WICHITA, KS. – Eagles goaltender Lukas Hafner turned aside 37 of the 39 shots he faced in his Colorado debut, as the Eagles defeated the Wichita Thunder 4-2 on Saturday. Colorado collected a pair of power-play goals in the contest to extend its winning streak to a season high nine consecutive victories.
Colorado would earn an early power play and would take advantage of the extra attacker, as forward Luke Salazar hammered a one-timer past Thunder goalie Drew Owsley to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead just 3:51 into the contest.
Wichita would counter with a power-play goal of its own, when forward Ian Lowe deflected a shot from the point past Hafner to knot the game at 1-1 at the 10:11 mark of the first period.
The Eagles would extend their lead in the second period when forward Shawn St-Amant tracked down a loose puck on the side of the net and stuffed it past Owsley to give Colorado the 2-1 edge at the 13:28 mark of the middle frame. The Eagles would utilize another hardworking effort down low to increase their lead late in the second period to 3-1, as forward Alex Belzile tucked home a rebound on the side of the crease on the power play with only 4 seconds remaining. The goal marked Belzile’s sixth tally in his first eight games with the Eagles.
The Thunder would slice into the Colorado lead off a turnover deep in the Eagles zone, forward Matt DeBlouw grabbed the puck in the low slot and backhanded it past Hafner, cutting the Colorado advantage to 3-2 with 9:20 left in regulation.
Colorado would hold strong defensively through the remainder of the contest, forcing Wichita to pull Owsley in favor of the extra attacker, which would lead to an empty-netter for Eagles forward Matt Garbowsky with only four seconds remaining in the contest. The goal was Garbowsky’s team-leading 28th tally of the season.
The Eagles continue their six-game road trip when they travel to take on the Alaska Aces on Thursday, February 17th at 9:15pm MT at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, AK.
Season tickets for the 2016-17 season are on-sale now and can 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.