Colorado forward Alex Belzile had two goals and set up another to lead the Eagles to a 5-2 win over the Allen Americans Saturday night in game two of the Mountain Division Finals.
With the win, Colorado now heads home and leads the best-of-seven series 2-0 with game three set for Wednesday at the Budweiser Event Center.
Johnny Lazo got things going for the road team with his second of the playoffs at 4:46 of the first period. Lazo found himself alone in the slot and fired a snapshot past ECHL Goaltender of the Year Riley Gill. Allen outshot Colorado in the opening frame 13-6 but could not get one past rookie netminder Lukas Hafner.
In a game that felt eerily similar to game one, Colorado turned it on in the second period after weathering the early onslaught from Allen and out-shooting the home team 15-8 in the frame and 34-31 in the game.
Goals by Belzile and a power-play tally from ECHL Defenseman of the Year Matt Register gave the Eagles a commanding 3-0 lead heading into the third period. Belzile’s tally came off of good forechecking and a beautiful toe-drag before firing it past Gill. Register snuck in from the half-wall and snapped one into the net on the power-play on a feed from Casey Pierro-Zabotel.
The two-time defending Kelly Cup champions showed some fire in the third however, scoring early in the period on a goal by Gary Steffes, and again late with one by Josh Brittain. Unfortunately for the Americans, it was a case of too little and much too late, as Belzile scored his second of the game off of a beautiful pass from Matt Garbowsky on a two-on-one.
Eagles forward Ryan Harrison added one into an empty net from outside the blue line to finish off the scoring.
- Belzile leads the ECHL in playoff scoring with 8g-6a for 14p in seven games. He has now scored in six straight contests, coincidentally all victories for the Eagles.
- Allen is just 1 for 10 on the power play in the series after finishing third overall in the league during the regular season at 24.4%.
- ECHL MVP Chad Costello has just one point in two games after averaging 1.69 points per game in the regular season. He had four shots on goal in the game but was a minus two.
- Hafner has allowed just three goals on 56 shots in the series, for a sparkling 1.50 GAA.
- Register leads the ECHL in playoff scoring for defenseman with 4g-6a and 10p in seven games.
- Games three, four and five (if necessary) will be played at the Budweiser Events Center where the Eagles were 24-9-1-2 during the regular season. Allen had the second-best road record during the regular season at 24-9-2-1.
- Scoring first continues to be the key to success for the Eagles. Colorado was 35-2-1 when scoring first in the regular season and is now 6-0 in the playoffs when doing so.