The Colorado Eagles appear to have found their missing link.
The Eagles went undefeated over the weekend and now have a two-game winning streak, due much to the defensive contribution of newly acquired goaltender Marco Emond.
After a disappointing loss in the season opener on Oct. 20, the Eagles bounced back to beat the New Mexico Scorpions 6-3 on Saturday night. Emond played well, giving up only three goals on 35 shots. All three goals given up were on New Mexico power plays.
The Eagles had an offensive explosion, as captain Greg Pankewicz and right wing Scott Polaski both had two-goal games. Defenseman Aaron Schneekloth and center Riley Nelson also contributed a goal.
“I had a conversation with the coaches before the game and they thought I needed to get to the net more,” Polaski said. “I put it into my game plan. I skated to the net more and was just at the right place at the right time.”
The Eagles were also impressive on Friday night, as they defeated the Wichita Thunder 5-1. Emond played well again, giving up only one goal on 21 shots.
The offense continued to roll scoring five goals by five different players including Konrad Reeder, Chris Hartsburg, Brad Wiliamson, Eric Adams and Pankewitcz.
Eagles Head Coach Chris Stewart attributed the team’s weekend success to the presence of Emond.
“Our first game we had no goaltending, and that was costly. For the most part, he calms our team down and that helps,” Stewart said.
Stewart also said the team’s penalty kill was a big reason his team won. The Eagles gave up only four goals on 24 power play opportunities.
“It is a big part of the game today, as many penalties as are called,” Stewart said. “Penalty killing is as important as power plays. Our special teams played very well.”
Emond, a nine-year veteran, replaced game-one starter Stephan Siwiec. The Eagles released the rookie after he gave up four goals in the first period of the team’s first regular season game.
Emond is happy to be with a team like the Eagles.
“I fit very well,” Edmond said. “It is good to be back with a team that cares about winning. It brings out the best in me.”
Polaski thinks that things are starting to go the Eagles’ way due to their hard work.
“In the preseason and our first game, the work was there, but things just weren’t going our way,” Polaski said. “When you keep trying and working hard you will get those chances and the puck will start to bounce your way.”
Colorado Eagles beat writers Adam Bohlmeyer and Brandon Owens can be reached at email@example.com.
By the Numbers:
119- Career wins by goalie Marco Emond.
100- Points scored by center Sean Robertson as an Eagle.
8- Consecutive games in which captain Greg Pankewicz has scored a goal, a franchise record.
2- Wins by the Arizona Sundogs, who the Eagles play Nov. 3 and 4.