Jan 182005
Authors: Pete Scalia

The Colorado Eagles finally passed the Wichita Thunder in the standings, and in doing so they not only took the lead in the Northwest Division but also became the top team in the Central Hockey League.

Going into tonight's game against New Mexico, Colorado has a record of 24-5-5 and has racked up 53 points.

The Eagles overtook the Thunder on the strength of seven straight victories, playing five of those seven on the road, including Sunday's win over the Corpus Christi Rayz 4-1.

Ever since an overtime loss to Lubbock on Dec. 4, the Eagles have been nearly unbeatable, going 18-2-1 and amassing 37 points, the same number of points that the Rayz have managed to attain all season long.

The Eagles have been getting outstanding goaltending from Tyler Weiman, who started for the Northern Conference in the All-Star game. Weiman has a 1.58 goal-against average in his rookie season and has gone 22-2-4 with seven shutouts, one fewer than the CHL single season record. Weiman was also named Goalie of the Month in December. Weiman is well on his way to locking up Goalie of the Month for January, going 7-0 and allowing only 10 goals in those seven games.

Eagles captain Greg Pankewicz has also had a stand-out year, ranking No. 3 in the league in scoring with 22 goals, six being game winners, and 36 assists. Center Riley Nelson sits at No. 9 with 21 goals and 23 assists.

Pankewicz also set a record in the all-star game by scoring nine points on five goals and four assists to help the North beat the South 14-13. Pankewicz was also named the game's Northern Conference MVP for his effort.

The Eagles have 26 games remaining, splitting that total with 13 home games and 13 away. The Eagles will take on New Mexico tonight in the first of a three-game home stand. Wichita comes to town Friday night and Fort Worth on Saturday night. All games are scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.

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