Colorado Eagles experiencing plenty of success in first AHL season

Credit: Colorado Eagles

As the Colorado Avalanche continue to have their good start to the season, their neighbors in Loveland are reflecting that success.

The Colorado Eagles currently are coming off of a weekend sweep against one of the top teams in the American Hockey League, the Tucson Roadrunners.

Beginning a new team in a new league can always be difficult, and fans had doubts following the Eagles struggling opening weekend against the Chicago Wolves — a weekend where the Eagles dropped both games.

Since opening weekend, the Eagles are holding a 6-2-2-0 record including a four-game winning streak over the San Antonio Rampage and the Ontario Reign to bounce back from the opening weekend mess against the Wolves.

So, what has helped the Eagles begin their first season as the Avs top affiliate on a good note? Let’s take a look:

A.J. Greer finding consistency

As we have seen A.J. Greer make multiple appearances on the Avalanche roster since he was drafted by the team in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, things continue to gel for him in the AHL. Greer remains at the top of the team’s scoring leaders with 10 points on the early season, including a team-leading seven assists through the nine games that Greer has played with the Eagles.

Due to his early success with the team, Greer earned himself a call-up to the main Avalanche roster on Nov. 3 prior to the Avalanche road swing in Canada against the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks.

Pavel Francouz continues to live up to reputation

After a successful career in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) last season, the hype surrounding Eagles goaltender Pavel Francouz is something that is evident through the way he has played to open up the season as Francouz holds a strong 6-1-0 record.

Due to his outstanding play to start off the regular season for the Eagles, Francouz sits in ninth in the AHL with a 2.32 goals against average, and eighth in the league with a convincing .922 save percentage.

Strong play from the Eagles rookie class

While they are not exactly lighting up the league, the play from the Eagles rookie class for this season has been able to help Colorado sustain an offense that allows them to win games.

Leading the charge for the Eagles rookie class is undrafted forward Logan O’Connor, who after earning himself a contract with the Colorado Avalanche following rookie camp, continues to perform for the Eagles. In the first 10 games of the season, O’Connor has recorded seven points.

Not far behind O’Connor, Avalanche draft picks Ty Lewis and Martin Kaut are in the middle of the pack with six and five points, respectively.

Penalty killing unit coming up big

While the Eagles power play unit still has left something to be desired with a woeful 15.4 percent success rate with the extra man, the Eagles have been extremely good on the penalty kill to kick off the season. Holding at 86.7 percent, the Eagles have earned themselves the fifth-best penalty killing unit in the AHL.

Wrapping it all up

If there is one thing for certain, the current state of hockey in Colorado is at a good place. The successes of the Denver Pioneers, Colorado Eagles and the Colorado Avalanche are fantastic. With the Eagles being able to find plenty of success in their inaugural season in the AHL and fresh off of a weekend sweep of the Tucson Roadrunners, Colorado currently sit in second place in the Pacific division.

The Eagles will be on the road this weekend against the struggling San Diego Gulls (3-3-1-1) for a two-game road swing that begins Friday, Nov. 9.

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