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Colorado Eagles Week In Review

December 7, 2009 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Colorado Eagles News Release

Monday, November 30; Eagles, NoCo Ice Center To Host Special Needs Learn-to-Skate Night

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Colorado Eagles and the NoCo Ice Center (7900 Fairgrounds Ave.), in conjunction with the Special Olympics and US Figure Skating, will be hosting a learn-to-skate program for children with special needs (physical and/or intellectual disabilities) on Tuesday, Dec. 15. from 5-7 p.m.

The event will be free to those who would like to attend -- skate rentals included -- and will include instruction from members of the Colorado Eagles and information on classes provided by the NoCo Ice Center. Those attending are encouraged to bring warm clothes, socks, gloves and a helmet.

For more information, or to register, please contact JJ Barley-Dunning at (970)206-4423 or

Tuesday, December 1; CHL-TV is FREE This Friday!

(LEAGUE RELEASE) (Tempe, Arizona) - The Central Hockey League and CHL-TV (in conjunction with INSINC) are offering fans a FREE night of CHL-TV this Friday, December 4, 2009. The giving begins early in the Holiday season as fans will have the opportunity to tune in and see any of seven CHL games scheduled for that night including Amarillo at Bossier-Shreveport, Wichita at Missouri, Colorado at Mississippi, Laredo at Odessa, Tulsa at Rapid City, Corpus Christi at Texas and Rio Grande Valley at Allen.

All games will be free to fans (just enter code chltv when launching the CHL-TV viewer). For more information about CHL-TV or to watch the games, visit

All fans tuning in to watch the action on Friday night will be automatically entered into the CHLs Watch and Win Contest with one lucky fan being chosen to receive a CHL-TV Season Pass for the remainder of the 2009-10 CHL regular season. The winner will be notified via email on Monday, December 7.

All CHL games are available through CHL-TV on a pay-per-view basis for $5.95 per game with monthly packages available as well. Archived games can be purchased for $3.95 per game.

As a special promotion, fans who purchase a CHL-TV regular season game during the season will receive 4X the amount of CHL Loyalty Rewards (25 points). To learn more about the CHL Loyalty Rewards program visit

About the CHL The CHL is currently in its 18th season of play with 15 active member teams across nine states. The CHL saw close to two million fans attend games during the 2008-09 season and has led North American professional AA hockey leagues in average attendance in six of the past eight seasons. The CHL is administered by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Global Entertainment Corporation (Global Stock Symbol: GNTP) a company engaged in sports management, multi-purpose events and entertainment center and related real estate development, facility and venue management and marketing, and venue ticketing. For more information about the CHL visit the leagues website at

About INSINC INSINC is a leading webcasting company, enabling enterprises and content owners to distribute and monetize online video which can help improve communications, increase efficiencies and reduce costs. Founded in 1997, the Companys core business is to provide live and archived video content to audiences online with integrated pay-per-view and commerce transaction processing, delivered to geographically dispersed audiences.

Tuesday, December 1; Eagles Edge Oilers in Offensive Battle

TULSA, Okla. - The Colorado Eagles defeated the Tulsa Oilers, 7-6, as two of the CHL's top offenses (the teams entered the game tied for second with 69 goals apiece) squared off for the Northern Conference's top spot. With the win, Colorado moves into a tie with 25 points, despite having two games in hand. The thirteen combined goals matched the second-most all time in the Eagles' history.

In an explosive first period, Colorado and Tulsa combined for five goals and several more quality scoring chances. It was the Oilers who struck first with a power-play goal at 5:31 when Rick Kozak 's partial shot from the slot fluttered into the net. On the play, Aaron Davis found Kozak with a pass from the right side of the net where an Eagles' defender was able to tie up his stick midway through the shot, making the puck act like a knuckleball past Andrew Penner 's glove.

Colorado tied it at 1 with a power-play marker of their own at 9:13 when Brett Lutes deflected an Aaron Schneekloth point shot past Kevin Armstrong. But just nine seconds later -- right off the ensuing faceoff -- Tulsa re-took the lead when Derek Merlini sent a pass from the left circle in his own zone to Aaron Davis on a breakaway into the Eagles' end. Davis beat Penner 5-hole with a nifty backhand move.

