LOVELAND, CO. – The Colorado Eagles collected goals from Martin Kaut, Dominic Toninato and Logan O’Connor to defeat the San Jose Barracuda 3-2 on Saturday. The victory combined with San Diego’s 4-3 win over the Tucson Roadrunners clinched a spot for Colorado in the 2019 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. The Eagles have now qualified for the postseason in all 16 seasons in the team’s history as Colorado now prepares to face the Bakersfield Condors in round one.
Kaut would get the home crowd going when he smashed a rebound in the crease past San Jose goaltender Andrew Shortridge to give Colorado a 1-0 edge at the 14:07 mark of the first period. Eagles goaltender Pavel Francouz would stand strong in the opening 20 minutes, stopping all 12 shots thrown his way.
Still leading 1-0 after the opening frame, the Eagles would outshoot the Barracuda 12-11 with both teams exchanging chances, but Francouz and Shortridge would hold serve to prevent any scoring in the second period of action.
Colorado would build upon its lead in final 20 minutes when forward Dominic Toninato tracked down a rebound on top of the crease and belted the puck into the back of the net to give the Eagles a 2-0 advantage just 4:34 into the final frame.
The lead would grow to 3-0 when forward Logan O’Connor fielded a pass in the right-wing circle and rifled a one-timer past Shortridge with 6:28 left to play in the contest.
San Jose would finally hop on the scoreboard when forward Evan Weinger capped-off a two-on-one rush by bashing a cross-slot pass into the net to trim Colorado’s advantage to 3-1 at the 16:15 mark of the third period.
The Barracuda would pull Shortridge in the waning minutes of the contest and the move would pay off, as forward Alex True would have a puck bounce off his body near the crease, sending it past Francouz to cut the Eagles edge to 3-2 with less than two seconds to play. San Jose would not come any closer and Colorado would hold on for the 3-2 victory.
Both teams finished the night going 0-for-1 on the power play, as Colorado outshot the Barracuda, 36-32.
Tickets for Round One go on sale to the general public at 10am on Monday, April 15th and start at just $20. You can purchase your tickets to the most exciting part of the season by visiting the Budweiser Events Center box office, calling the Eagles ticket staff at 970-686-SHOT (7468) or clicking ColoradoEagles.com.