BOISE, Idaho – A short-benched Colorado Eagles team defeated the Idaho Steelheads, 5-1, behind the strength of a Kevin Ulanski hat trick. The match-up was the third in four days between the two teams. Kyle Jones saw his first action of the series, and reversed his less than stellar numbers against the Steelheads this season by stopping 32 of 22 shots.
Ulanski staked the Eagles out to a 2-0 lead in the first 12:42 of the opening period. The veteran forward notched his first tally of the night at 8:06, following a faceoff in the right circle of the offensive zone. Then at 12:42, he worked a give-and-go rush with Liam Huculak before beating Jerry Kuhn from the low slot. Idaho cut Colorado’s lead in half at 15:31 when Derek Matheson picked up his first professional goal on a shot from the left point.
It took just 3:14 into the second period for Ulanski to cap off his hat trick — his fifth as an Eagle and first ever in the ECHL — when he picked up a loose puck near the right hash mark and quickly beat Kuhn. And just over a minute later, Chad Costello extended his point streak to 13 games — the longest in the league this season — when he skated across the low slot from right to left and slid a backhand shot into the net.
Colorado’s second line continued to cause fits for Idaho as Riley Nelson made it 5-1 at 6:19 of the final frame when skated down the left wing and beat Kuhn from the left circle, accounting for the game’s final goal.
The Eagles will play their next three games against the Utah Grizzlies, starting Wednesday & Friday on the road, then at the Budweiser Events Center next Saturday.