LOVELAND, C.O. – The Henderson Silver Knights continue their road trip with the first of a two-game series against the Colorado Eagles. This will be the first contest between the two teams for the 2023-24 season.
The Silver Knights currently stand first in the Pacific Division and the AHL’s Western Conference with a 7-3-0 record. They are coming off a split series with the Abbotsford Canucks.
The Eagles, holding a 4-4-2 record, stand seventh in the Pacific Division and eighth in the conference. Two of those wins came this past weekend, both victories over the Ontario Reign.
Forward Mason Geertsen, who played for the Colorado Eagles both in the ECHL and the AHL, finds it both strange and exciting to return to Loveland. One of the challenges Geertsen is familiar with: Colorado’s home-ice advantage in the form of their high-altitude rink.
“First time back, obviously it’s been about four years. So it’s a little weird being back,” he said after Tuesday’s morning skate. “The altitude definitely affects you. But we’re got that under control today, and we’re going to be ready to go tonight. Just one of those things that you have to work through.”
The Silver Knights are confident that their gameplan, which has led them to seven wins so far this season, will stand up to the test that the Eagles’ elevation provides.
“Just staying simple, getting pucks in deep,” Geertsen added. “Letting our forecheck kind of drive our game there, that’s a big part of our game.”
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
- Forward Riley Tufte is tied with Adam Gaudette and Jiri Kulich to lead the AHL in goals scored with 9 in 8 games. Tufte also leads the Eagles in points with 12 (9G, 3A) in that span. On November 3, he scored a hattrick in Colorado’s 5-3 win over the Ontario Reign. He scored 35 points in 63 games with the Texas Stars last year, as well as playing in 3 NHL games with the Dallas Stars. He has also played in one game for the Avalanche this season.
- Goaltender Justus Annunen has started seven of Colorado’s nine games played. Over those games, Annunen is averaging 2.26 goals against with a .912 save percentage. He played 41 games for the Eagles last year, finishing the season with a 2.26 GAA and a .916 save percentage. He also played in two games for the Avalanche, finishing with a 3.58 GAA and a .854 save percentage at the NHL level.
- Forward Gage Quinney is day-to-day
- Forward Jakub Brabenec is day-to-day
- Forward Jakub Demek is day-to-day