RAPID CITY, SD. – The Colorado Eagles defeated the Rapid City Rush 3-1 in the regular season finale on Saturday, securing the team’s 47th win of the year. The milestone now gives the 2016-17 Eagles the most victories in a single season in Colorado Eagles history. Goaltender Kent Simpson was stellar in net, stopping 28 of Rapid City’s 29 shots in the win.
Colorado would put the first notch on the scoreboard when a two-on-one rush down the ice set up forward Jackson Houck to snap home his 14th goal of the season, giving the Eagles the 1-0 lead just 1:08 into the contest.
Rapid City would level the score late in the second period when defenseman Geoff Fortman stuffed a loose puck on top of the crease into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1 with 2:28 remaining in the middle frame.
Just 1:41 later, Eagles defenseman Matt Register would cap off an odd-man rush with a wrister from the low slot that would beat Rush goaltender Adam Morrison and reclaim a 2-1 lead for Colorado.
The Eagles and Rush would exchange opportunities throughout the third period, before Rapid City eventually pulled goaltender Danny Battochio in favor of the extra attacker with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. Colorado would take advantage, as forward Luke Salazar scored an empty-netter with only 1:33 left in the contest to extend the Eagles lead to 3-1. The goal was Salazar’s 30th goal of the season for Colorado. The Rush would come no closer and the Eagles would hold on for the 3-1 victory.
The Eagles return home to face the Idaho Steelheads in Game One of the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs on Friday, April 14th at 7:05pm.
Tickets for the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the Eagles ticket office at 970-686-SHOT (7468) or purchase online at www.ColoradoEagles.com.