But the Eagles were able to knot the game up again at 16:12, just after their second power play had expired, when Felipe Larranaga sent a pass diagonally through the zone to Kevin Ulanski below the right circle. And under a minute and a half later, Ed McGrane sent a slap-pass from the slot to Ryan McLeod for a 3-2 lead on Colorado's second power-play goal of the game.

Tulsa tied the game at 3 just over three minutes into the second period with a shorthanded blast from Merlini from the left circle. The tally came when the Eagles just missed a scoring chance on the power play and the Oilers took the puck the other way on a 2-on-1 rush. But the Eagles' high-flying offense followed that up by chipping in another three goals in the period to take a 6-3 lead into the third.

The first came at 5:25 when Ryan Tobler took the puck out of the right corner and beat Armstrong with a shot along the ice. Then at 13:55, the red hot Jim Jackson got the team's third power-play goal of the game -- and his first as an Eagle -- when he took a pass from Ulanski, skated into the left circle and snapped a shot inside the far post to make it 5-3. Tobler then notched his second goal of the stanza with another low shot past the Tulsa netminder at 18:02, this one from the top of the right circle.

Tulsa turned the tables in the final frame with a 3-1 goal advantage as Marty Magers began the period in net for the home team; it marked the second game in a row -- and the third in four -- that the Eagles have chased the opponent's starting goalie. Michel Beausoleil got the first of Tulsa's trio when he avoided a Jackson check in the right circle, recollected the puck and beat Penner, just over two minutes in.

Just over six minutes later, Riley Nelson got the game-winner for Colorado with a top-shelf shot from just inside the left faceoff circle after Tobler chipped the puck into the offensive zone along the left wing boards. The Oilers, though, kept chipping away at the score, and at 12:34, Dan Riedel poked home a loose puck from the doorstep to make it 7-5.

And about three and a half minutes after that, Tulsa made it really interesting when an extended shift in the offensive zone culminated in a shot from the left point making its way through six bodies in front of Penner and into the net; Jim Henkemeyer was credited with the goal.

Thursday, December 3; Canadiens Invite Backstrom to 100th Anniversary

The adjoining photograph features Ralph Backstrom (left) and legendary goalie Jacques Plante (responsible for the goalie mask celebrating its 50th anniversary ) admiring the pucks representing the rookie's first two goals with the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens are celebrating their 100th anniversary as a franchise, and several of the organization's former members -- including the Eagles founder -- are in town for this weekend's festivities.

Below are some links to articles detailing the 100-year history of the "Habs."

Ralph Backstrom's Bio on the Canadiens' Official History Web site

TSN-Canada's List of 100 Reasons to love the Canadiens (pay special attention to #53)

An article from The Canadian Press

Yahoo! Sports' Tribute to 100 years of Canadiens hockey

The Canadiens' Official Historical Web Site

Friday, December 4; Dumont's Four Goals Beat Eagles

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - The Colorado Eagles fell 6-3 to the Mississippi RiverKings as Louis Dumont scored four goals in a row in the third period to bring the home team from behind. Colorado suffered an 11-3 power-play disadvantage on the night, but played well on special teams in taking a 3-2 lead midway through the final frame.

The Eagles spent the majority of the first period in the penalty box as the RiverKings enjoyed a 5-0 advantage in power plays. With Colorado being called for 26 minutes worth of penalties in the opening stanza, they were fortunate to be trailing by only a goal heading into the first intermission. That goal, oddly enough, came at even strength, when Dane Marshall sent the puck on net from the right point and Ryan Campbell scored on the rebound from the slot at 3:26.

Kevin Ulanski notched a pair of goals in the second period as the teams traded tallies to enter the third knotted up at 2. Ulanski's first score came just 51 seconds in when a turnover just inside the RiverKings' blue line left the Eagles' forward and Riley Nelson behind the defense for a two-on-one break.

Adam Smyth -- who has a history of hurting Colorado -- put the home team back on top off another turnover. This one came just outside the Eagles' zone and led to an odd-man rush that culminated with Smyth finding a loose puck in the crease. It marked the bruising forward's sixth goal in the past six regular season games against Colorado (six of his 11 total goals the past two seasons).

