Hats Off For Costello in his ECHL/Eagles Return
LOVELAND, Colo. – The Colorado Eagles defeated the Utah Grizzlies, 5-1, behind Chad Costello’s four point night (3-1-4) and Andrew Penner’s sharp play in net (24-of-25). Costello’s big night came in his return to the Eagles’ lineup after a two week stint in the AHL, and the league’s leading scorer picked up where he left off.
Costello made his presence back in the lineup known early, opening the scoring at 8:23. Andrew Engelage ventured behind his net to stop the puck and was forced with a decision of sending it up the right wing into Michael Forney five feet in front of him, or sending it up the left wing where Costello was stationed along the midboards. He chose wrong, and Costello was able to send the puck into the vacated net before the Utah netminder could scramble back into position.
Colorado made it 2-0 at the 14 minute mark when the line of Riley Nelson, Kevin Ulanski & Patrick Cey combined for a pretty play. Following several quick passes, Cey’s backhander from the slot was flicked out of mid-air by Ulanski on the doorstep.
Utah came out stronger in the second period, but the same set of iron that stole a goal from Michael Forney in the first period denied a couple Grizzlies shots in the first four minutes of the frame. And at 4:45, Costello scored his second unassisted goal of the night when he stole the puck just outside the offensive zone while killing a penalty, skated in on Engelage and beat the goalie glove side.
Eight and a half minutes into the third period, Costello had his hat trick denied by the same stingy post, putting rubber off iron on a breakaway attempt. Three and a half minutes after that, Costello sent a backhand pass from the slot to Adam Chorneyko in the right circle, where he sniped a shot into the top right corner of the net to make it 4-0.
And just over two minutes later, Costello was able to net that elusive third goal by working his way through the slot from left to right before snapping the puck past Engelage from inside the right circle as the teams skated 4-on-4.
The Grizzlies were able to spoil Penner’s shutout bid at 17:06 when C.J. Severyn pulled in a Matt Reber pass as he exited the penalty box, broke in alone on the netminder and beat him. It marked the first goal the Grizzlies had scored against Colorado in 130 minutes and 23 seconds of play, as the Eagles had shutout Utah in their previous meeting.
Colorado will head to Bakersfield, Calif. for a pair of games Friday & Saturday against the Condors.