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By: JP Puma
LOVELAND, Colo. - The Colorado Eagles defeated the San Francisco Bulls, 7-2 -- one night after topping them 6-1 -- to claim a weekend sweep over the expansion club. Michael Forney led the Eagles' offense with a hat trick -- giving him the league lead with nine goals in as many games -- as part of a four point night (3-1-4), while Kyle Jones was strong in net once again in stopping 24 shots.
The teams played an even first frame, with each tallying 11 shots and one goal. Colorado got on the board first just under 17 minutes in when Dylan Hood and Joey Sides worked a 2-on-1 rush out of their own end, culminating with the former's first professional goal. But just 46 seconds later Jordan Morrison answered for the Bulls when a deflected puck found him for a blind shot from the high slot that beat Jones.
Colorado blew the game open in the second period. Jones made several strong saves to keep the Bulls held to a single goal and the skaters in front of him supported his effort with four goals in the middle stanza. Forney made it 2-1 just over a minute into the period when he batted in his own rebound out of the air from the left post on a power play.
And about six minutes later the Eagles struck again with a special teams goal, but in a very unconventional way. While on the penalty kill, rookie defenseman Cody Sol slammed the puck down the ice from his own blue line in a clearing attempt and it struck a Bulls defenseman before deflected past the San Francisco netminder, resulting in Sol's first professional goal.
Five minutes later, Forney picked up his second score of the second period by taking the puck from the left corner, circling into the low slot and beating Taylor Nelson. That goal resulted in a netminding change for the Bulls as Nelson stopped just 13 of 17 shots in just over half the game. But things didn't go much better for Thomas Heemskerk, who was beaten by Sides just over three and a half minutes later to make it 5-1.
Four minutes into the final frame, Forney snapped home a shot from the left circle to register the second hat trick of his career (the previous one coming Feb. 24 against Ontario) and the 42nd in team history. Colorado stretched their lead to 7-1 midway through the period when Ray Kaunisto knocked home a puck from the crease. And the Bulls accounted for the game's final goal with a power-play tally at 16:38.
The Eagles will host the Utah Grizzlies three times next week, starting with their annual Military Appreciation Night on Wednesday, Nov. 7; the game will be aired on Altitude2.