Photo Courtesy: Standout Imagery
WINDSOR, CO. – Eagles defenseman Matt Register notched two goals and two assists, as Colorado scored six unanswered goals to defeat the Rapid City Rush 6-1 in the final meeting between the two clubs. The win, combined with Tulsa’s loss to the Wichita Thunder also clinched a spot for the Eagles in the postseason for the 15th consecutive season. Colorado finished the game going 3-for-5 on the power play and a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
It would be Rapid City to notch the game’s first goal when forward Daniel Leavens snagged a rebound in the slot and snapped it past Eagles goalie Lukas Hafner to put the Rush on top 1-0 at the 8:55 mark of the first period.
Colorado would find an answer on the power play less than four minutes later, as forward Joey Ratelle would track down a rebound at the bottom of the left circle and fire it into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
The Eagles would then grab their first lead of the game when forward Ryan Olsen deflected a pass on the power play past Rush goalie Christian Frey to give Colorado the 2-1 edge with 5:59 left in the first period.
Less than two minutes later, a shot from the blue line from Register would light the lamp and extend the Colorado lead to 3-1 at the 15:39 mark of the opening frame.
Moving into the second period, defenseman Jake Marto would hustle down the left wing before firing a wrister through the leg pads of Frey to stretch the home team’s advantage to 4-1 with 12:43 remaining in the middle stanza.
Later in the second, Colorado would earn another power play and again it would be Register who would capitalize with a slapshot from the point that would hit the back of the net and make it a 5-1 Eagles lead at the 16:52 mark of the period.
The third period would see the Eagles and Rush engage in four different fights in a fitting end to the heated rivalry, as the two teams combined for 98 penalty minutes in the contest. Eagles forward Ryan Siiro would also add to Colorado’s lead with a shot from the point that beat Frey and made it a 6-1 Eagles advantage just 47 seconds into the period. Hafner collected the win in net, stopping 17 of the 18 shots he faced.
The Eagles return to action when they take on the Allen Americans at the Budweiser Events Center on Saturday, March 18th at 7:05pm MT.