But just over a half minute later, at 14:02, the Eagles tied it up just 10 seconds into their second power-play after Aaron Schneekloth was able to keep the puck in the offensive zone at the right point. The puck then made its way to Nelson in the slot and Ulanski put home his rebound from low in the left circle.

The Eagles took the lead, 3-2, at 8:05 of the third with their second power-play goal when Ed McGrane entered the offensive zone with a burst and put a backhander on net from low in the right circle. After bouncing around in the crease, Ryan McLeod found the loose puck from the left side of the paint and tossed it in.

But the RiverKings tied it up just under three minutes later when Dumont got his first goal of the night. On the play, Andrew Lackner sent a long lead pass from his own zone to Kevin Cooper who finished off the 2-on-1 breakaway by finding the veteran forward with a cross-slot pass.

Colorado continued to get sent to the penalty box from there on out and Mississippi finally took advantage with two power-play goals -- both by Dumont, giving him the rare natural hat trick. Dumont then capped off his strong period by adding a fourth into an empty net after forcing a turnover at the Eagles' blue line.

Saturday, December 5; Eagles Take First of Two in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. - The Colorado Eagles rebounded from a loss Friday night by defeating the Wichita Thunder, 3-1, 24 hours later in the second of a three-games-in-less-than-three-days set. Andrew Penner saw his eleventh start in net for the Eagles and made 20 saves to improve his record to 9-1-1.

Colorado took little time in getting things started when, at 1:54 of the first period, Jason Lundmark got his second goal of the season. The defenseman sent a shot on net that made its way through traffic in front of John Horrell before hitting the twine. The Eagles out-shot the Thunder 13-6 in the period, controlling much of the play.

In the second period, Wichita tied the game at 8:38 when traffic in front of Penner prevented him from moving right to left across the crease to make the save off a shot from Troy Ofukany. However, the Eagles countered when the Thunder turned the puck over at the blue line, giving Colorado a two-on-one rush between Ryan McLeod and Steve Haddon. McLeod sent the puck from the left circle over to Haddon who scored on the back door at 11:37 of the second period.

The third period saw the Eagles strike quickly once again on a nearly identical play between Brett Lutes and Kevin Ulanski. The two converted a 2-on-1 rush 1:39 into the frame as Ulanski received the pass from Lutes and knocked it into the right side of the net to put Colorado up by 3-1.

Wichita pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker in the remaining seconds of the game, but the effort came up short and the Eagles held on to go 4-1 so far on their seven-game road trip.

Sunday, December 6; Eagles Schneek Away With Shootout Win

WICHITA, Kan. - The Colorado Eagles defeated the Wichita Thunder for the second time in less than 48 hours with a 3-2 shootout win. Defenseman Aaron Schneekloth got two goals in the victory -- including the winner -- helping Colorado secure two points in their final game at the Kansas Coliseum; the Eagles have earned 10 of a possible 12 points through six games of their seven-game road trip.

The Thunder got out to an early lead as Kevin Truelson 's blast from the right points made it past Andrew Penner at 2:58. But that was the only scoring in the opening stanza as the two teams traded unsuccessful power plays midway through the period to enter the first intermission, 1-0.

Neither team managed to score in the second period, marking only the third time all year that Colorado went two periods in a row without a goal. However, the Eagles used parts of three power plays to take a 9-6 edge in shots in the frame as they gained momentum in the game.

The teams then combined for three power-play goals in the third period to send the game into overtime. Schneekloth finally got Colorado on the scoreboard with a power-play goal 1:21 into the third period to tie the game at 1. On the play, Riley Nelson had a shot ring off the crossbar, but the rebound was picked up by Kevin Ulanski, who gave it back to Nelson, who then sent it to Schneekloth for a laser from the point.

The Eagles then used another power-play goal to gain their first lead of the game at 10:26 when Ulanski found Ryan Tobler with a cross-crease feed. But the Thunder netted a man-advantage marker of their own just over three minutes later when Mark Belanger cut diagonally through the offensive zone and sent a backhand pass to Troy Ofukany stationed at the right side of the crease. Ofukany slammed the puck home for his second goal in as many nights against the Eagles, forcing overtime.

