Eagles Season Comes to End in 5-0 Blanking by Firebirds
May 5, 2023
PALM DESERT, CA. – Coachella Valley netted a pair of goals in the opening 6:50 of the contest, while goaltender Joey Daccord turned aside all 33 shots he faced, as the Firebirds defeated the Colorado Eagles 5-0 in a decisive Game 5 on Friday. Coachella Valley forward Jeremy McKenna notched two goals and one assist, while fellow forward Max McCormick potted two goals in the winning effort. The Firebirds now move on to face the winner of the Calgary and Abbotsford series in the Pacific Division Final.
A nightmarish first period began with McKenna firing a shot from behind the end line, off the mask of Eagles goalie Jonas Johansson and into the back of the net, giving Coachella Valley a 1-0 edge just 6:03 into the contest.
The lead would grow to 2-0 just 47 seconds later when a Colorado power play backfired, allowing McCormick to sail down the ice on a shorthanded breakaway before lighting the lamp with a wrister from the left-wing circle.
The opening 20 minutes would be capped off with another strike from Coachella Valley, as defenseman Jimmy Schuldt hammered a shot from the top of the right-wing circle that would beat Johansson, stretching the Firebirds advantage to 3-0 at the 19:09 mark of the first frame.
Still leading 3-0 as the puck dropped on the second period, an early power play for Coachella Valley would see McCormick slice through the low slot before fielding a centering pass and bashing the puck into the back of the net. The goal was McCormick’s fifth tally of the postseason and put the Firebirds up 4-0 at the 2:28 mark of the middle frame. Colorado would go on to outshoot Coachella Valley 7-4 in the period, but left for the second intermission still trailing, 4-0.
The third period would see McKenna light the lamp for a second time, as he tucked home a wrister from the bottom of the right-wing circle just as a power play expired, driving the Firebirds advantage to 5-0 at the 2:15 mark of the final frame.
The Eagles outshot Coachella Valley by a final count of 33-23, as Colorado finished the night 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill. Johansson suffered the loss in net, allowing five goals on 23 shots.