Eagles Crush Cotton Kings

Nov 192003
Authors: Justin Goldman

Gian Baldrica made his first career start in goal a successful

one as the Eagles defeated the Lubbock Cotton Kings 7-2 at another

sold-out Budweiser Events Center Wednesday night.

The Eagles continued their red-hot home winning streak,

extending it to six games and pushing their overall record to a

stunning 10-4-1.

Although the Cotton Kings could only muster 18 shots on goal,

Baldrica made key saves at key times, allowing the Eagles to

capitalize on odd-man rushes.

“I felt good,” Baldrica said. “I have good players in front of

me and I felt really confident.”

Colorado made Baldrica’s first start a rather easy one, with six

different players scoring for the Eagles.

“He looked cool, calm and collected,” said Eagles head coach

Chris Stewart.

Eagles right winger Greg Pankewicz added two goals and an assist

and now leads the team in goals with 12. He is first in the league

in scoring with 26 points and his linemate, left winger Ryan

Tobler, is second with 25.

Eagles center Brad Patterson scored his first goal of the season

and added an assist on one of Pankewicz’s goals.

Coach Stewart praised his efforts after the game saying, “Patty

really has been working hard and he finally got rewarded


This was the fourth home game in a row the Eagles have scored

six or more goals and despite playing together for only a few

weeks, the top line of Pankewicz, Tobler and Riley Nelson continues

to be the best line in the CHL. Nelson has been especially strong

as of late, scoring six goals in his last three games.

“They continue to tear up the ice,” said Eagles color

commentator Tori Holt. “I think they are the two best players in

the CHL right now and have been almost the entire season.”

This top line has been such a threat to opposing teams that the

Eagles have been able to play all four lines consistently, which

has given them a chance to develop key third and fourth line


One of these players is Latvian Karlis Zirnis. At 5 feet 11

inches and 185 pounds, the speedy forward has been showing not only

his smooth offensive talent but also his responsibility on the

defensive end of the ice.

“Zirnis’ speed was really obvious during training camp,” Stewart

said. “We need speed and he exemplifies good speed in all three


The Eagles are now 10-4-1 and they continue a six-game home

stand on Friday against the Indianapolis Ice. The puck drops at

7:05 p.m. and the Eagles will be looking for their sixth straight

home win.





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