Eagles prepare for 10th anniversary season

LOVELAND, Colo. – As the summer of 2012 swelters down to the last few weeks, the Colorado Eagles continue to put together the Tenth Anniversary version of their hockey team. Colorado will once again be affiliated with the NHL Winnipeg Jets and their AHL affiliate, the St. Johns Ice Caps for the 2012-2013 ECHL hockey season.  

Image courtesy of Colorado Eagles

Image courtesy of Colorado Eagles

Beginning play in the Central Hockey League in 2003 where the Eagles competed for the first eight years of their tenure in Northern Colorado they acquired two league championships and appeared in four championship finals.   The Eagles joined the ECHL only a season ago. In early July, qualifying offers were made to five players from the previous roster, allowing the team to retain their rights for the upcoming season.   Veteran forward Kevin Ulanski, along with fellow forwards Jack Combs and Jordan Baker were qualified on the offensive side of the puck. Brennan Yadlowski and goalie Damien Ketlo were the only two defensive players Coach/GM Chris Stewart offered to qualify. However, both Yadlowski and Ketlo have opted to continue their education rather than turn pro this season. Ketlo will be minding the net for the University of Lethbridge in Lethbridge, Alberta and Yadlowski will be suiting up for the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta.   Later in July, forward Chad Costello resigned, while still rehabilitating an injury suffered late in the season. The reigning ECHL Most Valuable Player is working hard on and off the ice to prepare for his comeback.   Continuing their association with the local college hockey programs, the Eagles recently signed another former Denver University forward and former teammate of Ulanski, Gabe Gauthier. Most local hockey aficionados remember the game winner scored by Gauthier in the 2004 NCAA championship game. Gauthier, who captained the 2004 championship team, also played a part in the closing drama of the final game. He was the second player sent to the penalty box to allow Maine a six-on-three power play in the final minute and a half of regulation. The Pioneers valiantly warded off the three-man advantage to bring home their first championship since 1969.   In early August, the Eagles announced the signing of yet another Denver University product, Kyle Ostrow as well as Colorado College defenseman Arthur Bidwell. Ostrow played previously with the ECHLs Chicago Express and the AHL Rochester Americans. Arthur Bidwell played in four playoff games as an amateur with the Allen Americans at the end of last season after finishing a four year career at Colorado College.   Another familiar face will be back on the Eagles roster in the fall. Forward
Michael Forney - Photo by Terry Sanford

Michael Forney – Photo by Terry Sanford

Michael Forney will return to the team as an Eagles signee rather than through the affiliation with Winnipeg and St. Johns. Forney accumulated 51 points in 53 regular season games as a member of the Colorado Eagles in the 2011-2012 season.   Two new goalies were signed from the amateur ranks for the upcoming Colorado Eagles training camp. University of North Dakota three-year player, Aaron Dell, brings some great stats in the very competitive WCHA, where he impressed teammates and opponents alike, while earning the MVP award at the WCHA tournament in 2011-2012.     Adam Brown spent the last four years with the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets where he amassed a record of 109-69-12 with a GAA of 2.78 and save percentage of .906.   
Kyle Jones - Photo by Terry Sanford

Kyle Jones – Photo by Terry Sanford

The two latest signees are the Eagles’ own Kyle Jones, who was the league’s winningest goalie last season in the ECHL with 31 regular season wins. Also rejoining the tenth anniversary squad is outstanding Colorado defenseman, Jason Beatty, who found a hidden scoring touch last season, registering five goals despite his limited play. Beatty is the only defenseman signed to date.   As the opening of training camp gets closer, more signings will be announced and further information on the makeup of the 20112-2013 Colorado Eagles will be determined.   Contact the author/photographer at terry.sanford@prohockeynews.com Follow us on twitter @prohockeynews  

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