The Colorado Eagles have snatched home-ice advantage away from the Toledo Walleye with a 4-3 road victory on Saturday night to level the best-of-seven ECHL Western Conference Finals. Matt Register registered the game-winning goal to send things back to Colorado tied at one game apiece.
Evan Rankin gave the home team an early lead, pushing one past Lukas Hafner from the top of the crease. The Eagles would respond in dominant fashion, though, with three goals to close out the opening period. Forwards Jake Marto, Julien Nantel and Alex Belzile all found the back of the net to put Toledo on their heels. Belzile also had a pair of assists to up his league-leading goal and point totals to 12 and 20, respectively.
The Walleye wouldn’t go down without a fight, though. J.P. LaFontaine grabbed a loose puck on a Colorado turnover and Kyle Bonis finished the job to bring Toldeo within one. Register, the ECHL Defenseman of the Year, capitalized on a power play to score the eventual game winning goal early in the third period, as Bonis scored again for Toledo in the third. Hafner stood up down the stretch, even against an extra attacker, to seal the win for Colorado.
The series now moves to Colorado for the next three games. It will be Toledo’s first-ever trip to the Budweiser Events Center. Game Three is Wednesday, May 17 at 7:05 p.m. MDT.
Featured Image Credit: Colorado Eagles