Blazers Split Weekend with Eagles, Drop Two
The Oklahoma City Blazers traveled to Greeley, Colorado this past weekend to take on the Northern Colorado Eagles. Riding a three-game sweep of the Pueblo Bulls the weekend prior, the Blazers were looking to come into the weekend and pick up big points in the standings in a battle of numbers two and three in the division standings.
Friday's game started out well for the Blazers, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after the first period, with a pair of goals from Benjamin St. Onge, and goals from Brig Neuhold and Andrei Vasile. The lead was cut into in the second however as penalty trouble plagued OKC, and the Eagles scored three times on the power play to make it a 4-3 game. The Blazers were able to get one back on the power play as well, as Matej Hajek scored to make it 5-3, which remained the score after two periods.
Northern Colorado tried mounting a comeback as the game wound down, scoring with 3:44 to go in regulation time, but the Blazers held on and took the win, as Joel Svensson made 39 saves in the win.
Saturday turned into a goaltender's battle, as Danick Francoeur and Marshall Murphy stood on their heads in the game. Despite a penalty-riddled second period and both teams trading penalties, the first goal of the game didn't come until the start of the third period, as the Eagles converted on an intercepted pass in the Blazers zone. Northern Colorado would seal the game with an empty net goal, picking up the 2-0 win and handing OKC their first shutout of the season.
Both goaltender's from Saturday remained in net for Sunday's contest as well, with the first half of the game proving advantageous for both teams, until the Eagles gained control and held on. Northern Colorado opened the scoring with 2:34 left in the first, but the Blazers would answer back in the second, scoring two straight goals from Neuhold and Jack Stevens to take a 2-1 lead. The Eagles tied things back up quickly, which would turn out to be the first of six straight goals for the Eagles.
As OKC trailed, they had a chance with a major power play to get some goals back, pulling Francoeur with more than 10 minutes to go in regulation to try and take advantage of the power play, but the Eagles would add some more into the empty net and the Blazers could never recover. As the final horn sounded, the Blazers fell by an 8-2 score to close out the weekend.
The Blazers return to Arctic Edge Ice Arena this weekend, as they welcome the Pueblo Bulls to OKC for a three-game set. With the Western States Shootout looming next week, the Blazers will be looking to rebound and gain back some points in the standings before heading to Las Vegas and closing out the 2019 half of the season.