Mole, PK End '09 On High Note
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - The Colorado Eagles celebrated New Year's Eve with a 5-1 win against the Missouri Mavericks in their first trip to the Independence Events Center. Colorado had five different goal scorers while Mike Mole stopped 44 of 45 shots and the Eagles' penalty-killers went a perfect 14-14 -- coming up huge in a game where the Mavericks held a 14-5 edge in power plays.
The Eagles jumped out to an early lead with a pair of goals just 40 seconds apart in the early going. Ed McGrane got the game's first goal after Ryan McLeod found him crashing through the slot 1:39 in. Then, at 2:19, Colorado's top line tallied as Kevin Ulanski padded his league-leading point total with a goal from down low.
Colorado then took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission when Jim Jackson put home a McLeod rebound on the power play at 17:54. The Eagles not only scored a power-play goal of their own, but their penalty-killers stymied all three Mavericks' opportunities in the opening frame.
Aaron Schneekloth, who was voted an All-Star starter earlier in the week -- and named to the CHL's All-Decade 2nd Team earlier in the day -- made it 4-0 with the team's second power-play goal 1:24 into the second period by firing a puck past Alexandre Vincent. But veteran Jeff Christian cut into Colorado's lead with a goal at 9:35 when he was able to backhand a shot past the Eagles' goalie after being left alone in the low slot.
Colorado's penalty-killing units continued to excel in the final frame in which Eagles players were called for all six of the period's penalties. Mole continued to come up big in net as well, stopping all 19 Mavericks' shots in the stanza. And at 11:31, Adam Hogg sent a cross-slot pass to Alex Penner for a 5-1 lead.
The Eagles will travel to Texas where they finish a set of three games in three nights with a contest against the Allen Americans on Friday and the Texas Brahmas on Saturday.
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