The Colorado Eagles find themselves in a familiar position this week after a two win weekend: First place.
The host Eagles swept the Amarillo Gorillas this weekend, giving the team a four-game winning streak and the best record in the Central Hockey League.
On Saturday, the Eagles fought off multi-goal third period stand by Amarillo and picked up a 4-2 victory. Gorillas’ right wing Bill Vandermeer cut the Colorado lead in half, scoring both goals on power plays with 5-3 and 5-4 advantages but was unable to bring his team completely back.
Forward Sean Lenord, left wing Ryan Tobler and centers Riley Nelson and Chris Hartsburg all had goals for the Eagles.
Colorado goalie Tim Boron took over between the pipes for regular starter Marco Emond. Boron played effectively, saving 33 of 35 Amarillo shots on goal.
Eagles Head Coach Chris Stewart was happy with the play of his first-year goalie.
“I thought he played really well and made some good saves,” Stewart said. “The two goals that were scored on him there wasn’t much of a chance because of the power play. He played really solid.”
Boron felt comfortable out on the ice.
“I felt good,” said the former Saint Cloud St. Husky. “The boys were good out there and our defense was strong. They really helped me.”
Boron’s strong performance brings up questions of whether he should be starting in the Eagles goal more often. The rookie knows the decision is not his, but he will play his best when he gets chances.
“In hockey, whenever you get out there you want to prove yourself,” Boron said. “That is what I hope I did tonight. You just want to take advantage of opportunities like this.”
The Eagles also beat the Gorillas on Friday night. Amarillo right wing Chris Lipsett scored two third-period goals to tie the game. With 1:19 left in the period, Gorilla defensemen Galloway Carroll was called for hooking, setting up an Eagle power play. Five seconds later the Eagles would take advantage as Tobler scored a goal, his second of the night. The goal assured the Eagles a 5-4 victory.
Tobler gave the credit for the game-winning goal to his coach.
“It was just the way Stewie (Eagles coach Stewart) drew it up,” Tobler said. “Everybody did their job perfect, went to there positions and I had a wide open net. It is about time we executed a play.”
Craig Strain, Scott Polaski and Sean Robertson also reached the back of the Gorillas’ net.
Overall the Eagles were disappointed with their execution during the game.
“I don’t think we were very sharp tonight,” Stewart said. “We had a really good chance to put the game away by scoring three or four goals early and putting the game away. We just didn’t capitalize. We had good effort, but we didn’t execute well. We weren’t sharp and it bothers me. We are a better team than how we are playing.”
Up next for the Eagles is a visit to Broomfield as they will face the Rocky Mountain Rage for the seventh and eighth time this season. Colorado leads the series four games to two.
Eagles beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports.collegian.com.
By the Numbers
34.83- Average Eagle penalty minutes per game, second in the CHL.
15- Wins the Eagles have when they score three or more goals.
4- Players who have four game point scoring streaks. Also the number of consecutive wins by the Eagles
3- Games lead Colorado has over any other CHL team.