Outliers sweep Eagles
This past weekend, the Utah Outliers traveled to Greeley, Colorado to take on the Northern Colorado Eagles. The Outliers had been riding high as they swept last weekend's series against the Pueblo Bulls and were looking to continue their momentum against the Eagles.
Utah Outliers 4, Northern Colorado Eagles 3 (Friday, Oct 29th, 2021)
In Friday's game, Utah struck early just 19 seconds into the game when Nikolas Schwab intercepted a pass in the Eagles zone and drove the net to score between the legs of the Eagles goaltender to give the Outliers a 1-0 lead.
The Outliers advantage would be short-lived as Northern Colorado answered back five minutes later when Brayden Fryfogle broke loose past the Outliers' defensemen on a breakaway and stuffed his shot past Utah goaltender Marco Felicetti to tie the game at 1-1.
In the second period, the game would settle in and both teams played a tight-checking game until the Outliers were finally able to break through at 11:51 on an offensive rush. Matt Kreczman gained control of the puck in the neutral zone and skated down the right side of the ice to enter the Eagles zone and prepare for a shot on net. Just as Kreczman was about to shoot he lost the handle on the puck but had the presence of mind to make a drop pass to teammate Nicklaus Obourn who was trailing the play. Obourn collected the pass and rifled a one-timer shot into the top corner to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
Once again the Eagles would answer quickly as just a couple of minutes later at 9:51 of the period, Colorado capitalized on the power-play goal. It was Eagles forward Brayden Fryfogle who scored his second goal of the game when he ripped a shot from the top of the circles past Felicettit to even the game at 2-2.
Just five minutes into the third period, Utah took a 3-2 lead when defenseman Magnus Einarson did a good job keeping the puck in the Eagles' zone at the blue line and passed it down low to Luke Norman who was positioned in the corner. Norman then made a cool centering pass to the front of the net where he found Nikolas Schwab all alone. Schwab would make no mistake and score his second goal of the night as he buried his shot past the Eagles' goaltender.
The Outliers held on to their 3-2 lead for the win and took game one of the series. Marco Felicetti stood tall all night for Utah making several key saves to keep his team in the lead and help the road team skate off with the victory.
Utah Outliers 4, Northern Colorado Eagles 2 (Saturday, October, 30th 2021)
Saturday's game displayed a crazy comeback by the Outliers as the road team made a huge push in the third period to come back and steal a win from Northern Colorado.
The first period saw a lot of back and forth action between both teams as well as some strong physical play. Neither team wanted to give an inch to their opponent which made it challenging to produce offense. When some solid scoring chances were generated by either club, both goalies were up to the task and would stand tall to keep the score tied at 0-0 heading into the first intermission.
In the second period, the Eagles came out strong and capitalized on a power-play goal, and began taking control of the game. Outliers' goaltender Marco Felicetti made many great saves to keep his team in the game. The second period was about to end with Northern Colorado eagles ahead 2-0 but just as the buzzer was to sound, an Eagles player took a 5-minute major penalty for boarding. This would give Utah a chance to start on the power play heading into the third period.
The third period started with the Outliers controlling the play and working the puck on the power play in the Eagles zone. Although Utah generated some quality chances, they were unable to score and Northern Colorado would escape the major penalty without paying for it on the scoreboard.
The score remained 2-0 in favor of the Eagles until 9:15 of the third period when the Outliers mounted their comeback. Utah's first goal of the game occurred off an offensive zone face-off where defenseman Magnus Einarson fired a shot from the blue line that found its way past the Eagles goaltender to narrow Colorado's lead to 2-1.
Just 40 seconds later, it was another Utah defenseman making a difference for his team when Jakub Suran collected a pass at the blue line and rifled a shot from the point that was tipped in front of the net by Nicklaus Obourn. The Outliers had tied the game up at 2-2 with 8:32 remaining in the contest.
The Outliers would score again to take a 3-2 lead at the 5:32 mark when Austin Tessier made a great defensive play in his own end by blocking an Eagles shot from the point. The blocked shot by Tessier went off his shin pads and onto the stick of teammate Parker Williams. Williams gathered the puck at his blue line and broke free for a breakaway on the Eagles net. Williams made a solid move and took the puck to his forehand where he roofed his shot past the colorado netminder.
Utah would add one more goal to their comeback for good measure when Will Cohen won a board battle in the Eagles' zone and made a centering pass to Nicklaus Obourn who converted his shot into the top corner of the net to make it 4-2 and give Utah an impressive comeback win.
Utah Outliers Northern Colorado Eagles (October 31st, 2021)
Sunday's game took place on Halloween and the Outliers were determined to put a scare on the Eagles and take home the win, sweeping the series.
Just minutes into the game, Northern Colorado would be called for two straight penalties to give Utah a 5 on 3 power-play advantage. The Outliers made the Eagles pay on the power play as they demonstrated some good puck movement that resulted in defenseman Matthew Koepke loading up for a one-timer shot that he drilled into the top corner for a 1-0 Utah lead. The period ended that way with Outliers goaltender Garrett Alderman making some quality saves to keep the Eagles off the scoreboard.
In the second period, the Outliers started fast and furious as they scored with just a little over a minute into the frame. Defenseman Kai Stothers took a pass near his blue line while his team was regrouping and skated down the right wing and entered the Eagles' zone where he shot at the net. Stothers shot went off the Eagles goalie and right onto the stick of Trent Gephart who drove the net and was rewarded with burying the rebound for a 2-0 Outliers lead as they headed into the intermission.
The third period had the Outliers scoring on an early power play to seal the game. At 15:41 of the third, Utah defenseman Magnus Einarson took a heavy shot from the point that would leave a juicy rebound for Matt Kreczman to pounce on and place the rebound into the back of the net to make it a 3-0 win.
The Outliers skated off the ice with the victory and the sweep of the series. Garrett Alderman was fantastic in net for Utah as he stopped everything that came his way including some big saves towards the end of the game.