine twice in the third period and Sivack netted a power play goal for San Francisco for the final 3 to 1 victory in an Eagles sweep.
An unusual Tuesday – Wednesday home series against the Las Vegas Wranglers was next on the Eagles schedule. With injuries and call ups beginning to eat away at their depth Colorado had to play some smart hockey to keep their heads above water.
In their first meeting of the season, Las Vegas took a first period lead with Wiles scoring the only first period goal on the power play at 12:54. The second period was eerily similar to the first with one goal scored again on a power play by the Wranglers. Godfrey tallied to extend the Las Vegas lead to 2 to 0 after two periods of action.
A fired up Eagles team took the ice for the final period of regulation with defenseman Jake Marto cutting the Wranglers lead in half at 6:41 and less than three minutes later rookie Kyle Ostrow, a former Denver University standout, pulled the Eagles into a tie with his hard working goal at 9:19.
Just 22 seconds into the subsequent overtime Jack Combs netted the game winner for a final of 3 to 2.
Determined to get off to a good start in the second game of the series the Eagles and threw 11 shots on net to the Wranglers 6 shot resulting in no scoring for either team. The middle frame saw the action heat up as Chad Costello scored shorthanded for the Eagles at 2:33 and amazingly tallied another shorthander nine minutes later to put Colorado on top 2 to 0 after two periods.
Ray Kaunisto, one of the affiliate St. Johns Ice Caps and Winnipeg Jets, prospects hammered home his third goal of the season to open the scoring early in the third period. Arthur Bidwill a defensive product of the Colorado College Tigers scored his third goal on the year as well a couple minutes later to up the Eagles lead to 4 to 0. Once again Costello created an opportunity while on the penalty kill to complete a shorthanded hat trick scoring his third goal at the 10:54 mark of period three. Leading 5 to 0 midway through the period the Eagles may have gotten a bit complacent and allowed three goals against in the final 8:32 of the third period. Campbell, Lampe and Wiles all tallied for the Wranglers but the valiant effort was not enough as the Eagles got the sweep with a 5 to 3 victory.
To close out the second month of the season the Colorado Eagles played the second half of their grueling 4 games in five nights in two cities marathon with a trip to Stockton to battle the Thunder for the first time this season. On Friday, Dec. 14, down three skaters the Eagles struggled against Stockton’s high powered attack quickly fell behind 4 to 0 on goals from Reed, Little, Bergland, and Reed again before Jack Combs helped the Eagles avoid the shutout by getting on the scoreboard at 15:37 of the third period.
Things did not improve for the short-benched Eagles in the second game of the series as Michael Forney was removed from the line-up after the Thunder sent video to the league calling for his suspension. Colorado rallied to play a very strong defensive game and denied the Thunder a victory despite the exhaustion and heavy legs of a depleted Eagles squad.
A late first period power play goal from Trent Daavetilla was the only score in the first 40 minutes of the game. Jack Combs scored 33 seconds into the third period on the carry over of a late second period power play to extend the Eagles lead to 2 to 0. Stockton’s Hunter broke the shutout at 18:21 beating Eagles goalie Adam Brown giving the Eagles a 2 to 1 win.
With a record of 13 wins 11 losses and 1 overtime loss the Colorado Eagles are currently #3 in the Mountain Division and #5 in the Western Conference.
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