LOVELAND, CO. – Eagles forward A.J. Greer notched two goals and an assist, while goaltender Hunter Miska turned aside 31 of the 32 shots he faced to help Colorado defeat the San Jose Barracuda 5-1 on Friday. Eagles forwards Erik Condra and Shane Bowers each posted a goal and an assist, while fellow forward Jayson Megna netted his second shorthanded goal in the last three games. The victory was the Eagles third straight win and now pulls them to within two points of second place in the AHL’s Pacific Division.
The scoring started when Greer fielded an outlet pass between the circles and flicked a wrister into the back of the net to give Colorado a 1-0 edge at the 12:09 mark of the first period. Just 10 seconds after the goal, Eagles forward Logan O’Connor would drop the gloves with Lean Bergmann in what would be the first of two fights in the opening 20 minutes of action.
San Jose would even the score just minutes later when a breakaway from the blueline saw forward Noah Gregor stride to the low slot before lifting a shot past Miska to tie the game at 1-1 with 3:40 remaining in the first period.
As the opening stanza wound inside the final minute, Eagles defenseman Dan Renouf would square off with Barracuda forward Jeffery Viel and the two teams would head to the first intermission with the game still knotted up at 1-1.
Colorado would jump back on top after the Eagles killed off a San Jose power play and Greer released from the penalty box. As Greer stepped onto the ice, Bowers would snap a pass onto his tape and Greer would blaze his way between the circles before lifting a backhander past Barracuda goaltender Zach Sawchenko. The goal was Greer’s 11th of the season and gave Colorado a 2-1 advantage at the 6:36 mark of the middle frame.
The lead would grow when another penalty kill would lead to an Eagles opportunity, as Megna would block a shot in his own zone and go streaking down the ice before beating Sawchenko to put Colorado on top 3-1 with 3:39 left to play in the second period.
Still leading 3-1 after two periods of play, the Eagles would open up the final 20 minutes by adding to their goal total. A turnover in San Jose’s zone would set up Condra to feed a cross-slot pass to Bowers, who would slam the puck home and push Colorado’s advantage to 4-1 just 1:12 into the third period.
The Eagles would cap off the night when Greer flung a pass into the low slot, where Condra would deflect the puck past Sawchenko to give Colorado a 5-1 lead at the 12:46 mark of the period. Colorado would hold on for the remaining 7:14 of the contest, as the Eagles defeated the Barracuda by a final score of 5-1.
Colorado finished the night going a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 0-for-2 on the power play, as the Eagles outshot San Jose, 34-32.
The Eagles return to action when they host the San Jose Barracuda on Saturday, February 8th at 7:05pm MT at the Budweiser Events Center.
Tickets for all regular season contests are on sale now and can be purchased at ColoradoEagles.com or by calling (970) 686-SHOT.