After losing a defensive battle in a 3-2 shootout Friday night
at the Budweiser Events Center, the Colorado Eagles responded to
Bossier-Shreveport’s physical play with bare fists and raw emotions
in a 4-1 victory Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles were forced into a heavy hitting battle because they
felt the Mudbugs outplayed them in too many different areas Friday
“I would have liked to see some more pressure in front of the
net,” Colorado coach Chris Stewart said after the loss. “We had one
turnover that resulted in a goal but for the most part we were just
That one turnover came off the stick of defenseman Brent
Thompson early in the first period. Arguably one of the most
dependable and physical defenseman in the league, he was first to
comment after the game on his mental error.
“I think I have to eliminate those (mental) mistakes,” Thompson
said. “Even though we came back from a two-goal deficit, we just
need to correct the little things and if we can do that, we will
win a lot of games.”
Eagles forwards Riley Nelson and Mike McGhan both scored in the
second to tie the game, but it was Mudbugs goalie Jeff Blair who
held the fort, making 33 saves including all three shots in the
Blair was chosen to start over Central Hockey League All-Star
goalie Ken Carroll and the decision turned out to be a good one.
Carroll made many tough saves late in the third period and 4-on-4
“He’s just unbelievable,” said Mudbugs broadcaster Steve Mears.
“Since he came over from Odessa, he’s never had a bad game for us.
He’s made the Mudbugs a better team and the Mudbugs have made him a
Less than 20 hours later, in Colorado’s third televised (UPN-20)
match of the season, the Eagles and Mudbugs came out fighting. Both
teams combined for 136 penalty minutes including five majors and
two game misconducts.
Forward Greg Pankewicz was ejected in a bloody first period for
fighting with Mudbugs defenseman Jim Sprott. Overall, there were 84
penalty minutes on 25 penalties in the first period alone.
“We needed to have a good start,” Eagles CEO Bill Stewart said.
“We needed to get out there and take the physical game to them
Colorado scored four straight goals after Mudbugs forward Pete
Wildfong scored early in the first period. Wildfong also scored the
first and clinching penalty shot in the shootout the night before
against Eagles goalie Ryan Bach.
“I think he’s an average player who gets under everyone’s skin,”
said a perturbed Stewart after Wildfong had silenced the 22nd
consecutive sellout crowd at the Events Center.
The Eagles tied the game on a goal by Latvian defenseman Igor
Bondarevs at 2:28 of the second period. Forward Daniel Bohac
followed with his seventh goal of the season 26 seconds later.
Forward Ryan Tobler scored his 25th of the season on a power play
to seal the redemptive win for the Eagles and Nelson added an
empty-netter in the third period.
The Eagles are first in the Northwest Division at 28-10-3; their
59 points put them second overall in the CHL. They will be on the
road for the weekend, playing three consecutive games against
Lubbock, Texas, Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kan., starting