by Paul Taylor

The Utah Outliers are set to take on the Colorado Jr. Eagles this weekend in a huge three game series. The six points that are up for grabs are the most important that they have been all season as both the Outliers and Eagles are only separated by three points (Outliers 71 to Eagles 68). First place not only ensures home ice advantage, but also grants the team a week off to rest with a first round bye. With the Ogden Mustangs having the weekend off, this is a chance for both teams to advance in points. 

Colorado comes to Utah with a lot of veterans and a deep roster filled with experience. Leading the charge is Carter Dahl, who currently sits at 24 goals and 24 assists. Cory Richardson leads the back end in scoring and is also second on the team in points with 46. New additions Tom Ignatovich (Seattle), Dawson Keay (Valencia), and Nick Lund (NAHL) have also made their presence felt since joining the club. In net, Braden Lajoie is having a strong season with 21 wins and only 7 losses. New goaltender Will Mcewen also has earned 2 wins.

Brandon Krumpschmid leads the way up front in Utah with 28 goals and 37 assists. Zack Hoffman and Jacob Wanstrom are close behind with 63 and 61 points respectively. Kane Toriumi has hit the 30-goal mark, and five other players have hit over 20. Dawson Rodin still controls the blue paint with 19 wins, and newcomer Cedric Lesieur has earned one win in as many starts.

This is the second meeting between the two Mountain Division rivals. They met way back in October at the NOCO Ice Center in Fort Collins. In the previous series, Colorado took two of three against Utah in a very tight series. Both teams have changed tremendously since then so it should be interesting to see how they stack up. 

Friday puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM at the Acord Ice Center. Saturday night is a special event game at the Maverick Center at 2:45 PM before the Utah Grizziles take on the Wichita Thunder in an ECHL contest. Sunday will start at 12:05 PM back at the Accord Ice Center. This weekend is your last chance to see the Outliers during the regular season, so don’t miss out!