After neither team could score in the five minute overtime period, the Eagles won with their sixth shooter of the shootout. Jay Henderson and Glenn Detulleo were able to beat Penner, but Ulanski, Ed McGrane and Schneekloth got the puck past John Horrell to earn the game's second point.

The Week Ahead

Friday, December 11; Eagles End Road Tip in Amarillo Colorado will end it's first of two seven-game road trips of the season when it plays in Amarillo on Friday night. So far, the Eagles have claimed 10 of a possible 12 points on the trip. The last time the Eagles and Gorillas met (at the Budweiser Events Center), Colorado scored a franchise record 10 goals...but they've averaged just three goals a game all-time on the small ice surface at the Amarillo Civic Center.

Saturday, December 12; Clash of the Conference Leaders Entering the week, the Eagles and Odessa Jackalopes are leading their respective conferences, and the two teams will square off this Saturday when Colorado plays their first home game since the day before Thanksgiving. The Eagles (4.47 goals-per-game) and Jackalopes (4.27) have the top two offenses in the CHL but also have very strong goaltending (Andrew Penner and Joel Martin are both in the top 10 in wins, GAA and SV%). Odessa's special teams lead the league with their power-play clicking at a record-setting pace (29.0% & 42 goals) and their penalty-kill snuffing out 87.5% of opponents' chances.

Notable Numbers

TWO OF A KIND - Riley Nelson (82 points) and Kevin Ulanski (83 points) put up nearly identical numbers across the board last season, and the two are at it again in 2009-10. Through 19 games, the first line forwards rank first (13-23-36, +13) and second (12-22-34, +12) respectively in the league's scoring race and again have shockingly similar stats.

TOP-10 BOUND - Second-year Eagles forward Kevin Ulanski (117) is three points away from joining Chris Hartsburg and Seth Leonard in a ninth place tie on the Eagles' all-time points list. Ulanski is following up a stellar first season in the CHL -- in which he was named to the All-CHL Team and tied for the league lead in assists -- with another solid start and has averaged 1.43 points-per-game in his Colorado career.

POSITIVE NUMBERS - Seven of the league's top 10 plus/minus ratings can be found on the Eagles' roster. Defenseman Aaron Schneekloth leads the CHL with a +16. The reigning Most Outstanding Defenseman also led the league in that category last season at +39.

POWER (play) FORWARD - Ryan Tobler recorded his 70th power-play goal in an Eagles' jersey on Sunday afternoon and moved into the team's all-time lead in that category. The big-bodied forward has long-excelled in front of the net on the man-advantage as 42 percent of his career goals in Colorado have come on the power play (70 of 166). Last season he led the league with 23 power-play tallies, setting a career high.

WINNING WAYS - Andrew Penner picked up his 40th win between the pipes for the Eagles on Sunday and his next victory will tie him for second place on the team's all-time list with Marco Emond. Emond ended his Colorado career with 41 wins in 54 games; Penner's next game will also be his 54th. Also, a win in his next start would give Penner seven in a row, tying the fourth-longest winning streak in team history.

THE FIRST 400 - The Colorado Eagles will play the 400th regular season game in franchise history on Friday when they finish their seven-game road trip in Amarillo. Through six seasons and a third of a seventh, Colorado has a record of 272-96-31 for a winning percentage of.721.

ABOUT FACE - On Thursday night the Eagles were whistled for 15 infractions totaling 58 penalty minutes in a game that saw Mississippi enjoy an 11-3 advantage in power plays. Interestingly enough, Colorado set a new season low for penalties the next night (four penalties for eight minutes), and matched it the following day as well -- both against Wichita.

NOT A SHOT - The Eagles (23) and Thunder (17) combined for 40 total shots in Sunday's game -- and one of those "official" shots counted as the shootout winner. The 40 combined shots rank as the second-lowest total in team history, and if the game would have ended in regulation, it would have been a new record. The current lowest mark was 39 -- also against Wichita -- in a regulation game. The Thunder's 17 total shots are the third-fewest for an Eagles' opponent all-time, and their three total shots in the third period tie for the second-fewest ever allowed in a single stanza.

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Central Hockey League Stories from December 7, 2009

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