Photo Courtesy: Ashley Potts
LOVELAND, CO. – Eagles forward Michael Joly netted three goals, including the game-winner in overtime to push Colorado to a 3-2 victory over the Fort Wayne Komets in Game One of the Western Conference Final on Saturday. Joly scored a power-play goal, a shorthanded tally and capped it off with an even-strength winner in the extra session. Goaltender Joe Cannata claimed the win in net, making 23 saves on 25 shots in the contest.
Fort Wayne would grab the first goal of the series at the 16:34 mark of the first period when Daniel Maggio deflected a shot from the point into the back of the net on the power play to give the Komets a 1-0 edge.
Exactly two minutes later and with Colorado on the man-advantage, Joly would weave his way through the low-slot before sliding a backhander past Fort Wayne goalie Michael Houser to tie the game at 1-1.
The second period would see the Komets strike yet again on the power play, as forward Gabriel Desjardins would dive through the right circle and lift a backhander past Cannata to put Fort Wayne back on top, 2-1 at the 3:49 mark of the period.
Down by a goal heading into the third period of action, Colorado would flip the script on the Komets power play when Joly created a turnover and blazed down the ice before burying a shot from between the circles, tying the game at 2-2 with 9:20 remaining in the period. The shorthanded tally was Joly’s fourth goal of the postseason and second of the contest.
With the two teams still deadlocked at 2-2 at the end of 60 minutes of play, the stage would then shift to sudden-death overtime. Just 3:25 into OT and with both squads playing 4-on-4, Joly would drive through the bottom of the left circle before muscling a shot past Houser to give the Eagles the 3-2 victory. With the win, Colorado now improves to 4-1 in games decided in overtime during the 2018 Kelly Cup playoffs.
The Eagles finished the night going 1-for-7 on the power play, while Fort Wayne went 2-for-7 on the man-advantage. Houser suffered the overtime loss in net, allowing three goals on 33 shots.
The Eagles return to action when they take on the Komets in Game Two of the Western Conference Final on Sunday, May 13th at 7:05pm at the Budweiser Events Center.
Tickets for all Eagles home playoff games are on sale now and can be purchased online at ColoradoEagles.com.