The Colorado Eagles may prepare to sit Tyler Weiman on the bench next season, and say hello to their new star: Paulo Colaiacovo.
Colaiacovo, normally a backup for Weiman, started Game 5 of the President's Cup Finals Wednesday night after having a stellar performance in game four. He recorded his first playoff shutout in a 1-0 win over the Laredo Bucks to bring home the trophy to Colorado in a 4-1 series win.
"It was a heck of a game for us to win tonight," said head coach Chris Stewart to 99.9 FM. "Quite a performance Colaiacovo put on here."
Early on in the game it appeared that the Bucks would be able to steal one more win at home and send the series back to Loveland with a fighting chance. The Bucks exploded out of the locker room and skated circles around the Eagles, easily outshooting Colorado 15-3 in the period. It was thanks to Colaiacovo that Colorado managed to even stay in the game. Laredo had some great scoring chances from its top scorers, who put a few shots within inches of the net.
Colaiacovo was not about to let one by, however.
In the second period, Colorado final snapped out of its slump and played with a furious intensity, determined not to allow the series to continue. The Eagles were still outshot in the period, but it didn't matter when Karlis Zirnis tipped in a Matt Derosiers shot for the game's only goal.
Goalie David Guerrera continued to play solidly for Bucks for the remainder of the game to keep them in it, and he refused to allow any more Eagle goals. Despite the Laredo continuing to outshoot Colorado, Colaiacovo and company refused to give in, even when Laredo pulled Guerrera for an extra attacker.
Chris Hartsburg was named the most valuable player of the playoffs as team captain Greg Pankewicz skated the Ray Miron's President's Cup around a sold-out Laredo Entertainment Center. Colaiacovo was named the first star of the game for his stellar performance, easily shutting down even the best chances the Bucks had.
"It was a great game here tonight," Steward said to 99.9 FM. "I thought it was very well played."
The Eagles are planning a celebration ceremony to be held at the Budweiser Events Center. Details will be available today on www.coloradoeagles.com.