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Takeaways from the Eagles’ weekend series with the Rampage

After losing four games last season to the now-Colorado Avalanche affiliated Colorado Eagles and one this year, the San Antonio Rampage, the Avalanche’s former American Hockey League affiliate, seemed due for a victory. 

The Rampage secured the organization’s first victory of the season over the Eagles on Saturday night as they defeated Colorado 4-2 at the Budweiser Events Center.

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The Eagles started the two-game series with a 5-1 win on Friday night followed by the tough loss on Saturday to wrap up their Eagles Fight Cancer promotion with UCHealth.

For Colorado, splitting the weekend series with one of the underachieving clubs in the Western Conference isn’t exactly what the team had in mind, especially when the Bakersfield Condors and Ontario Reign are also vying for playoff contention.

Here are a couple of takeaways from the Eagles’ weekend.

Free agents paying dividends 

Three players that were signed as free agents last summer are in the team’s top five scorers. T.J. Tynan leads all players in points with 32 points in 28 games played. In fourth position is Erik Condra with 25 points in 37 games, and Jayson Megna follows him with 24 points in 32 contests.

Defenseman Jacob MacDonald, who’s also seen time as a forward for the team, has proved to be a valuable cog on offense. MacDonald notched three points over the weekend, two goals and one assist to add to his now 28 points in 40 games played. MacDonald arrived via trade in exchange for Colorado forward Dominic Toninato. 

Eagles forward Martin Kaut (61) carries the puck up ice on a rush while being defended by Mike Vecchione (20). (Photo Courtesy of the Colorado Eagles)

Shane Bowers, Martin Kaut, Conor Timmins and Logan O’Connor continue to develop as part of a fruitful prospect pool for the Colorado Avalanche organization. 

Bowers and Kaut have yet to get a taste of NHL action, but the story this year in Loveland has mostly been about the veteran free agents that joined the Eagles in the offseason.

Conor Timmins strong in his return

Coming into the 2019-20 season, Timmins made the Colorado Avalanche’s opening night roster and played in two games before being reassigned to Loveland. Having to deal with lagging symptoms of a concussion suffered while playing junior hockey, Timmins missed the entire 2018-19 season while recovering. His latest return came on the heels of a lower-body injury sustained in December. 

Making a return to the lineup on Friday, Timmins didn’t disappoint, tallying two assists in the Eagles’ win. Timmins set up Megna on a stretch pass to send the winger on a breakaway, eventually leading to the first goal of the game.

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Although he did not register a point and was minus two in the game on Saturday, the 21-year-old blueliner has shown improvement throughout the season, but his biggest challenge remains staying on the ice and out of the training room.

Colorado gets back on the ice this Friday against the top team in the Pacific Division: the Tucson Roadrunners. The Eagles will travel to Tucson, Arizona, and return to Loveland the following week to host the San Jose Barracuda. 

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

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