Editor’s Note: Our man on the ground, JJ, has been credentialed to report on Colorado Eagles games this season. We look forward to his reports and insights into local ECHL hockey as well as any Avalanche prospects that may show up on the roster.
Loveland, CO—The brand new Colorado Avalanche ECHL affiliate Colorado Eagles finished off their preseason home-and-home series with the Rapid City Rush on Saturday night. One of the players who came to the Eagles from the American Hockey League was Chris Mason, who Coach Schneekloth had nothing but high regards for. "Bringing in his level of experience will only help the guys, and it will be a great experience to have him with the team for this season."
After beating the Rapid City Rush a few days ago in a 4-3 shootout victory, the Colorado Eagles were able to complete the sweep in the preseason series with the Rush with a 4-3 overtime victory.
After the first period of play, the Eagles and the Rush were at a draw as Ryan Harrison found a way to beat Rush goaltender, Austin Lotz to find the back of the net. The Rush would find the equalizer later in the game when Rush forward Andrew Schmit buried the puck out of a scrum in front of the net and snuck it past Chris Mason.
Second period of play would see more of the same as the first period, as both the Eagles and the Rush were able to find the back of the net once. This time around, the Rush were the ones who were able to break the tie as Brendan Walker was able to find the back of the net, with assists from Ryan Misiak and former Eagle, Nathan Moon. Not long after, the Eagles were able to tie the game once more with Giffen Nyren being able to walk into the slot and beat Lotz.
The Eagles would kick off the third period with a quick goal just 23 seconds in, with a goal from Casey Pierro-Zabotel. It would eventually be equaled up as Rush forward Walker found the back of the net. The game would eventually go to overtime, where Justin Bernhardt would grab the victory for the Eagles.
One of the main stories that captured audience's attention was the fact that there were no players given the role of captain. Sean Zimmerman, Teigan Zahn, and Jake Marto were all assistants.
"I think that is something we are going to let itself play out by talking to some of the players and seeing what they think. The right guy will be wearing the “C” by the start of the season" Coach Schneekloth said.
The ultimate prize for the Eagles this season is to win the Kelly Cup. Last season they found themselves on top of the Western Conference, but fell short in the playoffs. Coach Schneekloth will be taking the reins behind the bench this season for the Eagles as Eagles President and General Manager Chris Stewart ended his 11 year tenure as the team's head coach. Schneekloth played for the Eagles in 2007 and helped Colorado win the CHL title.
Keep an eye on the Eagles this season. They will take on the Rush for the third consecutive time to begin regular season play on Friday, October 14th at 7:05pm in Rapid City.