To begin a new hockey season the playing schedule is always abbreviated and the Colorado Eagles are no exception. Playing only eight games in the month of October with just a pair at home the Eagles understandably have a modest record of 2-4-2 through the first couple of weeks of play. There have been a few standout performances who will likely see themselves in a Colorado Avalanche uniform sooner than later.
First Star - Riley Tufte - 6 GP: 6G, 2A, 8P, +2
Clearly rejuvenated by a fresh start with the Avalanche organization, Riley Tufte has taken his game to another level and is thriving in an offensive role. Some of his highlights include a 14 shot on goal performance against the Grand Rapids Griffins and the big winger has scored at least a goal in five of the six games he’s played with the Eagles. In fact, he leads the team in scoring with eight points despite missing opening weekend. After briefly making the Avalanche’s opening night roster clear Tufte is going to be the first call up when the need for a forward arises.
Second Star - Peter Holland - 8 GP: 4G, 3A, 7P, -2
Typically the players highlighted here are of an Avalanche focus, usually a prospect or at least a NHL contracted played with call up potential. Technically Peter Holland does not fit either description after getting released from his NHL try-out he accepted a AHL contract to play with the Eagles but if he continues being one of the team’s best producers it won’t be a surprise if the Avalanche management upgrades him to a NHL contract later in the season. It’s worth noting Holland had a hot start and gathered all his points in the first four games but has been held scoreless in the four games since. Still, Holland is second on the team in scoring with seven and has been given a lot of offensive opportunities including a spot on the first power play unit.
Third Star - Justus Annunen - 2-1-2, 1.96 GAA, .915 SV%
The young netminder has done all he can to keep the Eagles in games and should have a better record if he had goal support in front of him. However, the quality of play Justus Annunen has provided is reflected in his statistics. After five games of action Annunen is now warmed up enough for a greater challenge, which could be giving the Avalanche a start before we know it.
The Colorado Eagles play 10 games in November with a much more favorable home schedule. Alex Beaucage recently returned from his shoulder surgery recovery and fingers crossed the month sees Jean-Luc Foudy do the same. Hopefully a few more Eagles get on the scoreboard as well.