By Michael Hicks
LOVELAND — Steve Haddon had never scored more than one goal in a game much less two or more. But Friday night against the Laredo Bucks, he scored twice in the first period of the Eagles’ 6-4 victory.
Both goals, scored just over four minutes apart midway through the first 20 minutes of the game, were assisted by Konrad Reeder. Aaron Schneekloth assisted on the first goal.
The win was the Eagles’ fourth straight, which included three straight away from the Budweiser Events Center. That winning streak came to a halt Saturday night in a 6-4 loss to New Mexico.
“It was one of those nights. I hadn‘t had a goal in a couple of weeks,” said Haddon, who had just five goals prior to Friday night — his last coming against Arizona on Dec. 13. “This was just one of those nights where I was just clicking.”
Reeder, Greg Pankewicz and Riley Nelson added second-period goals as the Eagles led 5-1 after 40 minutes. Pankewicz’s goal coming 1 minute, 42 seconds after Laredo scored its lone goal of the game, a rebound tally from Igor Agarunov.
But Laredo was far from done. The Bucks scored three goals in six minutes of the third period to pull within one before Pankewicz closed the game with an empty-netter with 36.9 seconds remaining.
“We just had a couple of letdowns. They had some momentum,” Haddon said. “You can’t give them any inches. You can’t take anything away from those guys. It’s good we finished up strong.”
The game is the only meeting between the teams this season. Maybe that’s a good thing for Laredo. The win gives Colorado a 5-4-1 advantage in the series, including 3-1 at the BEC. However, the Eagles own bragging rights when it comes to the postseason, where Colorado topped Laredo in the 2005 and 2007 President Cup’s Finals.
ON THE OFFENSIVE. Defensemen aren’t supposed to do what Aaron Schneekloth did on Dec. 23, nonetheless for the second time against the same team.
The 30-year-old Calgary, Alberta, native recorded a hat trick in the Eagles’ 5-2 win at Amarillo. His only other three-goal game was also against the Gorillas 13 months earlier. Ironically, both hat tricks are the only ones by an Eagles defenseman in franchise history.
So why the success, and why against Amarillo?
“I just got in some good spots against them,” Schneekloth said. “The guys made some good passes and, fortunately, the puck went in. It’s just coincidence that it happened against Amarillo again.”
For his career, Schneekloth has 71 goals — 58 since 2005 when he was playing for the Austin Ice Bats.
STUNG BY SCORPIONS. New Mexico scored its first regulation victory at the BEC in 19 chances against Colorado with Saturday’s 6-4 win.
Christopher Robertson scored a hat trick, Lyon Messier, the son of Mark Messier, scored his first professional goal and New Mexico won for the first time in four games with Colorado this season.
Saturday’s game was the first meeting this season at the BEC between the teams. The Eagles had won three times in Albuquerque by a combined four goals, including an overtime victory in the last outing. But not even two goals from Erik Adams and scores by Scott Polaski and Ed McGrane could help the Eagles in this one.
POWERFUL PERFORMANCE. As if a rematch of last season’s President’s Cup wasn’t enough, when the Colorado Eagles scored a 7-5 home victory over the Arizona SunDogs on Dec. 13 it was a special occasion.
That’s because the teams combined for 10 power-play goals, including the game’s first nine goals. As a result, the Central Hockey League announced last week that the record-tying effort was the league’s Performance of the Week.
Other performances nominated included Mike Gorman’s 48 saves for Amarillo in a Dec. 12 win over Colorado, Laredo’s Darryl Smith’s game-winning goal with 16 seconds left in a Dec. 20 win over Corpus Christi, and Tim Boron’s 53 saves for Wichita in a Dec. 19 win over Mississippi.
<p>Steve Haddon two goals in the first-period of Colorado’s 6-4 win last Friday.</p>