The Colorado Eagles gained a 1-0 series lead, and more importantly, home-ice headed into tonight’s game 2 against the Ontario Reign.
“Well the thing is, we haven’t won the first game of a playoff series in three years, so this is a big moment for us,” Colorado coach Chris Stewart told the Reporter-Herald after the win. “In all honesty, it was important that we get out of the gate and play well tonight, and we did that.”
Prior to the game, Head Coach Chris Stewart announced forward Nathan Moon would see playing time after missing the last month of the regular season with an upper-body injury. Moon contributed immediately, capitalizing on his own rebound to score the series’ first goal at 3:19 of the opening period.
Darryl Bootland snapped a shot past goaltender Joe Cannata with just under 8 minutes left in the first period to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead. It would be the first of two power play goals on the night for Colorado.
Colorado continued their onslaught in the 2nd period, as Chris Duszynski scored his first professional playoff goal at 4:05 of the period. Bootland would add his second goal of the night on the power play at 10:51 of the period to give Colorado a commanding 4-0 lead half-way through the game.
“The power play did well because of the personnel,” Stewart said. “Certainly we’ve been tenacious on that and we’ve worked hard on the power play and penalty kill, but I’d have to say the personnel made the difference. There were a lot of players who played their hearts out tonight.”
After Colorado’s fourth goal, Ontario began to step up the pressure. In fact, the Reign held the Eagles to one shot in the final period.
The Reign cut the lead to 4-1 after two periods and defenseman Matthew Register would add a marker at 17:20 of the final period to cap the scoring.
Ontario will look to even the series tonight, before the series shifts back to the Budweiser Events Center for games 3-5 beginning on Sunday.
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