(WINDSOR, CO) – The Colorado Eagles scored five goals in the first period, including four in the final five and a half minutes of the frame to power to themselves to an 8-1 win over the Rapid City Rush on Saturday night. With the win, Colorado sweeps the three-game set played this week (Rush went 0-2-1).
Colorado hammered the Rush for five goals in the opening period to take a 5-0 lead into the intermission. Starting off the scoring rally was Jake Marchment, who took advantage of a scramble in front of the Rush net and potted a rebound by Rush net-minder Christian Frey to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead (Ben Storm and Brady Shaw get the assists). The Eagles then went on a run in the last five minutes of the period, scoring four goals in a span of 3:35. First was Emil Romig, who took a pass from Matt Garbowsky and one-timed it top shelf to push the Eagles lead to 2-0 with 5:23 left in the first (Garbowsky and Shawn St-Amant assisted). Exactly 22 seconds later, Matt Register found Garbowsky on a “Hail Mary” pass from his own zone to the Rush blue line. Garbowsky had a wide open lane to skate through and rifled a shot over Frey’s shoulder to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead with 5:01 left in the period (Register had the lone assist). With 2:12 left in the frame, Jesse Mychan received a pass from Garbowsky on a two-on-one in the zone, and despite the fact it was deflected, Mychan still managed to bury his shot by Frey to make it 4-0 Colorado (Garbowsky and Nolan DeJong assisted). Exactly 24 seconds after that, Ryan Harrison picked up a loose rebound on an initial stop by Frey in close range to put an exclamation point on the period with Colorado’s fifth for a 5-0 lead with 1:48 left (St-Amant had the lone assist).
Chase Lang dashed the shutout hopes of the Eagles to put the Rush on the board in the second period. With 6:06 gone by, Lang patiently skated towards the Eagles net and backhanded a shot over the shoulder of Eagles goaltender Joe Cannata to cut the deficit to 5-1 (Ian Brady and Josh Elmes earned the assists). Colorado re-established their five-goal lead when Shawn St-Amant found Collin Bowman on a two-on-one in the Rush zone. Bowman zipped it by Frey to make it 6-1 Eagles with 6:53 left (St-Amant and Joey Ratelle assisted). Gabriel Verpaelst made it 7-1 on a second try from the blue line, and zipped it by Frey with 1:20 left in the second (Ratelle and Gage Ausmus assisted).
Matt Garbowsky put an exclamation point on the win for Colorado with a power play goal on their only opportunity of the night. Just six seconds into the lone Eagles man-advantage, and 6:00 into the third, Shawn St-Amant fired a cross-ice pass to Garbowsky, who blasted a one-timer by Frey to bring the game to its final score of 8-1 (St-Amant and Jake Marto had the assists).
Christian Frey suffered the loss, surrendering 8 goals on 30 shots in the defeat (1-7-1).
The Rush conclude their six game road trip against the Utah Grizzlies on the same day as the 2018 ECHL All-Star Classic on Martin Luther King Day, Monday January 15th. Puck drop is slated for 1:35 p.m. MST at the Maverik Center.