DENVER – The Colorado Eagles came into March with a little more spring in their step. Taking two of their three games against the Tucson Roadrunners, the Eagles closed out February with their first series win of the 2021 regular season.
Now, it’s time for Colorado to face the top team in the Pacific Division — the Henderson Silver Knights.
The Eagles will host the Silver Knights for their first ever series against one another on March 5-6 & 8. Here’s a quick preview breaking down each squad heading into their three games in four days.
HENDERSON SILVER KNIGHTS
- Overall Record: 8-1-0 (.889); 16 points, first place of out seven in Pacific Division, second out of 28 teams league-wide
- Home Record: 5-0-0 (1.000)
- Road Record: 3-1-0 (.750)
- Power Play: Six goals on 35 attempts (17.14%, 11th in the AHL)
- Penalty Kill: 5 goals allowed on 37 attempts (86.49%, 5th)
- Goals For Per Game: 3.44 (8th)
- Goals Against Per Game: 1.78 (1st)
- Shots For Per Game: 26.44 (26th)
- Shots Against Per Game: 29.33 (11th)
Where to start? Henderson has a number of players popping off the stats sheet. Defenseman Ryan Murphy leads all d-men in scoring (3G + 7A = 10 PTS), three Silver Knights goaltenders sit in the top 13 league-wide for goals against average (Dylan Ferguson, 0.00; Logan Thompson, 1.81; Oscar Dansk, 2.00), and left winger Jack Dugan leads all rookies in assists (eight) and is tied for third in overall rookie scoring with nine total points.
This is most obviously a year of firsts in Henderson’s inaugural season, but it’s not the first time a team from Nevada has skated against the Eagles. For three seasons in the ECHL, the Las Vegas Wranglers played against Colorado a total of 32 times. The Wranglers went 14-18-0 versus the Eagles from 2011-2014, with the last game between the two clubs taking place almost seven years ago on March 22, 2014 (a 5-4 shootout win for Colorado).
- Overall Record: 3-3-2 (.500); 8 points, fourth place of out seven in Pacific Division, 16th out of 28 teams league-wide
- Home Record: 2-0-1 (.833)
- Road Record: 1-3-1 (.300)
- Power Play: Two goals on 34 attempts (5.88%, 28th in the AHL)
- Penalty Kill: Five goals allowed on 29 attempts (82.76%, 10th)
- Goals For Per Game: 2.38 (25th)
- Goals Against Per Game: 2.75 (7th)
- Shots For Per Game: 34.63 (1st)
- Shots Against Per Game: 30.75 (19th)
Joining the Eagles before the start of the Tucson series (February 24). forwards Liam O’Brien and Jayson Megna have three points in their last three games. During that Roadrunners series, a new netminder was in goal for each of those three matches: Hunter Miska on Wednesday, Peyton Jones on Friday, and Trent Miner on Saturday. Miska and Miner came away victorious (3-1 and 1-0, respectively), while Jones suffered an overtime loss (4-3). Miner also earned his first professional shutout on February 27.
Playing in their third AHL season, the Eagles are beginning to whittle away at the number of teams that they haven’t played against since joining the league in 2018. Colorado can cross 12 teams off that list, with all of them residing in the Western Conference: Chicago, San Antonio, Ontario, Iowa, Tucson, San Diego, Stockton, Bakersfield, San Jose, Manitoba, Milwaukee, and Texas (since the Vegas Golden Knights purchased San Antonio in 2019 and relocated the team to Henderson, Colorado will technically be facing the same franchise under a new identity come Friday).