Grizzlies Rally for 3-2 Win over Eagles to Take 1-0 Series Lead
(Loveland, CO) - The Colorado Eagles fell to the Utah Grizzlies 3-2 at the Budweiser Events Center in Game One of the first round of the ECHL Kelly Cup playoffs on Thursday. Eagles forward Kyle Kraemer scored two goals on the night, while fellow forward Tyler Fiddler added a pair of assists in the loss.
The Eagles jumped on the board when Kraemer scored his first of the night off a back door pass from Fiddler. Kraemer one-timed the puck into the net to give Colorado a 1-0 just 3:59 into the game.
Utah answered by scoring with 8:51 to play in the opening frame, as forward Barry Almeida fired the puck past Eagles goaltender Clarke Saunders on a rush down the left wing wall to tie the game at 1-1. The deadlock would hold to the first intermission.
The Grizzlies opened up the second period by scoring back-to-back goals. Forward Bryan Moore lit the lamp from the left side at the 5:52 mark and then, on the power play, forward Matt Berry found an opening from the side of the net to give Utah a 3-1 lead with 12:02 to play in the middle frame.
Colorado cut Utah's lead to 3-2 with 5:02 to play in the second period when Kraemer blasted a one-timer from the left hand side on a 5-on-3 power play for his second goal of the night. The Eagles would head into second intermission facing that 3-2 deficit.
The Eagles pulled Saunders late in the game in favor of an extra skater, but were unable to complete the comeback, as Utah held on for 3-2 victory.
Saunders finished the night with 19 saves on 23 shots, while Grizzlies goaltender Mark Owuya claimed the win in net stopping 22 of Colorado's 24 shots on goal.
The Eagles and Grizzlies are back on the ice for Game Two at the Budweiser Events Center on Sunday night. The puck drops at 7:05 PM MST.
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