Final Regular Season Records:
Colorado Eagles: 47-20-2-3 (99 pts — 2nd in Mountain Division, 3rd in Western Conf)
Idaho Steelheads: 43-22-5-3 (93 pts — 3rd in Mountain Division, 5th in Western Conf)
Series Schedule: (Home Team in BOLD CAPS and all times local):
Game 1 – Friday, April 14 – Idaho at COLORADO at 7:05 pm MT
Game 2 – Saturday, April 15 – Idaho at COLORADO at 7:05 pm MT
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 19 – Colorado at IDAHO at 7:05pm MT
Game 4 – Friday, April 21 – Colorado at IDAHO at 7:05 pm MT
*Game 5 – Saturday, April 22 – Colorado at IDAHO at 7:05 pm MT
*Game 6 – Tuesday, April 25 – Idaho at COLORADO at 7:05 pm MT
*Game 7 – Wednesday, April 25 – Idaho at COLORADO at 7:05 pm MT
*=> If Necessary
Season Series Recap:
Idaho won the season series against the Eagles, going 6-4-1. Seven of the 11 games played in the series have been decided by one goal. The largest margin of victory came by Colorado, when they beat the Steelheads 9-3 on January 14.
Offensively, the Eagles were led by Casey Pierro-Zabotel, who averaged a point-per-game during the series. For the Steelheads, Jefferson Dahl was the team’s offensive leader against the Eagles, also averaging a point-per-game during the season series.
How Colorado Wins:
The Eagles have loads of offensive talent, with Pierro-Zabotel, Matt Garbowsky, Matt Salazar and defenseman Matt Register. But, the team has been limped to the finish line since the call up of Clarke Saunders to the San Jose Barracuda, going just 5-5-0 in their final 10 games.
One of the story lines of this series early on will be whether or not the Eagles will get Saunders back from the AHL. If they do not, they will need Kent Simpson to be solid in net, something he has struggled with while playing against the Steelheads. During the season series, Simpson went 0-5-1 with a 3.07 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.
How Idaho Wins:
While the Steelheads do not have the offensive punch the Eagles have, they seem to be just as balanced, with seven players collecting more than five points against the Eagles during the season series. Head coach Neil Graham has built the team around a tough defense, led by Corbin Baldwin, and goaltending, led by Brandon Komm and ECHL All-Rookie Team goaltender Landon Bow. While you cannot compare teams from one year to the next, the Steelheads defense remains largely unchanged from last year’s playoff team, and they played Allen very tough. Look for the same from this year’s version of the Steelheads this year.
Who wins this series?