The journey for the Colorado Eagles was complete after 24 games over a two month span including nine overtimes and too many comebacks to count. At last, the Eagles captured their second consecutive Kelly Cup championship with a 3-2 defeat of the Florida Everblades in game seven. The ECHL version of the Eagles head off into the sunset as champions and look to start their journey in the AHL in the fall.
Game six was do or die for the Eagles as they needed to win and force the series back to Florida for a game seven. Win is exactly what they did in convincing fashion as they doubled up the Everblades 4-2 and never trailed in the game. It was a complete effort top to bottom and was such a nice sight to see after the complete rock bottom from the previous weekend. Michael Joly was the first star of the game scoring the second as seen below and eventually fourth goal on an empty net.
— Colorado Eagles (@ColoradoEagles) June 7, 2018
Game seven needed a bit more magic from everyone and Travis Barron had a big hand in turning the tide for the Eagles. He really set the tone, particularly in the first half of the game through his physical play and set up a few great chances for himself and others. Just past the midway mark of the third period Barron would get rewarded with his biggest goal of his entire season and tied the game 2-2 with a nice shot that found its way in short side as seen below. Gabriel Verpalest would score the Kelly Cup winning goal few minutes shorthanded. No overtime needed but a comeback nonetheless is how the Eagles have prevailed all playoffs and it is fitting they’d capture the crown this way.
— Colorado Eagles (@ColoradoEagles) June 10, 2018
It was clear all season long that the Avalanche did whatever they could to support the Eagles and their bid for a second championship. They were provided some of the best prospects available and while the ECHL wasn’t the level most needed to play at, winning and gaining playoff experience at the professional level hopefully mitigates that.
Each Avalanche prospect had their moment to shine. JC Beaudin ended up third in team scoring and seventh overall with 10 goals and 18 points (really 19) and was the driver of offense particularly in the first half of the playoffs until others got going. Nicolas Meloche played heavy defensive minutes, was a physical presence and chipped in a goal and six total points. Julien Nantel played an energy role and added seven points including three goals himself and set up the series winning goal against Ft. Wayne in overtime. Travis Barron saved his best for last scoring the tying goal in the finale and also setting the tone physically and adding seven points and two goals himself.
Perhaps a few other contributors will be added to the Avalanche prospect stable by the time the Eagles enter the AHL in the fall. Playoff MVP Michael Joly led the team and league in playoff scoring with 13 goals and 29 points as someone who the organization should look to bring back if only because the game breaking ability and skill level he possesses is not easy to find. Shawn St-Amant has won two championships as an Eagle now and the Avalanche should make a commitment to keeping him around after having him on AHL deals up to this point. St-Amant is a good hard working depth option at worst. How the Avalanche plan to construct the Eagles roster will unfold over the summer.
This is not all for prospect coverage in the least as we go full steam ahead into the draft season and eventually development camp but this does mark a start of rest for the weekly series as the players take a bit of rest themselves. Thank you for reading and following along!
Credit to the Colorado Eagles for the photo