The Colorado Eagles cannot wait until they are back home at the Budweiser Events Center this weekend. The road has not been nice to them as they dropped three straight games over the weekend to make their road record a mediocre 13-10-1.
It is only baffling to the Eagles because their home record is 18-4-2, good enough for third best in the league. With 65 points, the Eagles are still first in the Northwest Division by 11 points and are second only to the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (70 points) in the North Conference.
The Eagles have had tough games on the road for most of the season, and this weekend was no exception. On Friday night in Oklahoma City, the Eagles lost to the Blazers, 4-2. Despite having nine power-play chances, the Eagles could only convert one from All-Star forward Greg Pankewicz.
“Oklahoma’s back was against the wall,” said Eagles head coach Chris Stewart. “We got the toughest play that we’ve seen from them (this season).”
On Saturday, Stewart decided to give starting goaltender Ryan Bach a night off. Bach was named the Vaughn Central Hockey League Goaltender of the Month for January as he finished the month with a 6-2-1 record.
Backup goaltender Gian Baldrica (7-1-0) made the start in goal on Saturday in Memphis and suffered his first professional loss as the Eagles struggled to beat River Kings goaltender Jean-Francois Racine and dropped their second straight road game, 3-0.
Sunday was another struggle, as the Eagles faced a tight-checking Mudbugs team in Louisiana. All-Star forward Ryan Tobler scored with just under two minutes to cut a 2-0 deficit in half, but it was too little too late as Mudbugs forward Craig Soke added an empty netter to give the Eagles their third straight road loss, 3-1.
The Eagles faced the Tulsa Oilers Tuesday night to wrap up their road trip. They return home this weekend to face the Amarillo Gorillas on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The Eagles will wear their red jerseys for Valentine’s Day.
VENOM CONTINUE BUILDING ROSTER
On Sunday at an open tryout session at Fort Collins High School, Venom head coach Ron Mondt saw talent that impressed him enough to sign five more players to the roster. A total of 50 players were invited back for a second tryout, but Jaron Cook (OT, Walsh, Colo.), Mark Cressman (WR, Boulder), Corey Edmonds (WR/RB, San Diego), Nicholas Galbreath (S, Denver) and Jeramie Thomas (RB, Ft. Collins) were all signed to contracts for the Venom’s inaugural season.
“It was a very good day and a great camp overall,” said coach Mondt in a press release. “It was organized well and the Fort Collins High School was a great facility.”
The tryouts revealed a few students who attended CSU as well. John Kummrow is a 6-foot, 200-pound cornerback and wide receiver that was a recruit from Texas and then transferred to CSU. Matt Foster is a 6-2, 225-pound defensive lineman who attended CSU from 1996-1999. Deonte Waldcoup, a 6-foot, 195-pound cornerback and receiver rounded out the hopefuls with CSU ties. Waldcoup has semi-pro experience playing for the North Colorado Wolfpack of the Colorado Football Conference.
“The guys were excited, we had a high energy atmosphere and we expect to sign at least 10 players from these tryouts,” Mondt said.
The Venom also signed a pair of Fort Collins High School football coaches to contracts, although their names were not released.
The Venom will begin its inaugural season on March 13 when they play the Utah Warriors in West Valley City, Utah. Their first home game at the Budweiser Events Center is on April 3 against the Lincoln Capitols.