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By: JP Puma
Colorado Eagles Weekly Update
LAST WEEK IN REVIEW
Wednesday, November 28; Eagles Suffer Another 1-Goal Loss on the Road
BOISE, Idaho - The Idaho Steelheads defeated the Colorado Eagles, 4-3, in the first of a three-game set between the teams this week. The loss dropped Colorado's record on the road this season to 0-4-2, with each loss coming by just a one goal margin. The game featured a total of 16 power plays between two of the ECHL's top three power play units, but each squad scored just once on the man-advantage to go 1-for-8 on the night.
Thursday, November 29; Sutton Special Risk to Sponsor Hockey Hall of Fame Display During All-Star Skills Competition Event
(LEAGUE RELEASE: PRINCETON, N.J.) - The ECHL announced on Thursday that Sutton Special Risk will be the presenting sponsor of the Hockey Hall of Fame Display at the Fan Fest as part of the 2013 ECHL All-Star Skills Competition, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo. Tickets for this fan-favorite event start at just $10 and can be purchased by visiting www.ComcastTix.com or by calling 1-877-544-TIXX (8499).
The display will include artifact exhibits from throughout hockey history from the vaults of the Hockey Hall of Fame, as well as several of hockey's most prestigious trophies. Additionally, the Hockey Hall of Fame will have several interactive hockey games for attendees to participate in during the festivities to heighten the experience.
Thursday, November 29; Joey Sides Recalled to IceCaps
The Colorado Eagles, proud affiliate of the NHL's Winnipeg Jets & the AHL's St. John's IceCaps, announced today that forward Joey Sides has been recalled to the IceCaps' roster. Sides has tallied 18 points (9-9-18) in 18 games with the Eagles this season, and is tied for 4th on the team in points (behind the league's top three scorers). Sides is also tied for 1st in the ECHL in plus/minus ranking (+13).
Friday, November 30; Eagles Drop Seventh Road Game of Season, 4-2 in Idaho
BOISE, Idaho - The Idaho Steelheads defeated the Colorado Eagles, 4-2, in the second game of a three-game series at CenturyLink Arena this week. The loss dropped Colorado to 0-5-2 on the road this season, and each loss would have been by a one-goal margin if not for an empty-net tally from Idaho in the final minute of the game.
Saturday, December 1; Six Unanswered Goals Lead Steelheads to Series Sweep
BOISE, Idaho - The Idaho Steelheads completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Eagles with a 7-1 win, scoring six unanswered goals after an apparent go-ahead goal for Colorado was waived off. Idaho's special teams greatly aided their efforts, as the Steelheads killed all five of Colorado's power plays, while going 3-for-4 on their own man-advantage chances. The loss left the Eagles without a road win on the season (0-6-2), and extended their club-record road winless streak to eight games.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Friday, December 7 & Saturday, December 8; Eagles Look For First Road Win in San Fran
The Eagles will make their first trip to San Francisco, Calif. to take on the expansion San Francisco Bulls at the Cow Palace. The Eagles enter the week still searching for their first road win of the season, and they'll be doing so against a Bulls team that's collected 12 of its 19 points on the year at home. Colorado, however, should have plenty of confidence going up against the Bulls, as they out-scored them by a combined 13-3 in a pair of games (6-1 & 7-2) last month at the Budweiser Events Center. Special teams could loom large, as San Francisco's 21st ranked penalty kill is even worse at home (22nd).
LOPSIDED LOSS - Colorado's 7-1 loss in Idaho last Saturday was one of the worst defeats in team history. The Eagles have lost by a six-goal margin just three other times, with the team's worst loss all-time coming by seven goals. That ranks the loss among the worst five in the team's nearly nine and a half seasons.
ROAD WOES - The Eagles are still looking for their first road win of the year and are the only team in the ECHL without a win away from home. The eight-game road winless streak is the longest in team history (the previous record was six). Despite being 0-6-2 away from the Budweiser Events Center, six of the defeats came by just one goal, and another was a one-goal game until a last-minute empty-netter.
STREAK SNAPPED - Chad Costello's 14-game point streak was snapped in Saturday's loss, which also means that his eight-game assist streak is also history. That assist streak tied the third-longest in team history, done four other times by Ryan Tobler, Greg Pankewicz, Riley Nelson & Kevin Ulanski (who also happen to be the club's 4 all-time leading scorers). Costello's 13 assists in the eight-game span tied Tobler's run as the most productive of the bunch.
