Thursday, January 15, 2009

Eagles Soar Above CHL All-Stars

Loveland, Colorado – The 2009 CHL All-Star Game took on a unique format on Wednesday night at the Budweiser Events Center in Northern Colorado with the host team, the Colorado Eagles, taking on a team of CHL All-Stars. The game featured an “Old Time Hockey” theme and the players on the ice brought that slogan into the world of reality with a highly-competitive, intense game in front of a sellout crowd of 5,219.

For complete All-Star Game Box Score visit

The Eagles lit up the crowd with a five-goal third period en route to an 8-4 victory.

The star of the night was Konrad Reeder as the first-year Eagle earned the game’s Most Valuable Player Award with four goals and an assist. Laredo’s Darryl Smith Earned the MVP Award for the CHL All-Stars scoring a goal with an assist.

In the game, it took 72 seconds for teamwork to show its value as the Eagles rushed the puck into the offensive zone making three passes that culminated with a Konrad Reeder one-timer from the left circle. Kevin Ulanski and Ed McGrane earned the assists with Ulanski’s cross-ice pass setting up the Reeder blast at 1:12 of the first period. It was the sixth point in all-star play for Reeder and the first of five points on the night (he notched a goal and four assists in last year’s contest for the Southern Conference).

Some intricacies of the game showed later in the period, ones that you don’t usually see in an all-star game as Eagles defenseman Tom Reimann went to a knee to block a Russ Moyer blast and the first hit of the game came from who else, Fraser Filipic, who knocked New Mexico defenseman Aaron MacInnis to the ice with a hard check to the left of the all-star’s net.

The Eagles extended their lead at the 8:41 mark with a history-making goal from Greg Pankewicz who turned and beat all-star goaltender Andy Franck for his ninth career all-star goal setting the all-time CHL record for goals in all-star play. Erik Adams and Reeder earned the assists. Pankewicz is also the all-star leader with 18 points.

The first penalty in an all-star game since 2006 was called at the 14:55 mark on Colorado’s Steve Haddon for hooking. The all-stars were unable to convert on the power play.

A majority of the remainder of the period belonged to Eagles goaltender Andrew Penner (19-1-1 on the season) who stopped 17 straight shots to begin the game before being beat by Rio Grande Valley rookie defenseman Nicolas Dumoulin who pinched in on the left wing and took a laser pass from Amarillo defenseman Sam Ftorek and pushed it past Penner at the 19:15 mark.

The score was 2-1 after one period with the CHL All-Stars outshooting the Eagles 18-9.

The CHL All-Stars needed just 23 seconds to tie the score in the second period with Laredo rookie Darryl Smith taking a pass that was banked off the wall by Odessa’s Dominic Leveille and quickly snapping it over the shoulder of Penner.

Laredo goaltender Sebastien Centomo began the period in net ending the night Franck who finished with seven saves on nine shots.

The all-stars had a chance to take the lead with a second power play chance but again failed to convert but instead shortly after the penalty expired fell behind again. The go-ahead goal was scored by Reeder (his third point of the night) assisted by Ed McGrane who made a great pass to the back door for Reeder to finish. McGrane and Reimann earned the assists giving the Eagles a 3-2 lead.

Penner’s night was done leading 3-2 when he was pulled at the 9:04 mark for Morgan Cey. Penner ended his outstanding night with 25 saves on 27 shots.

Cey was welcomed to the game rather quickly facing a flurry of scoring chances from the all-stars and was most noticeable with about six minutes remaining in the period stopping Bossier-Shreveport’s Travis Clayton after Leveille found him with a behind the back pass. Cey followed that up by robbing Ftorek in front of the net in what looked like a sure score.

The all-stars tied the game on a two-man rush up the ice led by Odessa defenseman Russ Moyer who played give-and-go with Mississippi’s Bobby Chaumont and eventually went to the backhand lifting a shot by Cey. Chaumont drew the only assist on the Moyer goal which tied the score at three goals apiece after two periods. The all-stars outshot the Eagles 19-11 in the period and led 37-20 in the game.

Reeder continued his magnificent night early in the final period when he took a pass from Pankewicz and scored his third goal of the night at the 1:12 mark of the period. The hat trick gave the Eagles a 4-3 lead in the game.

Colorado added to their lead by taking advantage of an all-star turnover. McGrane intercepted a pass, was slick with the puck, pulled it away from the opposition and snapped it by Centomo extending the lead to 5-3 at the 4:02 mark.

The Eagles started to pull away later in the period with Riley Nelson banging a one-timer by Centomo on the power play at the 5:13 mark. Scott Polaski and Ryan Tobler earned the helpers pushing the score to 6-3.

Reeder’s storybook night continued with a shorthanded goal giving Colorado a 7-3 lead at the 8:26 mark of the final period. Kevin Ulanski was given the assist.

Jay Birnie got in on the scoring act scoring late in the third period adding to the Eagles lead and giving the club a five-goal third period. Aaron Schneekloth and Tobler assisted on the goal scored at the 15:12 mark of the frame.

The all-star got a late power play and responded with Joel Irving scoring a goal cutting the lead to 8-4 with just over a minute remaining. Smith and MacInnis earned the assists for the all-stars.

The final shots in the game favored the all-stars 47-30. Cey finished the night making 20 saves in just over half of the game and earned the win. Centomo stopped 16 shots taking the loss for the all-stars.

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