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Colorado Eagles 2019 First Round Playoff Update

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The Eagles are in a heated battle with the Bakersfield Condors as the series shifts to California.

AJ Greer celebrates with Andrew Agozzino after one of his three goals in Game 2 of the Colorado Eagles first round series against the Bakersfield Condors.
Ashley Potts - Colorado Eagles

In their inaugural season in the AHL, and coming off a Kelly Cup Championship in the ECHL, the Colorado Avalanche affiliate Colorado Eagles have made the Calder Cup Playoffs and are in a heated first round battle with the Bakersfield Condors (the Edmonton Oilers affiliate). Through the first two games that were played over the past weekend, the Eagles took one of the two games at home in the best-of-five series and will now hope to win two of three games in Bakersfield to try and close out the series.

And yes, the AHL playoffs start with a five-game series in the first round scheduled as two on the road then three at home (AAHHH) for the higher seeded team. The next three series’ are seven games set up as two at home, then three away, then the last two at home (HHAAAHH) to limit travel.

Here’s a quick recap of the first two games before the Eagles head to Bakersfield for the second half of the series on the road. Game Three begins on Tuesday, April 23rd at 8pm MT.

The Team

Forwards

Michael Joly - Andrew Agozzino - Logan O’Connor
AJ Greer - Dominic Toninato - Scott Kosmachuk
Max McCormick - Sheldon Dries - Martin Kaut
Julien Nantel - Shane Bowers - Cody Bass

Defense

Anton Lindholm - Mark Alt
David Warsofsky - Nicolas Meloche
Mason Geertsen - Sergei Boikov

Goalies

Pavel Francouz
Spencer Martin

Game 1

The first clash between these two teams was very even across the full 60 minutes, but the Condors were able to just stay one step ahead and ultimately came away with the 3-2 win.

The Eagles out-shot the Condors 28-23 in the game, but weren’t able to pull away in the shot column until Logan Day scored with 13 minutes left in regulation. Up until then, the shots were very even. Captain Mark Alt and fellow defenseman David Warsofsky had the two goals for the Eagles, and Pavel Francouz stopped 20 of 23 shots in the loss.

The Eagles didn’t get much done off the rush, which had been one of the key areas during the regular season where they found success, but they were able to create some cycles in the offensive zone and create shots for the defense. As a whole, the defense core posted 11 shots of the 28 in the game.

Highlights

Boxscore


Game 2

In the second game of the series, the Eagles were able to get back on track with a convincing 4-1 win at home.

Game One was a fairly nasty affair, with both sides (mainly the Eagles) getting in on some big hits and skirmishes after whistles. But in Game Two, things got really out of hand. The referees called eight infractions against each team — mostly stick and hitting infractions — with a number of them ending up being coincidental.

Julien Nantel put the Eagles on the right foot with the first goal of the game two minutes in, then Andrew Agozzino followed it up with a hat trick of goals in three different ways (shorthanded, power play, empty net). In net, Francouz kept up his extremely consistent play throughout the season, with 29 saves on 30 shots for the win.

Highlights

Boxscore


Prospects

The Avalanche have a handful of NHL prospects with the AHL club, and a few of them — namely Martin Kaut, Sheldon Dries, Shane Bowers, and Logan O’Connor — have made impacts on the playoffs so far. Igor Shyvrev, Nick Henry, Ty Lewis, Travis Barron, and Josh Anderson are all with the team, and getting in lots of practices, but have been sitting in suits rather than skating in uniforms during the games.

O’Connor, who spent time with the Avalanche in an impressive stint on the fourth line, is the first-line right-winger with Agozzino, and is his right hand man when skating up the ice for chances.

Dries and Kaut both spent time on the Eagles’ first line, but are now paired together on a sheltered third line with AHL veteran and noted guy-who-can-punch-the-occasional-face Max McCormick. Their line combined for six shots over two games so far in the series.

The second-youngest player on the team (behind only Kaut), Shane Bowers, has been given ice-time on an energetic fourth line with Cody Bass and Julien Nantel. Their line scored the first goal of the second game and combined for five shots over the two games.