The Colorado Eagles continue to be one of the most dominating teams in the Central Hockey League. Last year, the Eagles ran away with the Northwest Division, winning it by 16 points, only to suffer an early exit from the playoffs, getting dropped in the first round by the Wichita Thunder.
This season the Eagles are 5-1-2 through the first eight games, including back-to-back blowouts of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees over the weekend. On Friday night, the Eagles won 7-1 while getting 35 shots on goal. Saturday the Eagles won 6-0 even though they were out-shot by the Killer Bees. Eagles goalie Tyler Weiman blocked all 31 shots he faced.
Weiman (4-0-2) picked up his second shutout of the season, while shrinking his goals against average to a minuscule 1.04. During Saturday's game, Wieman made numerous Dominik Hasekesque-like saves, lying on his back with legs in the air. Drafted by the Colorado Avalanche with their sixth pick of the 2002 draft, Wieman had been on the preseason roster with the Hershey Bears before being reassigned to the Eagles with right winger David Svagrovsky on Oct 8.
The Eagles welcomed Greg Pankewicz back to the lineup for the series against the Killer Bees. Pankewicz returned for the first time since netting the game-winning goal in the season opener against Oklahoma City Blazers.
In his first two games back, Pankewicz has netted three goals, one short-handed, five assists and a fight in Saturday's game to pick up the Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assists and fight).
"I don't think I've seen Greg Pankewicz play a better pair of games than I've seen in the past two nights," said Colorado head coach Chris Stewart.
Kevin McDonald kept his somewhat dubious streak of games with a penalty by getting into a fight with just more than two minutes left in the third period when tempers were flaring and frustration overtook the Killer Bees.
After scoring two goals and picking up three assists, Riley Nelson now leads the Eagles in both goals (7) and points (13), while Pankewicz leads in assists (8).
This weekend the Eagles will travel to the Kansas to play Wichita. The Thunder is 8-0-0.
Stewart thinks the Eagles have a good chance of handing the Thunder the team's first loss of the season as long as injuries are prevented.
"Let's hope we'll be healthy," Stewart.