Mar 292007
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

For the majority of the regular season, the Colorado Eagles were the dominant team in the Central Hockey League. Now, as they head into the postseason, there are a few key things Colorado must do to win the championship they so desperately crave.

Goalie Consistency

Like many other teams, the Eagles’ goalies have had their ups and downs. At times they show glimpses of brilliance and then they will give up three goals in a five-minute span. To make a successful run in the playoffs, Colorado’s goalies need to find consistency.

Marco Emond will be the Eagles’ No. 1 goalie heading into the first-round series against the Youngstown SteelHounds. When Colorado added him to the roster their second game of the season, Edmond brought a much-needed element of stability.

As the season continued Emond played well but showed a tendency to allow easy goals in the first period. After blowing that first save, Emond sharpens up, finishing the game, especially in the third period, as solid as they come.

For Colorado to have a chance, he can’t give up those easy goals in the playoffs.

When the Eagles face teams such as the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, and newly named CHL Most Outstanding Goaltender John DeCarro, Colorado can’t afford to play catch-up.

To get where the Eagles want to go, Marco Emond needs to bring his third period shut-down ability to the entire game.

Eliminate Mental Lapses

Throughout the regular season the biggest problem the Eagles had as a team was the tendency to lose focus. Mental lapses have happened with slow starts, or allowing opponents to get back in games during the second period.

These mistakes have made games much closer than they should have been and even cost Colorado wins. Mental lapses won’t ruin a team’s regular season but could easily bring about an early exit in the playoffs.

To beat this, the Eagles need to dwell on their experience. Veterans such as right wing Greg Pankewicz and defenseman Brad Williamson need to continue stepping up and setting the tone for the rest of the team.

Colorado has been to the playoffs four straight seasons with a steady core of players. The Eagles are the most experienced team in the playoffs and they need to act like it.

Keep it going

Colorado has the most powerful and talented team in the CHL. It starts with the top offense in the CHL, leading the league in shots and goals per game.

Combined with an imposing defense and solid goaltending, the Eagles are a really good team. To be successful in the playoffs, Colorado has to keep the same intensity they had during the regular season.

Everything is in place for the Eagles; all they have to do is be the team they know they can be.

The Eagles players, coaches, fans and anyone associated with the team, myself included, expect to win a championship. Anything less would be a severe disappointment.

Eagles beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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