May 10, 2023
By: Drew Galyardt
The 2022-23 season has come to an end for Colorado after finishing with a 6-2-2 record through their final 10 games of the season, and a two-game sweep of the Ontario Reign before falling in 5 games to the Coachella Valley Firebirds.
The month of April started off in a very promising way for Colorado, fighting for playoff positioning with Abbotsford, the Eagles snagged at least one point in every game leading up to the end of the season that landed them third place in the Pacific Division.
This third-place finish cemented the Eagles’ matchup with the Ontario Reign in the first round of the playoffs in a best-of-three series at the Budweiser Events Center. After a come from behind 3-2 win in overtime in game one, the Eagles took that momentum in a 6-4 win in game number two to advance to the second round against second place Coachella Valley in a best-of-five series.
After a dominating Firebirds win in game one, Colorado came out swinging in game two, scoring a goal in each period leading to a 3-2 win to split the series at the BEC before heading out to Palm Desert for the final three. In game three, neither team found the back of the net until overtime, where Colorado ended it just 1:40 into the extra frame to give Colorado a 2-1 series lead. Colorado had their chances in game four, coming from behind to tie the game twice, but a shorthanded goal from the Firebirds under 3 minutes left in the game forced a winner-take-all game number five. That game was one to forget for the Eagles, as their season ended in a 5-0 loss to Coachella Valley.
Colorado’s specialty teams struggled a bit down the stretch, finishing the season tied for 21st in the league on the powerplay, but 17th in the league on the penalty kill. Charles Hudon finished first in the league for power play goals with 17PPG and first on the team in points with 29 goals, 25 assists, and 54 points in 61 games this season. Alex Galchenyuk hopped over Jean-Luc Foudy to lead the team in assists with 26 on the season and finished second in points with 42 in just 42 games played this season. Colorado’s goaltending was a very bright spot for the Eagles, as Jonas Johannsen finished third in the AHL in GAA with 2.33, and fourth in the league in save percentage at .920. Justus Annunen finished his season with a 22-10-8 record, a 2.55 GAA, and a .916 save percentage. Newcomer Keith Kinkaid finished his Eagles season with a 12-10-4 record, a 2.92 GAA, and a .911 save percentage.
While this was a disappointing end for the Eagles, the overall season was a great success. With the injuries to the Avalanche and not playing with a full normal roster a majority of the season, the Eagles stepped up in a big way and provided support to the parent club to get them back into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The team did all of this while fighting their way to the end to finish in third in a competitive 10 team Pacific Division. While both the Avs and Eagles seasons have come to an end, this remains a good time to reflect on the successes of the past year and learn from mistakes to recover, reload, and refocus on the task at hand in the upcoming season.
The Eagles are currently still accepting deposits for Season Tickets and Mini Plans for the 2023-2024 season. More information can be found at coloradoeagles.com or by calling the ticket office at 970-686-SHOT.
Drew Galyardt is in his fifth season as the in-studio host and show producer for the Colorado Eagles radio broadcasts on 99.9 The Point. He also works in the Eagles front office as an Account Executive for the ticketing department