ALLEN, TX. – Eagles defenseman Jake Marto scored a pair of goals, while forward Alex Belzile added a goal and an assist, as Colorado defeated the Allen Americans 4-1 on Friday. The victory now gives Colorado a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Lukas Hafner turned in an outstanding performance in net, stopping 24 of Allen’s 25 shots in the contest.
Colorado jumped out to an early advantage when forward Cam Maclise deflected a shot on net past Allen goaltender Riley Gill, giving the Eagles the 1-0 lead just 3:30 into the contest.
The Americans would find an answer just under five minutes later when forward Greger Hanson slipped a shot past Hafner on the power play to knot the game at 1-1 at the 8:18 mark of the first period.
It would take just over one minute for Colorado to strike back, as Belzile weaved his way through traffic before snapping a wrister that would light the lamp and give the Eagles the 2-1 edge with 10:36 remaining in the opening frame.
With Colorado enjoying a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play, the Eagles would grow their advantage when Marto sliced through the low slot and slid the puck around a diving Gill, giving Colorado a 3-1 lead at the 8:19 mark of the second period.
As time began to dwindle down in the middle frame, Marto would again make his presence felt, whistling a wrist shot over the right leg pad of Gill from the bottom of the circle and extending the Eagles lead to 4-1 with only 53 seconds remaining in the second period.
Colorado would stand firm defensively in the third period of play, limiting the Americans to just six shots on net and allowing the Eagles to hold on for the 4-1 victory. Colorado finished the night going 1-for-5 on the power play, while limiting Allen to a 1-for-6 mark on the man-advantage.
The Eagles return to action when they face the Allen Americans in Game Two of the ECHL Western Conference Semifinals on Saturday, April 29th at 6:05pm MT.
Tickets for all second round games will go on sale on Tuesday, April 25th at 10:00am. Tickets can be purchased at the Budweiser Events Center box office, online at ColoradoEagles.com or by calling the Eagles ticket office at (970) 686-SHOT (7468).