Mar 022004
Authors: Justin Goldman

The Colorado Eagles of the Central Hockey League had a chance to

grab the Northwest Division title on Friday night at home against

the Wichita Thunder.

Instead they exposed a serious weakness by giving up a 3-1 lead

in the third period and losing the match, 4-3.

“I’m totally concerned with an effort like that at the end of

the game,” said a heated head coach Chris Stewart. “It was

terrible. We were up 3-1 and we quit.”

Despite having another sellout crowd at the Budweiser Events

Center leave in an eerie and quiet manner, the Eagles bounced back

on Sunday against the New Mexico Scorpions in a 4-2 win.

The win over New Mexico gave the Eagles an overall record of

37-16-4, only two points shy of their division title. They hold a

12-point lead over the second-place Thunder team that stole the

title from the Eagles on Friday.

“I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like that this year,”

Stewart added about Friday’s meltdown. “We quit on them. It’s just

the wrong way to play the game.”

The Eagles face the Tulsa Oilers tonight at 7 p.m. They will

have another chance to clinch their title as well as build momentum

for the playoffs.

It will be a significant game for fans as well. The Ray Miron

Presidents trophy, which is awarded to the CHL champions, will be

on display along with a sports memorabilia auction in order to

raise awareness about the playoffs, the league and its rich history

as a developmental and affiliate league to the National Hockey

League. Fans can visit the display and get their picture taken with

the trophy starting at 6 p.m.

The CHL playoffs are just two weeks away and the Eagles front

office has stated that there will be first round games on March 19

and 20 at the Events Center.

With only four home games and three left on the road, the Eagles

and the rest of the CHL teams have been battling for playoff

positions as only the top two teams in each division make it to the


Here is the latest playoff picture for all four CHL




The Eagles hold their 12-point lead over the Thunder (31-22-4)

and will play the final four of their six-game home stand this week

before finishing their final three games on the road. The Oklahoma

City Blazers and the Scorpions are tied for third place with 59

points, seven points behind the Thunder. The Blazers have games

remaining against the Eagles, Scorpions and Thunder.


The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (38-14-4) have solidified their

spot in the playoffs with a conference-high 80 points. The race is

for second place however, as the Memphis River Kings (32-22-3) and

the Indianapolis Ice (32-21-3) are tied with 67 points. The River

Kings are the two-time CHL champions and will be on the bubble to

make it into postseason play. Indianapolis has one game left

against the River Kings on March 13 in Memphis.


This is the only division that has finalized its playoff teams.

The San Angelo Saints and the Amarillo Gorillas fill the one and

two spots in the division with 74 and 71 points, respectively. The

Saints are the least penalized team in the league with only 840

penalty minutes.



Not only have the Laredo Bucks clinched a playoff spot, but they

also have the division title, the most points in the league, the

best overall and home record, the most goals scored and the most

penalty minutes. At 45-7-5, the Bucks have 95 points, a 26-1-1 home

record, 243 goals for and 1,610 penalty minutes. They have been on

a tear all season long. The other expansion team, aside from

Colorado-the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees-should place second with

a 14-point lead on the Austin Ice Bats.


Wednesday vs. Tulsa Oilers

Friday vs. Oklahoma City Blazers

Saturday vs. Fort Worth Brahmas

Sunday vs. Fort Worth Brahmas

Wednesday @ Wichita Thunder

Friday @ Indianapolis Ice

Sunday @ Indianapolis Ice

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