Perfect PK Helps Eagles to Weekend Split Against Mallards, First Place Tie
MOLINE, Ill. – After a disappointing loss to the Quad City Mallards Friday night — in a game where the Colorado Eagles out-shot the home team 40-18 and lost — the Eagles earned a series split with a 2-1 win Saturday night. Colorado’s penalty killers went a perfect 9-for-9 in the win that pushed the Eagles — who entered the game in a fifth place tie — into a first place tie in the Turner Conference.
Just like Friday night, the Eagles controlled much of the play in the opening period against the Mallards. Andrew Penner was strong in net for Colorado, stopping all six shots that came his way, while David Brown also entered the first intermission with a clean slate — despite two pucks making their way past him.
At 5:40 of the first period, Adam Chorneyko skated down the right wing, made a power move toward the net, and backhanded a shot past Brown. However, referee Andy Thackaberry waived off the goal without checking with the goal judge — who had turned the goal light on. Again, 16 minutes into the game, Dan Sullivan had a power-play goal waived off by Thackaberry, denying the Eagles for the second time in the frame.
The second period saw very little 5-on-5 play as penalties were called seemingly one after another. But before the flow was disrupted, Sullivan got his goal 64 seconds in with a shot from the high slot. And at 6:39, Steve Haddon made it 2-0 for Colorado with a power-play goal off a rebound in close. That’s how the score would stay heading into the second intermission.
Unlike Friday night, Colorado was able to hold onto their third period lead, but not before Quad City made it interesting. At 13:48 — just moments after their ninth power play had ended — Tyler Shelast snapped a shot past Penner from the slot to make it a 2-1 game and ruin the goalie’s shutout bid. But the Mallards couldn’t convert again, and the game would end with the same score.
Colorado heads to Bloomington, Ill. for a game Sunday night against the PrairieThunder. The two teams are tied for first place in the Turner Conference with 44 points. The game will mark the Eagles’ third in as many days on their longest road trip of the season (seven games). Sunday’s game has a delayed start time of 5:05 (MST) to allow local fans to watch the NFL’s NFC Championship game.