Dec 072006
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

The Colorado Eagles are about to play the most important stretch of their young season. The first-place team will begin this stretch on Friday and Saturday night, facing the Amarillo Gorillas in a two game home stand.

“These are two huge games,” said Eagles left wing Ryan Tobler. “We want to come out on top of the league going into the Christmas break and really need to play some determined hockey.”

After completing a four-game road trip the Eagles are happy to be back at the Budweiser Events Center.

“I look forward to playing back at home,” said Eagles forward Scott Polaski. “Everyone is energized and it should be a good week.

Going into this weekend the Eagles have a two-game win streak and show a record of 13-4, but the team feels that they still need improvement.

“We are going to focus on three main concepts,” said Eagles Head Coach Chris Stewart. “We need speed, strength and toughness. If we can do these we will scoop up some goals.”

The main focus of upcoming games for the Eagles will be giving their all.

“We need to focus on complete effort,” Polaski said. “Keeping physical and mental effort high for all 60 minutes (in the game) will help.”

Eagles goalie Marco Emond agreed.

“What we want to do is go all out 100 percent,” said the nine-year veteran. “We are focusing on making good decisions and playing as hard as we can.”

With the exception of the loss of Greg Pankewicz and Eric Adams to injury, Stewart is pretty happy about the health of his team.

“Everyone is nursing some bumps and bruises,” the fourth-year Eagles coach said. “We are pretty healthy though.”

The Gorillas come into Colorado with a record of 8-8-2, having lost their last two games.

Even though their record doesn’t show it, the Eagles still consider them a big threat.

“In years past we have had some pretty intense games with them,” Tobler said. “We have to come out, set the tempo and dictate what is going to happen in these games.”

Emond is confident that they can pick up two wins.

“We haven’t seen them, but if we play our game it should go well,” Emond said.

Stewart agrees that his team should be ready.

“If we come out mentally prepared we will be fine,” Stewart said.

Eagles beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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