LOVELAND, CO. – Colorado forward Sampo Ranta netted a pair of goals, while goaltender Justus Annunen stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced, as the Eagles defeated the Stockton Heat, 5-1 on Saturday. Forward Ryan Wagner and defenseman Justin Barron also generated multi-point performances with a goal and an assist apiece. The victory also secured three of a possible four points in the standings for the Eagles in the two-game set against the first-place Heat.
A chippy first period saw Stockton outshoot the Eagles 8-6, as Colorado finished the opening 20 minutes 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Heat went 0-for-2 on the man-advantage. As the horn sounded to end the first frame, the two teams would head to the intermission still scoreless.
Things would begin to open up in the second period, as Wagner skated through the left-wing circle before snapping a wrister that would beat Stockton goalie Adam Werner to give the Eagles a 1-0 edge at the 9:09 mark of the middle frame.
The lead would grow when Barron barreled his way into the slot and lit the lamp to put Colorado on top 2-0 with 56 seconds remaining in the period. Less than a minute later, Ranta would take advantage of a 2-on-1 rush with a wrist shot from the left-wing circle that would elude Werner and grow the Eagles lead to 3-0 at the 19:57 mark of the second stanza.
Still on top 3-0 to begin the third period, Colorado would see the Heat bite back when forward Martin Pospisil buried a shot from the right-wing circle to trim the deficit to 3-1 just 4:48 into the final 20 minutes of regulation.
The Eagles would summon an answer minutes later when Ranta blew past Stockton’s defense and lifted a backhander from the top of the crease into the back of the net to make it 4-1 Colorado with 11:51 left to play in the contest.
Forward Andreas Wingerli would add punctuation to the afternoon when he deflected a shot from the blue line past Werner to extend the Eagles advantage to 5-1 at the 13:35 mark of the third period.
The Heat outshot Colorado 36-22 in the contest, as the Eagles went 0-for-2 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Werner suffered the loss in net, allowing five goals on 22 shots.
The Eagles will return to action when they take on the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday, December 3rd at 7:05 pm MT at the Budweiser Events Center. Tickets for all regular-season games are on sale now and start at just $19. You can find more information on ticket packages, theme tickets, and promotional nights, by visiting ColoradoEagles.com or by calling the ticket department at (970) 686-7468.