It was a successful weekend for the Central Hockey League's number one team, as the Colorado Eagles dispatched of the Oklahoma City Blazers on consecutive nights, beating them 4-1 on Friday and 4-3 on Saturday.
It was an emotional weekend for the Eagles however, as Bill Tobler – father of winger Ryan Tobler – fell ill and was taken to Poudre Valley Hospital on Friday. He passed away early Saturday morning. Tobler did not suit up for either game, but the players dedicated their performance to the Tobler family and to Bill's memory. He was 71.
Emotionally inspired, the Eagles took a 4-1 decision on Friday night from the Blazers who are currently in second place in the Northwest Division. The game was a battle of netminders, as the Eagle's Paulo Colaiacovo and his counterpart Sean Conners stood on their collective heads for the majority of the action.
Colorado broke through in the third period of the contest, netting three goals and securing the win. The Eagles got two goals apiece from Riley Nelson and Greg Pankewicz.
On Saturday night, Colorado needed a shootout to ensure their fifth straight victory. With the game tied at three at the end of regulation, Colorado was determined to change their overtime fortunes, as they came into the game having lost their last five shootout decisions. After a scoreless overtime period, the game was sent to a shootout.
Defenseman Brad Williamson took the first shot for Colorado and his goal proved to be all that the Eagles needed as Colaiacovo turned aside all five Blazers shooters.
After this weekend's games, Colorado maintains its hold on the best record in the league. They currently sit above the Laredo Bucks by seven points in the league standings.
Up next is a road-trip for the Eagles, as they take on the Wichita Thunder, Lubbock Cotton Kings and the Odessa Jackalopes next week. The next home game will be on March 8 against the Wichita Thunder.
Jordan Duvall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org