ONTARIO, CA. – Colorado forward Mike Vecchione netted three goals in the third period, including the game-winner, to help drive the Eagles to a 7-5 win over the Ontario Reign on Sunday. It was the first Eagles hat trick since Andrew Agozzino scored three goals against the San Antonio Rampage on February 27, 2019. T.J. Tynan, Luka Burzan and Kyle Burroughs also notched multi-point performances in the victory. Goaltender Adam Werner earned the win in net, making 22 saves on 27 shots.
Colorado would notch the game’s first goal when defenseman Miles Genderon took advantage of some traffic in front of the net by firing a slapshot from the left point that would light the lamp and give the Eagles a 1-0 edge just 6:11 into the contest.
The advantage would grow when Burzan won a goal-mouth battle by muscling a loose puck past Reign goalie Matthew Villalta and into the back of the net. The goal was Burzan’s third of the season and stretched Colorado’s lead to 2-0 at the 13:56 mark of the first period.
Ontario would finally get on the board when forward Alex Turcotte tipped a shot from the blue line past Eagles goaltender Adam Werner to slice the deficit to 2-1 with 1:12 remaining in the opening 20 minutes.
Still on top 2-1 as play began in the second period, Colorado would push its lead back to a pair when Burroughs buried a wrister from the high slot to make it 3-1 in favor of the Eagles at the 10:52 mark of the middle frame.
A power play for the Reign later in the period would set up Turcotte to track down a rebound on top of the crease and snap a shot that would light the lamp and trim Colorado’s lead to 3-2 with 8:22 remaining in the second stanza.
Another loose puck on top of the crease would prove costly for Colorado, as Ontario forward Arthur Kaliyev would snag the puck and feed a backhander past Werner to tie the game at 3-3 at the 14:09 mark of the period.
The two teams would hit the ice for the final 20 minutes with the contest still tied at 3-3, but would end up combining for six goals in the third period. It would begin when Vecchione snapped a shot from the left-wing circle that would beat Villalta and put the Eagles back in the driver’s seat, 4-3 just 4:23 into the period.
A subsequent power play would generate an equalizer for the Reign, as forward Akil Thomas would deflect a shot from the point into the back of the net to tie the game at 4-4 at the 5:46 mark of the final frame.
Ontario would claim its first lead of the afternoon when Turcotte stuffed home a rebound to round out the hat trick. The tally would also give the Reign a 5-4 edge with 7:03 left to play in the game.
Colorado would draw even just minutes later, as defenseman Justin Barron sliced through the left-wing circle before fielding a cross-slot pass and burying a shot for his first professional goal. The marker would also knot the score at 5-5 at the 14:59 mark of the third period.
Just 1:07 later, Vecchione would score his second goal of the night when he lunged towards the crease along the ice and fed a loose puck past Villalta to put the Eagles back on top, 6-5. Ontario would then pull Villalta in the final two minutes of the contest in favor of the extra attacker, but it would set up Vecchione to complete the hat trick with an empty-netter from his own zone to secure the 7-5 win with only 1:05 remaining in the contest.
The Eagles outshot the Reign, 36-27 as Colorado went 0-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill. The victory also brought to an end a four-game losing streak for the Eagles.
The Eagles will return to action when they take on the San Diego Gulls on Wednesday, May 12th at 7:05pm MT at the Budweiser Events Center. Fans can catch every game this season live on “The Home of the Colorado Eagles,” 92.9 The Bear or on AHLTV.