LOVELAND, CO. – Colorado would score three straight goals in the third period to rally from a 3-1 deficit before eventually falling to the Alaska Aces in sudden-death overtime by a final score of 5-4. Eagles forward Julien Nantel scored a pair of goals in his Colorado debut, while defensemen Matt Register and Sam Jardine each posted a goal and an assist in the contest.
Alaska nabbed the game’s first goal when forward Charlie Sampair forced a turnover on the side of the Eagles net, drawing the puck to his backhand and flicking it past Colorado goalie Clarke Saunders to give the Aces a 1-0 edge at the 8:05 mark of the first period.
With Alaska leading by a single goal after the opening 20 minutes of play, the Aces would stretch their lead to 2-0 when forward Tyler Shattock jammed home a rebound in the crease just 2:55 into the second period.
The Eagles would create an answer less than two minutes later when Register dropped the puck onto the tape of Nantel in the slot, allowing the rookie to snap a wrister past Aces goalie Kevin Carr to cut the Alaska advantage to 2-1. The goal was Nantel’s first as an Eagle, after being assigned to Colorado by the San Antonio Rampage earlier in the morning.
As time ticked away in the middle frame, Alaska forward Stephen Perfetto would snag a bouncing puck at the top of the right circle and fire it into the back of the net to put the Aces up 3-1 with only 3:18 remaining in the second period.
Colorado would draw within a single score when Jardine belted a shot from the left wing that would leak past Carr and into the net to slice the Aces lead to 3-2 with only 44 seconds gone in the third period. The Eagles would knot the game on the power play, as Jardine served up a pass in the low slot that Nantel would deflect into the goal to tie the game at 3-3 at the 11:59 mark of the final frame.
Register would give Colorado its first lead of the night with a slapshot from the blue line that would light the lamp and give the Eagles the 4-3 advantage with 5:33 remaining in regulation.
Alaska would pull Carr late in the third period and the gamble would pay off, as Perfetto collected the puck between the circles and fired it past Saunders to square the game at 4-4 with 1.2 seconds remaining in the third period.
Both teams would exchange chances in overtime, but a 2-on-1 rush for the Aces led to forward Danny Moynihan burying the game-winning goal from the slot to give Alaska the 5-4 victory in the extra session.
With the point earned in the standings, Colorado now stands six points ahead of Allen for the top spot in the Mountain Division. It also ties the Eagles with the Toledo Walleye for the most points in the ECHL with 85.
The Eagles conclude their eight-game home stand when they face the Alaska Aces on Sunday, March 12th at 3:05pm MT at the Budweiser Events Center.
Season tickets for the 2017-18 season can now be reserved with a $50 deposit per seat by calling the Eagles ticket office at 970-686-SHOT (7468). A complete schedule can be found at www.ColoradoEagles.com.