Wolves 3, Eagles 2, OT
The BEC atmosphere is always electric when it comes to hockey. However tonight felt a bit different, a bit more special as northern Colorado experienced the highest level of hockey its ever had. The Eagles played their first official AHL game squaring off against the Chicago Wolves. With a mix of familiar faces, veterans and high caliber NHL prospects the brand of hockey here is now just one phone call away from the best league in the world.
The first period was even keel, the Eagles didn’t look a bit out of place but both teams struggled to generate consistent offense. Dominic Toninato nearly broke the ice late in the first but a clank off the post would mean Loveland would have to wait for the 2nd period to put a name on the record books.
With it being the first game of the year and roster in flux, it was clear the Eagles had some special teams work to do, particularly on the PP. Quality chances were few and far between with the man advantage. The Eagles ended 0 for 6 on the PP including a 5 minute major opportunity. In a flashback to Avalanche preseason Erik Brannstrom would eventually break the tie, scoring the 1st ever AHL goal against the Eagles. Brannstrom certainly seems to have this organization’s number.
The Eagles would respond almost immediately off of a fantastic power forward play by AJ Greer battling through a penalty and sticking with the play to finish and tie the game at one.
Greer Scores the Eagles first AHL goal:
“I poked it in behind the defensemen and from there I just skated and got slashed. I don’t even know what happened I kinda just pulled the puck to my forehand and shot, the puck got in the back of the net.” – AJ Greer on how he scored the Eagles first goal.
“The crowd is amazing, it’s unbelievable the energy and passion they bring. I was telling the guys in preseason it was a really good feeling to play in front of them. Once I stepped on the ice here, I knew I was home.” – Greer on playing in Loveland
Penalty trouble would cause the elation of the first AHL goal to be cut short as the wolves would quickly reclaim the lead with a PP strike. Thus the stage was set for a classic Colorado Eagles 3rd period comeback.
It looked pretty grim, the first 15 minutes of the 3rd period the Eagles could hardly get out of their own zone. Registering just 3 shots as the trailing team in that time frame. With 5 minutes left the Loveland magic finally clicked, a point shot deflected by Igor Shvyrev slipped through and just dribbled over the goal line to even the game. From there the Eagles seemed happy to sit back and take the 1 point and OT.
Igor Shvyrev ties the game at two:
This is still the AHL and magic is harder to come by around these parts. Chicago would swiftly end the game less than a minute into OT handing the Eagles their first loss in the league but a hard earned point on the board none the less.
The eagles have a quick turn around as they start the season off with a back to back going up against the Wolves again tomorrow night searching for their first win.