Photo Courtesy: Ed Bailey
WICHITA, KS. – Eagles forward J.C. Beaudin raced down the ice on a shorthanded breakaway before backhanding a shot from the low slot that would light the lamp and give Colorado a 2-1 overtime win in Game One of their Division Semifinal series against the Wichita Thunder. The tally came 5:23 into the extra session, as Colorado scored the final two goals of the contest to claim the victory. Wichita goaltender Shane Starrett gave his team a chance, making 37 saves on 39 shots in the loss.
An Eagles turnover in their own zone would lead to the game’s first goal, as Wichita forward Lane Bauer would snag a rebound at the bottom of the right circle and snap the puck into the back of the net to put the Thunder on top, 1-0 at the 7:12 mark of the first period. Colorado would conclude the opening 20 minutes of action by outshooting Wichita by a count of 9-4, but the Thunder would carry the one-goal advantage into the first intermission.
The second period saw the Eagles tilt the ice dramatically in their favor, as they would fire 14 shots on goal while holding Wichita to only two shots in the middle frame. Starrett would prove to be the difference, as he would turn aside all 14 shots he faced to keep the Thunder in the driver’s seat with a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes of action.
Colorado would finally break through when forward Drayson Bowman bashed a rebound on top of the crease past Starrett at the 11:14 mark of the third period. The power-play goal would tie the game at 1-1, as the Eagles again dominated shots on goal in the third period, outshooting the Thunder, 11-6.
Three periods would not be enough to determine a winner, as the two teams headed to overtime tied at 1-1. After Colorado created several chances in the first few minutes of overtime, Eagles forward Ryan Olsen would be sent to the box for slashing 4:26 into sudden-death. Colorado would flip the script, as defenseman Matt Register would collected a puck in his own zone and snap it onto the tape of Beaudin who would streak down the ice for the shorthanded, game-winner at the 5:23 mark of OT.
Eagles goalie Joe Cannata claimed the win in net, stopping 13 of the 14 shots he faced, as Colorado went 1-for-4 on the power play and a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Register finished the evening with two assists in the victory.
The Eagles return to action when continue their best-of-seven playoff series against the Wichita Thunder with Game Two on Monday, April 16th at 6:05pm MT at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita. Tickets for all Eagles home playoff games are on sale now and can be purchased online at ColoradoEagles.com.