Eagles start California trip on high note


The Colorado Eagles traveled to Bakersfield, California, for their only weekday day game of the year as they battled the Bakersfield Condors. Three out of the last five games ended in losses for the Eagles. All of them were at home. In the latest game against Tucson, they allowed three unanswered goals in the third during the Teddy Bear Toss. Justus Annunen and Peter Holland both remain out of the lineup with lower-body injuries. Annunen has seen no action since Nov. 18. Cal Burke remains away from the team as he deals with some personal family matters. Burke’s last game was on Nov. 25. Let’s do some quick hits from the Eagles’ 2–1 victory today. 

Quick hits

— Out of the three times I have seen Trent Miner play (twice on TV and once live), this was his best performance. In 32 shots on goal, Miner had a save percentage of .969. He was pushing post-to-post quickly and seeing the puck. He is getting comfortable at the AHL level, allowing only 2.41 goals per game and managing a .915 save percentage.

— The penalty kill for the Eagles continues to be stellar by not allowing any goals in five chances today. It has been the highlight of the season so far, performing at 84.8% success rate. The club’s lack of discipline leads to numerous visits to the penalty box, but they have the ability to fend off threats.

— On the flip side, the power play is a major concern for Colorado. Tanner Kero buried a power play goal with only 47 seconds left in the game, but they had a long dry spell before that. The Eagles are now 2 for 25 in the last eight games, or an 8% success rate. Winning more games requires boosting this number and scoring beyond even strength goals.

— Since Oskar Olausson has returned from the Colorado Avalanche, he is now on a two-game point streak. He has one goal and one assist to his credit. After they shifted the lines around, he returned and immediately made an impact to open the scoring for Colorado.


The power play chances are there. New associate head coach Steve Konowachuk has taken over the power play duties of head coach Aaron Schneekloth’s promotion. Despite his coaching experience in the NHL and WHL, he has struggled to find success in the AHL. Up next, the Eagles will have the division’s second place, Ontario Reign, on Saturday. Colorado holds a 2–1–0 record against Ontario this season. But the Eagles are lacking Burke, Annunen, and Holland for multiple reasons. Ben Meyers, Sam Malinski, Joel Kiviranta and Caleb Jones are all in Denver with the Avalanche, so this will be a very different team playing the Reign.

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