LOVELAND, CO. – Eagles forward Jean-Luc Foudy buried the game-winning goal 13:37 into sudden-death overtime, as Colorado defeated the Ontario Reign, 5-4 on Friday. The win now gives the Eagles a 2-0 series lead in the Pacific Division Semifinal, with Game Three set for Sunday night in Ontario. Colorado captain Jayson Megna notched two goals and an assist in the win, while goaltender Justus Annunen improved to 4-0 in the postseason, making 32 saves on 36 shots.
The Eagles would net the game’s first goal when a power play set up defenseman Jordan Gross to bury a one-timer from the left-wing circle to give Colorado a 1-0 edge at the 11:26 mark of the first period.
Ontario would even things up with a shot from the blue line from defenseman Nelson Nogier that would beat Annunen and tie the game at 1-1 with 2:51 remaining in the opening frame.
Still deadlocked at 1-1 as the puck dropped on the second period, Colorado would jump back in the driver’s seat when Megna stuffed home a rebound in the low slot to give the Eagles a 2-1 advantage just 2:30 into the middle frame. Colorado would go on to outshoot the Reign, 18-9 in the period and would head to the second intermission still on top, 2-1.
After serving a penalty, Ontario defenseman Frederic Allard would step out of the box and snag a loose puck at center ice before driving through the right-wing circle and beating Annunen with a wrister. The goal would tie the game at 2-2 at the 8:13 mark of the third period.
The Eagles would reclaim the lead just 45 seconds later when forward Ryan Wagner stuffed home a puck from the top of the crease to put Colorado on top, 3-2. The advantage would grow when Megna capped off a 2-on-1 rush with a shot from the slot to extend the lead to 4-2 with 7:14 left to play in the period.
Ontario would pull Sparks in the final three minutes in favor of the extra attacker and the move would pay dividends. Forward Akil Thomas would bury a shot from between the circles to slice the deficit to 4-3 at the 17:46 mark. With only 33 seconds left, Reign forward Vladimir Tkachev would light the lamp with a wrister from the left-wing circle to tie the game at 4-4 and force overtime.
The Eagles would be forced to kill off consecutive power plays in the first seven minutes of the extra session and the stalwart effort would lead to a big opportunity on the other end of the ice. Foudy wired a shot from the blueline that would catch Sparks before rolling into the back of the net. The tally was Foudy’s third goal of the playoffs and earned the 5-4 victory for Colorado at the 13:37 mark of overtime.
The Eagles finished the night 1-for-7 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, as Colorado outshot the Reign, 41-36.
The Eagles will be back in action when they continue the 2022 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs with Game Three of their best-of-five Pacific Division semifinals series against the Ontario Reign on Sunday, May 15th at 9:00pm MT at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. Playoff ticket packages are on sale now and can be purchased at ColoradoEagles.com or by calling the ticket department at (970) 686-7468.