LOVELAND, Colo. – The Colorado Eagles defeated the Odessa Jackalopes, 3-2, in a shootout after losing a one-goal game to the Jacks a night before. In the tightly-packed Turner Conference, the win moved the Eagles from fifth place into third and just two points out of first. Kyle Jones stopped 47 shots in the win and stonewalled two of three Odessa shooters in the shootout.
The teams played a scoreless first period, despite the Jackalopes being awarded five power plays, including three overlapping 5-on-3 advantages. Odessa used that span of power plays to help build a 19-4 advantage in shots — on the way to 22 total in the period — but Colorado’s All-Star goaltender was outstanding, turning each one of them aside. The 22 saves in an opening period set an Eagles record and tied the second-most saves in any period.
In the second period Odessa finally took advantage of one of their power plays to open the scoring at 14:49. On the play, Dominic Leveille sent the puck toward the crease from below the goal line to the right of the goal and the puck deflected under Jones.
The Eagles countered to tie the game with 66 seconds left in the second stanza when Daymen Rycroft cruised down the left wing and had his shot from the circle turned into a changeup that eluded Michel Robinson after it deflected off of defenseman Alex Dunn’s stick.
Mike Ramsay put Odessa back in the lead 5:24 into the third period after a turnover at the Eagles’ blue line led to his blast past Jones from the high slot. Colorado had a chance to tie the game back up midway through when it was awarded a pair of back-to-back power plays, but they couldn’t capitalize. At 18:20, however, Matt Glasser swept home a Riley Nelson rebound to tie the score and send the game to overtime.
Odessa out-shot Colorado 6-2 in the shortened frame, but couldn’t beat Jones again and the game went to a shootout. The Eagles put the game away swiftly in the shootout as each of their four shooters (Kevin Ulanski, Aaron Schneekloth, Nelson and Rycroft) scored — each choosing a different spot against Robinson.
The Eagles next game will come in Rapid City on Tuesday, Jan. 18 before they return home to face the Evansville Icemen the following day. The game on Wednesday will be Colorado’s only home game in the next nine.
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