The Colorado Eagles of the Central Hockey League had a chance to
grab the Northwest Division title on Friday night at home against
the Wichita Thunder.
Instead they exposed a serious weakness by giving up a 3-1 lead
in the third period and losing the match, 4-3.
“I’m totally concerned with an effort like that at the end of
the game,” said a heated head coach Chris Stewart. “It was
terrible. We were up 3-1 and we quit.”
Despite having another sellout crowd at the Budweiser Events
Center leave in an eerie and quiet manner, the Eagles bounced back
on Sunday against the New Mexico Scorpions in a 4-2 win.
The win over New Mexico gave the Eagles an overall record of
37-16-4, only two points shy of their division title. They hold a
12-point lead over the second-place Thunder team that stole the
title from the Eagles on Friday.
“I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like that this year,”
Stewart added about Friday’s meltdown. “We quit on them. It’s just
the wrong way to play the game.”
The Eagles face the Tulsa Oilers tonight at 7 p.m. They will
have another chance to clinch their title as well as build momentum
for the playoffs.
It will be a significant game for fans as well. The Ray Miron
Presidents trophy, which is awarded to the CHL champions, will be
on display along with a sports memorabilia auction in order to
raise awareness about the playoffs, the league and its rich history
as a developmental and affiliate league to the National Hockey
League. Fans can visit the display and get their picture taken with
the trophy starting at 6 p.m.
The CHL playoffs are just two weeks away and the Eagles front
office has stated that there will be first round games on March 19
and 20 at the Events Center.
With only four home games and three left on the road, the Eagles
and the rest of the CHL teams have been battling for playoff
positions as only the top two teams in each division make it to the
Here is the latest playoff picture for all four CHL
The Eagles hold their 12-point lead over the Thunder (31-22-4)
and will play the final four of their six-game home stand this week
before finishing their final three games on the road. The Oklahoma
City Blazers and the Scorpions are tied for third place with 59
points, seven points behind the Thunder. The Blazers have games
remaining against the Eagles, Scorpions and Thunder.
The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (38-14-4) have solidified their
spot in the playoffs with a conference-high 80 points. The race is
for second place however, as the Memphis River Kings (32-22-3) and
the Indianapolis Ice (32-21-3) are tied with 67 points. The River
Kings are the two-time CHL champions and will be on the bubble to
make it into postseason play. Indianapolis has one game left
against the River Kings on March 13 in Memphis.
This is the only division that has finalized its playoff teams.
The San Angelo Saints and the Amarillo Gorillas fill the one and
two spots in the division with 74 and 71 points, respectively. The
Saints are the least penalized team in the league with only 840
Not only have the Laredo Bucks clinched a playoff spot, but they
also have the division title, the most points in the league, the
best overall and home record, the most goals scored and the most
penalty minutes. At 45-7-5, the Bucks have 95 points, a 26-1-1 home
record, 243 goals for and 1,610 penalty minutes. They have been on
a tear all season long. The other expansion team, aside from
Colorado-the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees-should place second with
a 14-point lead on the Austin Ice Bats.
EAGLES’ GAMES REMAINING
Wednesday vs. Tulsa Oilers
Friday vs. Oklahoma City Blazers
Saturday vs. Fort Worth Brahmas
Sunday vs. Fort Worth Brahmas
Wednesday @ Wichita Thunder
Friday @ Indianapolis Ice
Sunday @ Indianapolis Ice