Eagles avoid elimination with OT win against Abbotsford


LOVELAND, Colo — The Colorado Eagles turned things around for game two against the Abbotsford Canucks tonight. Colorado pushed aside their nerves, and it showed as they played more true to their game. The fast-paced, but heavy hitting game was another high-scoring one as well. The two teams combined for nine goals, and the Eagles secured the win in overtime and avoid elimination. Chris Wagner redirected a Brad Hunt shot and sent the series to game three on Sunday afternoon. Here are my takeaways from the 5–4 overtime victory over the Abbotsford Canucks.


— The Eagles started the game strong and continued the pressure through the entire game. Colorado did not take a period or two to get their feet going like they did in game one. From the moment the puck dropped, they played fast. The Eagles continued their forecheck, and that has made them successful all season long. In the neutral zone, Cal Burke created a turnover, and from the slot, Nikolai Kovalenko showcased his talent with a snapshot. The Eagles used everything that made them successful through the entire season and it guided them to victory.

“I thought we were skating pressuring, creating some fantastic offensive plays,” said head coach Aaron Scneekloth. “We made some nice plays getting out of [the zone to] create some odd man rushes. To start it wasn’t exactly the start we wanted, of course, we would have liked to have held on and not put the stress on ourselves into overtime, but that’s playoffs.”

— The defense needed to tighten up in a lot of situations. The Canucks crawled their way back from a 4–1 deficit to tie the game in the third. They were having issues clearing the puck and keeping traffic away from Ivan Prosvetov. The tying goal by Akito Hirose left him wide open in the high-danger zone and available for his own rebound. On the bright side, the defense did shut down the slot. Sheldon Dries has killed the Eagles from there all year long, including last game.

Sean Behrens

Sean Behrens has now played in his second pro game in the organization. His first game against Ontario was a 7–3 blowout loss, but there were positives. He got his first pro point as an assist and the nerves out of the way. The difference in how Behrens was skating from the first to the second was like night and day. He became more mobile and confident in the action. To see his progress in just half of a game was outstanding. I can’t wait to see when he gets a chance for a few games consistently.

“I thought I was a little bit slow the first period of that first game but I think as the game went on, I did a good job adjusting and started moving my feet a little bit more,” said Behrens. “And you know, I feel like I’m more likely gonna adjust and keep up with the pace and be able to find success.”


The Eagles used every tool in their toolbox tonight. They were heavy on the forecheck, heavy along the boards, and pushed the play into the zone. These factors, combined with their speed, led to their success in the overtime win. If they can keep up this type of play and tighten up the defense, they will move onto the next round. Colorado plays again on Sunday afternoon in Loveland to wrap up the series. This time it will be do or die.


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