Bossier-Shreveport 2 at Colorado 3 (OT)
at the Budweiser Events Center
| Game Live
: Colorado leads best-of-7 series 1-0
: Game Two -Saturday, May 14 at Colorado (7:05 PM MST)
1. Matt Glasser
(COL) – scored game winning goal in OT
2. Riley Nelson
(COL) – one goal, one assist, +2
3. David Rutherford
(BOS) – one goal, game-high seven shots on goal
COL- Kyle Jones
(Win - 29 saves, 2 goals allowed)
BOS- John DeCaro
(Loss – 25 saves, 3 goals allowed)
The Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Finals got underway on Friday night and the Colorado Eagles and the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs put on a show in front of a sellout crowd at the Budweiser Events Center with the home team Eagles coming away with a 3-2 overtime win.
It was the 14th all-time playoff meeting between the Eagles and Mudbugs and the fifth time the two teams needed overtime to decide the winner in their head-to-head post-season match-ups.
Former University of Denver star Matt Glasser was the hero coming off the bench to take a pass and blast a shot past John DeCaro for his second goal of the post-season and first professional overtime game winner.
The teams got off to a quick start with some big hits and a few early scoring chances, most by the Mudbugs. Kyle Jones looked like he was picking up right where he left off in his Game 7 masterpiece in the conference finals.
The Mudbugs were awarded the first power play of the period with XX going off for hooking but the Eagles penalty kill, second best of any team in the playoffs, was stellar allowing few chances. Later in the frame, the Eagles go t their chance with the man advantage and they too failed despite some solid puck movement.
With about five minutes remaining in the period, the Mudbugs had possibly the best scoring chance of the opening frame when Nick Layton fired a shot from the right wing that Jones gave a big rebound to his right where David Rutherford had some room but could not find the back of the net.
The Eagles picked up their fore check in the final four minutes of the period and played maybe their best hockey of the opening period. But after 20 minutes, neither team was able to find the back of the net as the Mudbugs outshot the Eagles 9-6.
Colorado did a nice job in the face-off circles winning 12 of 18 draws.
The ‘Bugs power play got another chance early in the second period after Kip Workman tripped up Andy Contois. With the man advantage, Bossier-Shreveport was ineffective managing just one shot on net.
At the 15:53 mark, the Eagles scored the game’s first goal on a turnover behind the Mudbugs net. Riley Nelson took a puck away from an errant exchange behind DeCaro’s net and passed it in front to Daymen Rycroft who connected for his fifth goal of the post-season and first since his two-goal effort in Game 3 of the Rapid City series.
On the power play, the Mudbugs evened the score. A nice save on the boards led to a Jamie Milam blast that ate up Jones giving Jeff Kyrzakos a pair of rebound chances that he ultimately buried for his ninth goal of the playoffs (tied for the most in the CHL) and sixth power play goal (best in the league). Shawn Limpright and Milam had the assists on the goal scored at the 11:35.
The Mudbugs had a great chance to take their first lead late in the period when Joe Grimaldi was whistled for a four minute high sticking call but during the ‘Bugs four-minute power play, Bossier-Shreveport was called for a holding penalty that had the teams skating four-on-four until the end of the middle frame.
Bossier-Shreveport outshot the Eagles 10-6 in the period and held a 19-12 shot advantage through four minutes as Jones had 18 saves and DeCaro 11 stops through two periods.
In the third period, the Mudbugs appeared to have turned the tide definitively in their favor controlling offensive play and getting the most opportunities while limiting the Eagles chances but that all changed with a beautiful redirection by Nelson off a centering pass from Kevin Ulanski at the 5:24 mark giving Colorado a 2-1 lead.
A slashing penalty in the offensive zone by the Mudbugs with just over six minutes left gave Colorado a chance to put the game away but the Mudbugs penalty kill was able to stop the Eagles giving themselves a chance down the stretch.
And what a stretch drive it was, Rutherford capped off an unbelievable period for himself with a sniper-like shot that beat Jones on the stick side just sneaking inside the far post. Earlier in the period, Rutherford made a spectacular individual effort doing a complete 360 before getting a shot off that just missed. He later snapped a pass to the front of the net that created a backhanded effort for Justin Aikins that also was denied by Jones.
The tying goal for Rutherford was his fifth in his last five games and tied him for the league-lead with nine in the post-season and more importantly it sent the game to overtime.
Through three periods, the Mudbugs outshot the Eagles 28-20.
In the early stages of overtime, each team had a prime chance with Nelson blasting one from the top of the left wing circle that was gobbled up by DeCaro and Brett Smith’s slapper from between the circles was stopped by Jones.
The Eagles finally ended the contest at the 8:26 mark of the overtime with the rookie Glasser blasting his shot into the net and gaining instant playoff hero status.
The teams will play again on Saturday night in Game 2 at the Budweiser Events Center.