Eagles fall to Heat in second game of series

Ryan Loberger

The Eagles kicked off the second game of their weekend series against Stockton Saturday night with a blast from the past on 80’s Night at Budweiser Events Center. The Eagles have struggled at Budweiser this season on the second leg of back-to-backs. Following a win, with a 3-3 record at home the Eagles would look to make it four-straight wins.

First-period action was tight checking and it seemed the only entry on the score sheet would be a Stockton penalty at 10:25 left in the first. The Heat would kill the penalty and score late in the period with 3:17 remaining when goalie Spencer Martin turned the puck over to two Heat forwards. The Heat would capitalize as forward Ryan Lomberg would score off a pass from linemate Matthew Phillips.

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Just as they did the night before the Heat would go up 2-0 on the Eagles to end the first. 26 seconds after scoring their first goal, the Heat would force another turnover from the Eagles when forward Buddy Robinson would poke the puck off Eagles defensemen David Warsofsky and score on a breakaway.

Following Friday night’s trend, the Eagles would again find themselves down 2-0 to start the second period. The Eagles would again claw their way back into the game and tie the game at two. Just over a minute into the period Eagles forward Logan O’Connor would score a shorthanded goal to bring the Eagles within one. Colorado would kill the remainder of the penalty and forward Tyson Jost would convert on a two-on-one break for the Eagles, beating the Stockton goalie low glove to tie the game at two with 16:07 remaining in the second frame.

Eagles forwards Tyson Jost and Max McCormick celebrate after combining for a goal during the game against Stockton on Feb. 9 at the Budweiser Events Center. (Photo Courtesy of Colorado Eagles)

The Heat, determined to not repeat Friday’s performance, would also add two goals of their own and head into the second intermission with a 4-2 lead. Scoring at the 14:50 mark of the second to make it 3-2 for Stockton. The Heat would also add a four-on-four goal recapture their two-goal lead.

Heading into the final period of play fans would try and will another two-goal comeback out of the Eagles. However, the effort would fall short, Stockton would add two more goals and downed the Eagles 6-2 to close out the weekend with a split.

Again spotting the Heat two goals in the first period the Eagles know they can’t win games with this trend and will look to change the recent trend.

“Both nights we came out spotting them two goals,” said Eagles captain Mark Alt. “You can’t put yourself in that kind of a hole and expect to come out on-top both nights, we were lucky to come back last night, tonight we just didn’t have enough juice.”

Trying to improve on their start, the Eagles know they can’t let points slip away, especially at home this time of year.

“We have to take advantage of these games at home—these games at altitude—and get a jump on other teams when they come to play in our building,” Alt said. “I think we gotta do what happened to us tonight and get on top early.”

The Eagles are on a quick turnaround as they face another Pacific Division rival, the San Diego Gulls at home on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Gulls, currently the third in the Pacific, sit just five points ahead of the Eagles with 55. Both teams will be dealing with fatigue as the Eagles have played four games over six days, the Gulls playing in eight contests in 13 days.

The puck will drop at Budweiser Event Center Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7:05 p.m.

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Ryan Loberger can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @LobergerRyan.