Eagles fall in shootout for fourth straight loss


LOVELAND, Colo. — The Colorado Eagles came home looking to stop the three-game skid they were having on the road. It would not be an effortless task, as they were battling the Calgary Wranglers. Colorado has a 1–4–1 record against Calgary, mostly with goaltender Dustin Wolf leading the charge. Fortunately, Wolf was called to the Calgary Flames earlier in the week, so the Eagles may have a chance this weekend. Colorado is missing one of their top scorers as Cedric Pare missed his third game with an upper-body injury. They got Chris Wagner back after he did a stint with the Colorado Avalanche and slid into the Eagles’ first line. Here are the takeaways from the 2–1 shootout loss to the Wranglers.


— Sam Malinski has been less aggressive offensively. In the previous four games, Malinski is minus two and has no points. He appears to not be driving into the offensive zone like he previously had earlier in the season. This could be because of a lack of confidence or his defensive pairing. The coach has often paired Malinski with Keaton Middleton in the last few games, a defenseman who is bigger and slower. Middleton cannot cover the middle on an odd man rush as easily as Brad Hunt, for example. So if Malinski were to pinch the play down and fail, Middleton can’t cover it.

— The power play unit has struggled once again. The last time they scored a power play goal was on February 18th against the Bakersfield Condors. Since that time, Colorado has gone 0/23 in nine games and now has lost four games in a row.

— The Eagles as a team lacked energy. The entire team was too sluggish throughout the game. Chris Wagner mentioned he felt the game got off on the wrong foot, but they recovered a bit. But when rushing into the zone after a loose puck, there looked like there very little motivation.

Spencer Smallman has transformed into a versatile player capable of being used in every situation from even strength to the power play. The team can use Spencer Smallman in every situation from even strength to the power play.

“He’s been a big impact player for us,” beach coach Aaron Schneekloth said. “He’s so versatile. We can put them up on the first line, the fourth line, depending on who’s available for us, and he drives the puck. It’s got a great stick. He’s got great instincts out there. Obviously tonight showed his speed on that penalty shot and he’s an experienced guy that knows what it takes to win at this level.”

Now in his second year with the organization, Smallman feels the coach’s approach everything the right way.

“They give us great information,” Smallman said. “Great pre scouts on the other team. They’re great at reviewing our own video on what we got to get better at. So just taking in all the good stuff that they tell us. And as well as reading off your line mates.”


The Eagles will have to push themselves for the regulation win on Saturday night against the Wranglers. Colorado stands only four points ahead of them in the standings in third place, and one point behind Tucson. With 15 games left in the season, they have to secure 17 points to make the playoffs for sure. But if they play a game like they did tonight, it will be a tough road ahead. Their next game will be at Blue Arena on Saturday against Calgary.



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