PLAYER(S) OF THE MONTH - The league will announce its Player of the Month award for November this week, and Chad Costello has to be the favorite. Costello led the league with 29 points (8-21-29) and registered a point in all 13 of the Eagles' games. Ranking 2nd and 3rd in November scoring were his linemates, Jack Combs & Michael Forney, each with 25 points.
ANYTHING BUT A POINTLESS STAT - Saturday night's loss marked the first time all season (in Colorado's 21st contest) that the three members of the team's top line -- and the ECHL's top line, for that matter -- were held without a point. Maybe more impressive is that, of the 68 games Chad Costello has played in for Colorado, it was just the 8th time he's been held off the score sheet (and one of the games he left midway through due to a season-ending injury). In less than a full season's worth of games, the league's reigning MVP is just 17 points away from reaching the team's top-10 point producers all-time.
POWER OUTAGE - Colorado's power play headed to Idaho with a league-high conversion rate of 27.8% last week. But after going just 1-for-16 (6.3%) in the three-game set at CenturyLink Arena, the Eagles' power play now ranks 4th in the ECHL at 24.8%.
FEELING BULLISH - This weekend the Eagles will get to renew acquaintances with the Conference's newest member, the expansion San Francisco Bulls, with a pair of games at the Conference's oldest venue, the Cow Palace. Colorado will hope to continue their success this season against San Francisco after defeating the Bulls by a combined score of 13-3 a month ago. In their first meetings of the regular season, the Eagles beat the Bulls 6-1 & 7-2 to start a five-game winning streak at the Budweiser Events Center in which they out-tallied their opponents 35-9.
THE ROAD TO VICTORY - Colorado's chances of winning greatly increase when it gets off to a fast start and plays with a lead. When the Eagles fail to find the back of the net first they're just 2-7-2 this season. They're 6-1-1 when leading at the first intermission, but 0-5-1 when trailing. And they're 7-3-2 when leading at the second intermission, but 0-6-0 when trailing. Part of the problem is that they've struggled to score in the third period; despite it being the only frame in which they out-shoot their opponents, it's the only frame in which they have been out-scored.
SCORING SPLITS - Despite possessing one of the ECHL's top offenses with an average of 4.10 goals per game, the Eagles have produced drastically different results at home and on the road this season. In 13 home games, the Eagles have averaged 4.9 goals/game compared to 2.8 in eight road games. Making matters worse, on the defensive side of things the Eagles are also allowing 3.5 goals at home and 4.5 on the road. In other words, the Eagles are scoring two fewer goals and allowing one more goal per road game.
Holiday Store in Foothills Mall Now Open - Our annual holiday store in Ft. Collins' Foothills Mall is now open (through Dec. 30), offering fans a convenient place to give their family and friends the "gift of hockey" this year! In addition, the store (located between the food court and Sears (previously Radio Shack) will be the ONLY place you can find 2013 ECHL All-Star merchandise prior to the new year. (http://www.coloradoeagles.com/news.php?nid=1452)
Follow the Eagles on the Road at Stuft - Join other Eagles fans in watching all of the Eagles' road games this season at one of two Northern Colorado Stuft: a burger bar locations. Stuft is the exclusive public home for away broadcasts of the AmericaOne Sports feed. (http://www.coloradoeagles.com/news.php?nid=1443)
Toys For Tots - We'll be collecting new or lightly used toys for Toys For Tots at the first two home games in December (11th & 12th). (http://www.coloradoeagles.com/news.php?nid=1456)
Jr. Eagles Chicks - Looking for a unique gift idea? Registration for the annual Jr. Eagles Chicks clinics and in-game performance is now open! Click the following link for complete details: (http://www.coloradoeagles.com/news.php?nid=1457)
All-Decade Team - The first two members of the Fans' Vision All-Decade Team have now been announced, with Aaron Schneekloth joining Riley Nelson. Voting is now underway for the second of three forward spots. Voting for the team, which is presented by the Eye Laser Center of Northern Colorado, is being conducted throughout the season, with those participating able to win autographed items by the team members and highlighted by free LASIK! (http://www.coloradoeagles.com/udp.php?pid=284)