WINDSOR, CO. – Eagles forward Grayson Downing netted a pair of goals while fellow forward Michael Joly notched a goal and an assist, but it was not enough as Colorado lost to the San Jose Barracuda, 5-3 in their preseason opener on Friday. Eagles goaltender Spencer Martin stopped 37 of the 41 shots he faced in the loss, while Barracuda goalie Josef Korenar collected the win with 24 saves on 27 shots.
Colorado opened the scoring at the 13:32 mark of the opening period when Joly skated behind the San Jose net before burying a wrap-around attempt along the left post. J.C. Beaudin and Julien Nantel would pick up the assists, as the Eagles jumped out to a 1-0 lead.
Less than one minute later, Barracuda defenseman Jeremy Roy would field a pass at the top of the right circle before snapping a wrister past Martin to tie the game at 1-1 with 5:28 left to play in the opening period of play.
Knotted at 1-1 after 20 minutes of action, San Jose would grab its first lead of the night just 2:44 into the second period when forward Tim Clifton centered a pass in the slot to linemate Jon Martin who would slip the puck into the net to give the Barracuda the 2-1 edge.
Colorado would kill off four San Jose power plays in the middle frame, but just seconds after their final man-advantage of the period had concluded, forward Francis Perron would knock a loose puck at the side of the net into the goal to extend the Barracuda’s lead to 3-1 with only 38 seconds remaining.
The third period would see the Eagles pull back within a goal when Downing snagged a rebound in the crease and tucked it home to trim San Jose’s lead to 3-2 with 6:56 gone in the final frame.
The Barracuda would strike back late in the period when Clifton shot the puck off the back of Martin and into the net to give San Jose the 4-2 advantage with 2:01 remaining in the contest. With Colorado enjoying a power play later in the period, the Eagles would pull Martin in favor of the extra attacker, but it would be Barracuda forward Evan Weinger who would light the lamp with an empty netter from the red line at the 18:56 mark of the third period.
Colorado would earn a 5-on-3 power play in the waning seconds of the contest and Downing would make good with a wrist shot from the right circle that would beat Korenar to cut the San Jose advantage to 5-3 with 19 seconds left to play. The Eagles would draw no closer, as the Barracuda would claim the 5-3 victory.
The same two teams will conclude the preseason with a rematch on Saturday, September 29th at 7:05pm at the Budweiser Events Center.
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