The first month of the season has it’s ups and downs for the Eagles

LOVELAND, Colo. – Eagles start slow but finish the first month of the season in a good shape with a five game winning streak.   Nearly half of the players on the Colorado Eagles team had never played a game together before this season; perhaps more than one pre-season contest would have helped their integration as a team. Instead it took the better part of seven games for this team to realize their potential and live up to the promise apparent in the level of skill first observed in training camp.   With only one preseason game, a win against the newest ECHL franchise San Francisco Bulls, the Eagles jumped right into the regular season with a two game stand against last year’s nemesis, the Alaska Aces. In the 6 – 3 loss, the Eagles lead after the first two periods, but could not hold on to get the win.  

Joey Sides celebrates his goal 10-12-12

Joey Sides celebrates his goal 10-12-12

 
Aaron Schneekloth helps out Goalie Kyle Jones 10-12-12

Aaron Schneekloth helps out Goalie Kyle Jones 10-12-12

  The following night, Colorado held the Aces scoreless until the final period while they managed to score a goal in each of the three periods to get their first win of the season in a 3 – 1 contest.  
Cody Sol fights Molle 10-13-12

Cody Sol fights Molle 10-13-12

 
Michael Forney Celebrates his goal 10-13-12

Michael Forney Celebrates his goal 10-13-12

  Next up, the Idaho Steelheads at the Budweiser Events Center for a three game set to complete the Eagle’s home stand.     Game one was a hard fought battle, that went to a shoot-out, ending in a disappointing 7-6 loss for the home team.  
Jason Beatty scores shorthanded 10-17-12

Jason Beatty scores shorthanded 10-17-12

 
Jack Combs tries to stuff one past the Steeleheads goalie 10-17-12

Jack Combs tries to stuff one past the Steeleheads goalie 10-17-12

  The second game in the series was a resounding 6 – 1 win for the Steelheads with Colorado’s only goal coming on a power play in the second period.  
Kyle Ostrow 10-19-12

Kyle Ostrow 10-19-12

 
Jake Marto prepares to shoot 10-19-12

Jake Marto prepares to shoot 10-19-12

  Idaho completed the series sweep with a 3 – 2 win in game three, although the Eagles did have a slim 2 – 1 lead going into the final period of play.  
Jack Combs looks pleased after scoring a goal 10-20-12

Jack Combs looks pleased after scoring a goal 10-20-12

 
Adam Brown relieves Kyle Jones 10-20-12

Adam Brown relieves Kyle Jones 10-20-12

*   A quick two games in two nights in two cities road trip was next for the Eagles. First stop was the Maverick Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Eagles once again went to overtime and a shootout, but ultimately lost the game 4 – 3.   Las Vegas, Nevada was the next stop as Colorado made the quick hop to take on the Wranglers in the Orleans arena. The Eagles took a 3 – 1 lead into the third period, but once again were unable to sustain, allowing three third period goals, in a very chippy penalty filled game.   Returning to the Budweiser Events Center for another five games at home, Colorado with a 1-4-2 record and a mere four total points in seven games played, looked for a better outcome on home ice.   First up was a two game rematch with pre-season opponents the San Francisco Bulls. A rejuvenated Eagles team cranked up the scoring producing six goals to San Francisco’s one in a blowout win.  
Isaac Smeltzer fights 11-2-12

Isaac Smeltzer fights 11-2-12

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Trent Daavitilla readies a shot on goal 11-2-12

Trent Daavitilla readies a shot on goal 11-2-12

*   Saturday night saw these same teams play in another Eagles victory, behind the hat trick of Eagles forward, Michael Forney, and the continued excellence of Eagles goalie, Kyle Jones, Colorado won 7 – 2.  
Dylan Hood takes the puck around the net 11-3-12

Dylan Hood takes the puck around the net 11-3-12

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Kyle Jones congratulates Michael Forney 11-3-12

Kyle Jones congratulates Michael Forney 11-3-12

*   Starting on Wednesday November 7, Colorado began a three game set against the Utah Grizzlies on Eagles home ice, resulting in a thorough 10 – 1 drubbing. This time it was Captain Riley Nelson getting things cranked up with a hat trick and his first three goals of the season.  
Arthur Bidwill celebrates his goal 11-7-12

Arthur Bidwill celebrates his goal 11-7-12

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Riley Nelson nets a hat trick 11-7-12

Riley Nelson nets a hat trick 11-7-12

*   The second game of the set was played on Friday, November 9. Colorado recorded their second win of the series with a 6 – 3 final tally. As with the previous game, these two teams turned in a very chippy and penalty filled performance, resulting in 15 power plays and two suspensions.  
Chad Costello enjoys his goal 11-9-12

Chad Costello enjoys his goal 11-9-12

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Kyle Jones stares down a puck 11-9-12

Kyle Jones stares down a puck 11-9-12

*   Games one and two could only lead to a final penalty filled affair in game three with a total of 18 power plays for the two teams. Colorado connected on three of their nine extra man advantages, with Utah scoring two goals on 12 chances with the extra man. But the Eagles again prevailed and this time it was Chad Costello registering a hat trick in the 6 – 2 victory.  
Eagles goalie Tyler Plante plays a stellar game 11-10-12

Eagles goalie Tyler Plante plays a stellar game 11-10-12

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Chad Costello reacts to his hat trick goal 11-10-12

Chad Costello reacts to his hat trick goal 11-10-12

*   Looking ahead, the Eagles fly to Alaska for three games against the Aces on a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday series for November 14, 16 and 17.   With a respectable record of 6-4-2 and 14 points after 12 games, Colorado sits third in the Mountain Division and fifth in the Western Conference of the ECHL.   Contact the author/photographer at terry.sanford@prohockeynews.com   Follow us on Twitter: @ProHockeyNews  

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