Eagles Score Four Unanswered in Come-From-Behind Win; Lead Presidents’ Cup Finals 2-1
Ulanski Scores Game-Tying & -Winning Goals
BOSSIER CITY, La. – The Colorado Eagles showed tremendous resolve in Game 3 of the Presidents’ Cup Finals, scoring four unanswered goals in the third period for a 4-2 win against the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. The win gives Colorado a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-seven championship bout, and represents the Eagles’ first regulation win in Bossier City in the team’s playoff history.
The Eagles out-shot the Mudbugs 14-4 in the first period, recording the first eight shots of the game. But John DeCaro was strong in net, turning each shot away and allowing his team to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Bugs’ didn’t get their first shot on net until 11:35, but Justin Aikins made it count when he took a cross-ice pass from David Rutherford and made a shifty move at the doorstep to deposit the puck into the goal on the power play.
The second period saw more of the Mudbugs’ patented opportunistic play as stingy defense helped DeCaro get through another period without allowing a goal and Nick Layton stretched the ‘Bugs’ lead to 2-0. The goal came at 17:49 after a turnover in the neutral zone led to a 2-on-1 breakaway for Bossier-Shreveport.
As the midway point of the final frame approached, it appeared that the defensive Mudbugs would be able to salt away the victory, but a blast from the left point by defensive defenseman Jason Beatty found its way through a screen in front of DeCaro and got the Eagles on the scoreboard.
Then, at 11:18, the long-struggling Colorado power play (0 for its past 32) snapped out of its funk when Kevin Ulanski scored off a Scott May rebound to tie the game at 2. And at 17:26, Ulanski scored again to put the Eagles on top 3-2.
On the play, Adam Chorneyko chipped a pass into the neutral zone, springing Riley Nelson and Ulanski on a 2-on-1 rush, in with the latter scored from the right circle. And exactly two minutes later, Dan Sullivan put the nail in the proverbial coffin with an empty-net tally.
Andrew Penner stopped 17 of 19 shots in the game, the second in a row Colorado has held Bossier-Shreveport to just 19 shots (the second-lowest total allowed in the team’s playoff history). Penner improved to 8-2 in the playoffs, trailing only DeCaro in wins (10).
Games 4 and 5 of the series will be played Thursday and Friday night at the CenturyTel Center. If necessary, the series would move back to Colorado for Games 6 (May 25) and 7 (May 27).