WICHITA, Kan. – The Colorado Eagles lost, 5-3, to the Wichita Thunder, splitting their weekend home-and-home series. Playing the third game in a row with just 14 skaters, the Eagles suffered from several lapses in dropping the first game of their first extended road trip of the season (four games over 13 days away from the Budweiser Events Center).
The Thunder won the first period, out-shooting the Eagles 12-6 and notching the only goal of the frame. Andrew Penner was strong early, but at 6:24 he misplayed a clearing attempt right to the stick of Chris Greene, giving the forward an easy goal. Marc-Antonie Gelinas was sharp at the other end of the ice, stuffing all of Colorado’s scoring chances.
The Eagles evened the play some in the second period, but the Thunder again out-scored them to take a 3-1 lead into the third period.
The red-hot Kevin Ulanski got the Eagles on the board 1:41 into the second period with a power-play goal from the high slot, tying the game. But at 10:01, the dangerous Jesse Bennefield scored on a breakaway to put Wichita back on top. And at 14:20, Matt Robinson made it 3-1 with a power-play blast from the slot.
Colorado kept climbing into the game — out-shooting Wichita 13-9 in the final frame — but just as the Eagles would get back within striking distance, defensive lapses would pave the way for the Thunder to counter.
Bobby Hughes made it 4-1, 9:20 into the third period, when the puck trickled off his stick and through the 5-hole of Penner. Adam Hogg, however, countered just 25 seconds later with a top-shelf shot past Gelinas to make trim Wichita’s lead back to 4-2.
Then, at 16:31, Dylan Stanley cut their lead down to 1 by taking the puck from below the goal line, skating into the low slot and beating the Thunder netminder with a determined effort. But less than two minutes after that, Travis Wight sent a long lead pass to Troy Schwab who made it 5-3 with a breakaway tally.
The Eagles’ next game will be Tuesday, Nov. 30 in Odessa, Texas. Their next home game will be Friday, Dec. 10 against the same Jackalopes squad.