Colorado Avalanche: Enjoying My First AHL Eagles Game

LOVELAND,CO--NOVEMBER 28TH 2003--A sold out crowd watched the Colorado Eagles take on the Memphis RiverKings, at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland Colorado Friday evening. THE DENVER POST/ ANDY CROSS (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LOVELAND,CO--NOVEMBER 28TH 2003--A sold out crowd watched the Colorado Eagles take on the Memphis RiverKings, at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland Colorado Friday evening. THE DENVER POST/ ANDY CROSS (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche’s AHL affiliate, the Eagles, put on some entertaining shows. Watching them is also a good way to see the baby Avs.

The Colorado Avalanche’s AHL affiliate has always been a plane trip away, ranging from as far away as Cornwall, Ontario, to relative near in San Antonio, Texas. However, this season, that fact changed. The ECHL Colorado Eagles got promoted to the AHL as the Avalanche’s affiliate.

And they’re right up the I-25 just under an hour away from downtown Denver.

I wanted to go check out the baby Avs all along. Once my favorite youngster, Tyson Jost, got demoted, I knew the time was nigh. Besides, we got some Mad Max guy (Max McCormick, from Ottawa) who supposedly brings the Chaos. We’ve got our Musketeer, Martin Kaut, and the man we think is the future of our goal tending, Pavel Francouz.

The time was nigh, indeed.

Fun fact: If you want to attend an Eagles game, you’d better get your tickets early. I bought the night before, and I literally got the last ticket. The Budweiser Events Center seating capacity for hockey is just 5,289, and that sells out.

Here was my seat:

I was there to see some Martin Kaut action, whom the Colorado Avalanche chose at #16 in 2018:

Pavel Francouz started last night, so he didn’t get the start tonight. More’s the pity, because we’d all like to know if he’s the future of Avs goal tending:

Let’s face it, it was all about the Josty:

I made some other obeservations about players while watching the actual game.

Observations About the Players

Let’s just get it out of the way. I was there because I wanted to see how our prodigal forward was doing. In a word — fine. I didn’t watch last night’s game, but apparently Tyson Jost looked a little tentative. I was actually somewhat surprised he played because he’d been out with the unspecified “upper body, non-concussion” injury and hadn’t had a full-contact practice.

Anyway, he wasn’t tentative tonight. He was buzzing. His skating reminds me of Matt Duchene, and his hands are reminiscent of Alex Tanguay. And he is so clearly a force on the ice.

Jost also scored one of the Eagles’ two goals. It was a snipe of a shot. He had several other chances, including another sniper shot that just needed a tip-in that no one was able to give him.

I also checked out Martin Kaut. He didn’t have any points on the evening. However, I liked how he looked out there. He’s gotten comfortable with the North American game. He’s big, and that how he skates and plays.

More from Mile High Sticking

Michael Joly and Andrew Agozzino are two of the team’s best players. In fact, the latter represented the Eagles at the AHL All Star game. They’re both good players, but… I don’t know that I get the NHL vibe from them.

It’s a lack of speed and dynamism. For example, when I’m watching Jost, his feet, stick, and head are always moving. He’s clearly thinking the game so fast. Kaut just has presence on the ice. I don’t get any of those feelings from Joly or Agozzino.

Andrew Agozzino is 28 and has just 10 NHL games to his name. He’s a career AHLer, albeit a good one. The jury is still out on Joly. He’s signed just to an AHL contract. The 23-year-old has 11 goals and 14 assists this year. He’s speedy and dynamic.. like I said, the jury is still out.

Defenseman Mason Geertsen caught my eye. He plays a heavy game. He fights hard on the puck, and he’s got some definite grit. The big 23-year-old defenseman may not have the higher end skills of an NHL player, but he’s got some speed, too.

Other than that, I wish Sergei Boikov didn’t get injured last season. I feel like that really derailed his development.

Random Observations

Why is it that whenever you’re traveling to a place it seems to take longer than coming home? It seems that way to me anyway. Of course, going from downtown Denver to the Budweiser Events Center did take longer because of traffic – why traffic on a Saturday evening?

The journey takes about an hour — it’s roughly 55 miles. There are actually some wide open spaces between Denver and Loveland — it appears I’m so used to the city that wide open spaces freak me out. Like, why isn’t there anything in my peripheral vision?

Loveland is in Weld County, and that is a whole different world than Denver. The folk seem real nice, except for the one who tried to run me over in the parking lot. I gave him a right Bronx cheer ending with a Canadian “eh?” Some of the other folk in the parking lot were impressed.

Folk really do it up. It was 80s theme night, and I thought I was back in high school. They really made the 80s come alive:

They also quizzed the players for identifying 1980s icons — of course, none of them were even alive in the 80s:

Props for adding 1980sish Joe Sakic! (And props to all the players for recognizing him!)

dark. Next. Avs Need to Play the Youngsters

Anyway, the Colorado Eagles (like the Colorado Avalanche, but let’s not focus on that) did not get the result they wanted. Just like the Avs, they kept getting into trouble and heading to the penalty box. In the end, they lost 6-2.

So, no, Spencer Martin is probably not the goalie for the Avs future. Pavel Francouz, though… could be, could be.