Eagles Come up Short vs. Grizzlies, 5-2
LOVELAND, Colo. -The Colorado Eagles (41-23-4-4) scored twice on the power play against the Utah Grizzlies (37-27-5-3), but eventually fell 5-2 Saturday night at the Budweiser Events Center.
Despite a furious offensive start for the Eagles, Utah got on the board first after a miscommunication between two Eagles players led to Ryan Hayes scoring his 30th goal of the season just under 10 minutes into the contest. Utah would continue where they left off last night on the power play, as Hayes scored his second of the night, sneaking it past Eagles netminder Clarke Saunders to give Utah the 2-0 advantage with 6:52 left in the first. Utah would extend their lead to 3-0 on a breakaway snipe from forward Alex Krushelnyski, who flew after a lob pass from teammate Mathieu Aubin with 4:28 remaining in the first frame.
Utah scored their second power-play goal for the second straight night, as forward Brenden Walker tapped home a perfect pass from Krushelnyski into a wide open net, past newly-substituted netminder Aaron Crandall to give the Grizzlies a 4-0 advantage 7:50 into the second. After knocking on the doorstep time after time, the Eagles finally got on the board as forward Brock Nixon scored his 30th goal of the season on the power play off of a rebound, bringing the Eagles back within three with 3:58 remaining in the second. The power play was strong with both teams tonight, Eagles forward Vitalijs Pavlovs hammered a rebound behind Grizzlies netminder Eric Levine to bring the Eagles within two, 4-2, with just under two minutes remaining in the second frame.
After having the net empty for 2:30 at the end of the game, Colorado couldn't convert with the extra skater and eventually surrendered an empty-net goal to forward T.J. Syner to give Utah the 5-2 win. The Eagles have five days off before traveling to Ontario to begin the playoffs against the Reign next Thursday.
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