Eagles Knot Western Conference Finals with 4-3 Victory over Toledo

TOLEDO, OH. – Eagles forward Alex Belzile notched a goal and two assists, while defenseman Matt Register collected the game-winning goal, as the Eagles leveled their best-of-seven series with the Toledo Walleye with a 4-3 victory in Game Two on Saturday. Colorado rallied from a 1-0 first period deficit, scoring three straight goals to close out the opening 20 minutes of play.

Toledo jumped on top early when forward Evan Rankin slammed home a puck on top of the crease to give the Walleye the 1-0 edge just 3:06 into the contest.

Colorado would provide a quick answer, as forward Jake Marto buried a wrister from the bottom of the left circle to knot the game at 1-1 at the 5:37 mark of the first period. Just over two minutes later, forward Julien Nantel tucked in a shot to give the Eagles their first lead of the game.

Less than a minute after Colorado grabbed the lead, Belzile would make good on the power play to give the Eagles a 3-1 advantage with 11:10 remaining in the opening frame. The goal was Belzile’s league-leading 12th goal of the postseason and gave him his league-best 20th point of the playoffs.

Both teams would generate a variety of chances in the second period, but it would be a Colorado turnover deep in its own zone that would lead to the game’s next goal. Toledo forward J.P. LaFontaine would collect the loose puck and fire a shot on net, which was turned away by Hafner. However, forward Kyle Bonis was quick to sang the rebound and feed it into the back of the net to slice the Eagles lead to 3-2 at the 9:02 mark of the middle stanza.

Colorado would earn an early power play in the third period and Register would make the Walleye pay with a slapshot from the top of the left circle that lit the lamp and put the Eagles up 4-2 just 1:44 into the final frame.

Toledo would not go down without a fight, as Bonis would convert on a power-play rush down the right wing, sending a bouncing wrist shot over the left leg pad of Hafner and cutting the Colorado edge to 4-3 with 10:58 left in regulation.

The Walleye would pull Lerg in favor of the extra attacker, but would be unable to convert, sealing the 4-3 victory for the Eagles. Colorado finished the night going 2-for-5 on the power play, while Toledo went 1-for-2 on the man-advantage.

The Eagles return to action when they return to the Budweiser Events Center to face the Toledo Walleye in Game Three of the ECHL Western Conference Finals on Wednesday, May 17th at 7:05pm MT.

Tickets for all third round games are on sale now. 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).