By JP Puma
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Colorado Eagles ended 2010 — and started a tough road trip — with a 4-3 victory against the Missouri Mavericks. The Mavs started the day with the most points and the best home record in the Turner Conference, but a hard-fought effort from Colorado gave them two big points in the first of three games in as many days, in as many cities.
The Eagles came out strong in the first period, out-shooting Missouri 11-4 and controlling much of the play. Just over three minutes in, Matt Glasser was stopped on a wraparound attempt, but Adam Hogg was able to put home the rebound to open the scoring. Kyle Peto then made it 2-0 at 17:19 when he roofed a short-side shot past Rob Nolan after Kevin Ulanski started a rush up the ice with Riley Nelson and Peto from deep in the defensive zone.
The Mavs played a much better second period, out-shooting the Eagles 9-6 and out-scoring them 2-1. Missouri got its first goal on the power play at 5:43 when Mike Berry sent a pass from the right corner to an un-checked Nathan O’Nabigon on the doorstep, cutting Colorado’s lead in half.
Colorado went back up by two goals at 8:12, when the newest Eagle, Dan Sullivan, picked up his first goal with the club in just his second game by scoring from the right circle after a turnover in Missouri’s defensive zone. But at 15:01, Carlyle Lewis trimmed that lead back down with a one-timer from the right circle off a feed from Derek Pallardy behind the net.
Ulanski picked up his league-leading seventh game-winning goal 7:08 into the third period by taking a great lead pass from Brett Thurston and blasting a shot past Missouri’s All-Star reserve netminder. Simon Watson answered at 12:57 with a score from inside the left circle, but the Mavs couldn’t get any closer than 4-3.
The Eagles will play the Allen Americans Saturday night and the Texas Brahmas Sunday.