San Jose Rallies in Third to Top Eagles, 5-4
LOVELAND, CO. - Colorado carried a 4-3 lead into the second intermission, but a pair of unanswered goals from San Jose in the third period would push the Barracuda to a 5-4 win over the Eagles on Friday. Colorado finished the night with a power-play goal, a shorthanded tally and a pair of even-strength goals. Rookie forward Alex Beaucage earned his first professional points with a goal and an assist in the loss.
Colorado got the crowd into it early when defenseman Keaton Middleton centered a pass from the left-wing boards to the low slot, where Beaucage would smash the puck into the back of the net. The tally was Beaucage's first professional goal and gave the Eagles a 1-0 edge at the 6:18 mark of the first period.
Each team would earn one power play in the opening 20 minutes, but neither side would be able to convert, and Colorado would head to the first intermission still on top, 1-0.
A wild second period would begin with San Jose forward Nick Merkley tucking a shot over the shoulder of Eagles goalie Justus Annunen from the bottom of the right-wing circle to tie the game at 1-1 just 4:07 into the middle frame.
It would only take 17 more seconds for the Barracuda to claim their first lead of the evening when defenseman Nick Cicek buried a slapshot from the left point to give San Jose a 2-1 advantage.
Needing a response, Colorado would get one when forward Dylan Sikura flew down the right-wing on a shorthanded breakaway before lighting the lamp with a wrister to knot the score at 2-2 at the 8:31 mark of the period.
The Eagles would feed off the momentum, as forward Dalton Smith polished off a 2-on-1 rush when he fielded a cross-slot pass and guided the puck past Barracuda goalie Alexei Melnichuk to give Colorado a 3-2 lead with 3:01 left to play in the second stanza.
San Jose would generate a quick answer, as the Barracuda caught the Eagles in a change and forward Jayden Halbgewachs rifled a shot from the left-wing circle into the back of the net to tie the game at 3-3 at the 17:43 mark of the period.
A power play late in the frame would set up defenseman Justin Barron to fire a wrister from the point that would weave its way through traffic and past Melnichuk to give Colorado a 4-3 edge with just 1.2 seconds remaining in the second period of play.
The lead would disappear only 1:58 into the third period when San Jose forward Scott Reedy found himself alone on the side of the net and would swat a cross-slot pass home to square the score at 4-4.
With time ticking down in regulation, an Eagles turnover would spring forward John Leonard down the right wing and set him up to cut to the net and stuff a shot past Annunen to give the Barracuda a 5-4 advantage with 4:12 remaining in the contest.
Colorado would pull Annunen in favor of the extra attacker, but the Eagles could not find an equalizer, as Colorado would fall by a final score of 5-4. The Eagles outshot San Jose 34-25, while going 1-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. Annunen suffered the loss in net, allowing five goals on 25 shots, while Melnichuk stopped 30 of the 34 shots he faced to claim his first win of the season.
The Eagles will return to action when they take on the San Jose Barracuda on Saturday, October 23nd at 7:05pm MT. The Budweiser Events Center is now open to 100% fan capacity. Tickets for all regular season games are on sale now and start at just $19. Season tickets for the 2021-22 season are also on sale now and can be secured with a deposit of just $100 per seat by visiting ColoradoEagles.com or by calling the ticket department at (970) 686-7468.
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