Eagles come home to battle Barracuda after two weeks on road

Ryan Loberger

After a slow start to the season, the Colorado Eagles have rattled off three straight wins to cap off a perfect road trip as they return home to Loveland.

Forward T.J. Tynan (36) skates along the goal line while on the forecheck against the Stockton Heat on Oct.5. (Photo courtesy of the Colorado Eagles).

The Eagles dropped two home games back on Oct. 4 and 5 against a pesky Stockton Heat team to start the season 0-2. Despite numerous power play chances and outshooting the Heat in both games, the Eagles found themselves on the wrong side of the score sheet both nights. Since the opening weekend, the Eagles have been on the road, and Stockton has climbed to the top of the Pacific Division.


In those two defeats, it was clear the Eagles had not hit their stride. A roster filled with an abundance of young talent and skill wasn’t able to break through the Stockton defense.

The Eagles then hit the road for a three-game road trip starting in Ontario, California, against the Ontario Reign. In a closely contested game, the Reign pulled ahead to a 3-1 lead just before the halfway point in the third period.

A heroic effort from forward Jayson Megna helped bring the Eagles back and tie the game in the final minute of regulation, forcing overtime. Megna then connected with Jacob MacDonald for the game-winning goal as the Eagles secured their first victory of the season in a dramatic 4-3 win.

Colorado then made the trek to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for two games with the Milwaukee Admirals, a team the Eagles had never faced. The Eagles took the first game on Oct. 18 by a score of 3-2, winning in a shootout.

The following night, emotion boiled over as the game turned violent. A total of 95 penalty minutes were handed out in just the second period, and multiple fights broke out.

Eagles forward A.J. Greer fought Admirals’ Josh Healey just over a minute into the middle frame.

Greer was then escorted to the penalty box to serve the five minute fighting penalty. Greer exited the box before play resumed and went after Admirals captain Jarred Tinordi.

This caused more fights and resulted in more players getting ejected from the game, including Greer, who ended the night with 40 minutes in penalties and picked up a six game suspension for his actions. Despite the mid-game brawl, the Eagles were able to pick up their third straight win in overtime thanks to a goal from Logan O’Connor.

Colorado (3-2) will now host the San Jose Barracuda (2-2) at the Budweiser Event Center this week as former Eagle Nicolas Meloche will make his return to Loveland. Meloche was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the 2015 NHL draft. The defenseman played for the Eagles last season, accumulating 21 points (6G, 15A) in 55 games.


The Eagles’ free agent signings have paid off in the dawn of the season; three of the team’s top four point scorers donned different jerseys last season. Colorado’s offense is led by winger T.J. Tynan, who leads the team in points with seven, all assists. Six of those seven have been primary assists on the goals.

Tynan led the American Hockey League in assists with 59 while playing for the Chicago Wolves last season. His vision and playmaking ability to thread passes through the smallest lanes is impressive, to say the least.

The Eagles split their season series with Barracuda last year going 4-4. This week’s games figure to be close, as both clubs don’t want to dip below a .500 winning percentage. Both teams are below 15% on the man advantage and have a similar penalty kill percentage.

It will be interesting to see if the Eagles start Adam Werner in net for the fourth-straight game or if Antoine Bibeau will get a crack at his old team.

Ryan Loberger can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on twitter @Lobergerryan.