Outliers face Eagles in Mountain Division finals
The Utah Outliers will play host to the Northern Colorado Eagles in the Mountain Division finals. The two teams will play a best-of-three series with the winner advancing to the USPHL National Championship in New Hampshire.
The Outliers held a distinctive advantage over the Eagles for most of the regular season, winning 7 of their 9 contests against Northern Colorado. Although Utah had the majority of victories against the Eagles, both of the Outliers defeats occurred recently in the month of February.
Utah enters the playoff series with a record of 39-6-4. The team finished the regular season scoring 199 goals and allowing 113 against. Northern Colorado will enter the series with a record 29-20-1, scoring 171 goals and allowing 137 against.
One similar key statistic between the two teams is their low number of penalty minutes. The Eagles enter the series with the second-lowest penalty minutes (660) in the Mountain Division during the regular season while the Outliers ranked first in lowest assessed penalty minutes in the division at (572).
Offensively, the Eagles are led by five players with more than 30 points. Brayden Fryfogle leads the team with 53 points. Evan Wammes and Bayly Fryfogle are the key pieces on the backend as they lead all defensemen in points for their club. In goal, Northern Colorado is in good hands with netminder Charles-Anthony Barbeau between the pipes. He has proven to be rock solid all season long and has been a key factor for the Eagles' roster. Back-up goaltender, Brendan Smith has also played some big games for his team.
Utah's offense has been well-balanced for most of the season as the club has five players with 15 goals or more. Matthew Koepke and Magnus Einarson lead the backend with over 65 points between the pair of defensemen. In net, the Outliers are well protected with Garrett Alderman and Lucas Brine expected to carry the load for the team in the finals.
Forward Parker Williams is looking forward to a hard-fought series and a chance to advance to Nationals.
"We're excited about this series against NOCO and we know it's going to be a tough, grinding battle. We have had some very competitive games against them but I know we are ready to play our best hockey and having our home fans behind us will also give us a big advantage." - Parker Williams
Miles McCue believes Utah is ready to build on its momentum from its sweep of the Pueblo Bulls.
"Our team is pumped to be playing in the Mountain Division finals. The guys know that the Eagles have a solid team but we are also very confident in our abilities and were prepared for this matchup. We need to continue to play our brand of Outliers hockey and just stick to our identity. We recognize we are one series away from clinching a berth to Nationals and we are determined to punch our ticket to New Hampshire." - Miles McCue