The Colorado Eagles prevailed in a physical match-up against the Utah Grizzlies 4-3, Friday night at the Budweiser Events Center. Darryl Bootland led the charge for the Eagles with his 200th career goal, leading the team into the second half of a home and home against Utah.
Eleven minutes and fifty two seconds into the first period, Eagles forward Nathan Moon fired a pass across the slot, finding line-mate Derek Rodwell’s stick and beating Grizzlies goalie Igor Bobkov through his 5-hole to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Three minutes and thirty two seconds later, Eagles forward Jonathan Parker put home a rebound while resisting a physical challenge from the Grizzlies to put the Eagles in the driver’s seat, 2-0.
Bootland came streaking into the Grizzlies zone on a power-play, then proceeded to fire a rocket ringing off the crossbar down into the net for his 200th career goal to give the Eagles the 3-0 advantage 4:46 into the second period. The Grizzlies responded 8:21 into the second when forward Alex Krushelnyski powered home a rebound against Eagles netminder Clarke Saunders. Forward Michael Pelech scored 9:16 into the second period on a one-timer in the slot to beat Saunders to bring the Grizzlies within 1, 3-2.
The Grizzlies pulled their goaltender with 1:45 left, nine seconds later the Eagles took advantage when forward Greg Gardner put the puck home to give the Eagles a seemingly safe 4-2 lead. Thirty one seconds later, Grizzlies forward Camden Wojtala pulled the Grizzlies within one again, beating Saunders short side. The Eagles would hold strong though, despite being on the penalty kill for seven of the first eight minutes of the third period. Saunders stood strong during the final charge from the Grizzlies to preserve the 4-3 Eagles victory.