Eagles Advance to Western Conference Finals
The Colorado Eagles defeated the Allen Americans 4-3 on Tuesday night at the Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas. Colorado’s victory secured a 4-2 series win against the defending champion, sending the club into the Western Conference Finals.
Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals is scheduled for Friday, May 12 at 6:35 p.m. CT at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
The Eagles and Americans faced off in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals Tuesday evening at the Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas. After winning the first three games of the series, Colorado was in the perfect position to complete the sweep of the defending champions in front of a home crowd. But the Americans fought back and took Games 4 and 5 in convincing fashion.
The Eagles just needed a spark to get back to the style of hockey that fans are accustomed to in Loveland, Colorado. Insert former Rampage defenseman Mason Geertsen – who is returning from his one-game suspension – forward Shawn St. Amant, and goaltender Kent Simpson.
Geertsen sat out Game 5 after receiving an aggressor penalty in the final five minutes of regulation in Game 4, but was one of the biggest difference makers in Colorado’s 4-3 victory over Allen. He rejoined the Eagles lineup, registering the game-tying goal, one assist and a plus-2 rating.
St. Amant also recorded a goal and an assist, while Simpson received his first start since Colorado’s opening contest of the 2017 Kelly Cup playoffs, and slammed the door on 23 of Allen’s 26 shots.
“I felt great to get back in the net and help the team close out the series,” said Simpson. “I was ready and waiting for the opportunity, and I’m glad we were able to get it done.”
The Eagles carried a 3-2 deficit into the third period, until Geertsen landed the game-tying goal just 35 seconds in. Matt Register landed the game winner with 69 seconds remaining as Simpson shut down the Americans man advantage in the final 32 seconds and kept Colorado in the game by holding Allen scoreless in the final 20 minutes of regulation.
“They are obviously a championship-built team, so it means a lot to us and we’re glad we can continue to work on reaching our end goal,” said Simpson.
Knocking off the defending champion isn’t an easy feat, especially when that franchise that has won four consecutive championships (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) – two of which came in the Central Hockey League (CHL).
This is the first time that the Eagles have reached the ECHL Western Conference Finals in franchise history, and the first time reaching a conference finals since 2011 when the club was still a member of the CHL.