Photo Courtesy: Steve Conner
BOISE, ID. – Eagles forward J.C. Beaudin netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner in the third period, as Colorado defeated the Idaho Steelheads 3-2 in Game Three of the Mountain Division Final on Wednesday. Goaltender Joe Cannata improved to 7-1-1 in the postseason, making 35 saves on 37 shots in the win. The Eagles now lead the best-of-seven series, 3-0 with Game Four coming up Thursday night in Boise.
The first period would see both teams exchange chances, with Idaho outshooting Colorado 15-8 in the opening 20 minutes. However, it would be the Eagles who would be the first to light the lamp, as forward Michael Joly drove through the right circle and across the low-slot before tucking the puck past Desrosiers. The tally gave Colorado a 1-0 edge at the 16:38 mark of the period, which they would carry into the first intermission.
The Eagles would build upon their lead early in the second period when Julien Nantel forced a turnover on the forecheck before dropping a pass onto the tape of forward Beaudin who would bury a wrister from the bottom of the right circle. The goal would stretch Colorado’s lead to 2-0 just 5:23 into the middle frame and gave Beaudin his league-leading seventh goal of the postseason.
Beaudin would again make his presence felt early in the third period when the rookie forward won a puck battle along the wall in neutral ice, springing him down the ice to fire a puck into the back of the net from between the circles. The tally would give the Eagles a 3-0 advantage with only 1:35 gone in the period.
Idaho would finally break through 7:02 into the final frame when forward Steve McParland stuffed home a puck on the side of the net on the power play to trim Colorado’s lead to 3-1. The Steelheads would pull Desrosiers in the final two minutes of the contest in favor of the extra attacker and the move would generate a goal. Idaho forward Cole Ully would snag a rebound off the end wall and snap the puck past a diving Cannata to cut the Eagles edge to 3-2 with 1:40 still to play in the contest. Once again, Desrosiers would give way to the extra skater, but Colorado would not allow the tying goal, holding on for the 3-2 victory.
The Eagles finished the night going 0-for-3 on the power play, while Idaho capitalized on one of its five opportunities on the man-advantage.
The Eagles return to action when they continue their best-of-seven series against the Idaho Steelheads in Game Four on Thursday, May 3rd at 7:10pm MT at the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. Tickets for all Eagles home playoff games are on sale now and can be purchased online at ColoradoEagles.com.