Specialty Teams Vaults Eagles to 5-2 Win over Thunder

Photo Courtesy: Ed Bailey

WICHITA, KS. – Colorado went 3-for-6 on the power play and a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill to defeat the Wichita Thunder, 5-2 in Game Two on Monday. The win now gives the Eagles a 2-0 series lead in the Mountain Division Semifinal series. Five different Colorado skaters scored goals, while goaltender Joe Cannata stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced in the victory.


Colorado wasted little time jumping on the scoreboard, as Ryan Harrison fed a puck from the left corner to the low slot, where forward Joey Rattelle would blast a shot past Wichita goalie Shane Starrett to give the Eagles a 1-0 edge just 25 seconds into the contest.


Wichita would even things up with a 3-on-2 rush that would end with defenseman Travis Brown snapping a wrister from the right circle into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1 at the 13:16 mark of the first period.


Heading into the second period of action, the Thunder would claim its first lead of the evening when forward Dyson Stevenson tipped a shot from the blue line past Cannata to put Wichita on top, 2-1 just 1:47 into the middle frame.


Colorado would strike back on the power play when forward Ryan Olsen took a pass on top of the crease and lifted the puck over Starrett to tie the game at 2-2 with 7:18 remaining in the second period. The Eagles would jump back into the lead just 2:28 later when forward Michael Joly found a rebound in the crease and jammed the puck between the leg pads of Starett to give Colorado a 3-2 advantage, which they would carry into the second intermission.


The Eagles would stretch their lead late in the third period on the power play when forward Julien Nantel snagged a cross-slot feed from J.C. Beaudin and tipped the puck into the net. The goal made it a 4-2 Colorado advantage at the 14:44 mark of the period.


With Colorado back on the man-advantage in the final minutes of the contest, Wichita would pull Starett, but defenseman Collin Bowman would capitalize with an empty-netter to seal the 5-2 victory with 53 seconds left in regulation.


The Eagles return to action when they continue their best-of-seven playoff series against the Wichita Thunder in Game Three on Wednesday, April 18th at 7:05pm MT at the Budweiser Events Center. Tickets for all Eagles home playoff games are on sale now and can be purchased online at ColoradoEagles.com.