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2023 Calder Cup Playoffs

AHL Pacific Division Semifinals Preview: Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. Colorado Eagles

AHL Pacific Division Semifinals Preview: Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. Colorado Eagles

PALM DESERT, Calif.  – Heavy hitters collide in the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. The consistent Eagles take on the constantly winning Firebirds in a playoff series bound to go the distance. 

Regular Season Records:

Coachella Valley – 48-17-5-2 (2nd in Pacific)

Colorado – 40-22-7-4 (3rd in Pacific)

How did they get here:

The Colorado Eagles had a date with the Ontario Reign in the opening round of the playoffs, resulting in a decisive 2-0 series win. 

The Firebirds took game one but fell quickly in game two, giving up three goals in the first period. They returned the favor by taking game three in California.


Series Schedule:

Wednesday, April 27: Coachella Valley at COLORADO – 7:05 p.m. MDT

Thursday, April 28: Coachella Valley at COLORADO – 7:05 p.m. MDT 

Sunday, April 30: Colorado at COACHELLA VALLEY – 3:00 p.m. PDT 

Wednesday, May 3: Colorado at COACHELLA VALLEY – 7:00 p.m. PDT

Friday, May 5: Colorado at COACHELLA VALLEY – 7:00 p.m. PDT  

Season Series:

Split at two wins each, three of the four games in the season series went to extra time. Colorado took the first two games, with the Firebirds taking the next two.

Firebirds leading scorer Max McCormick topped the scoring charts with two goals and two assists during their four-game series.

Mikhail Maltsev led the team in points during the season series, scoring three points through the three games he skated.

Both Justus Annunen and Joey Daccord registered fantastic numbers in the crease. Daccord wrote a 1.91 GAA and a 0.937 SVS% through his three starts, while Annunen carried a 2.28 GAA and a 0.923 SVS% in three starts.

How Coachella Valley Wins: 

Tighten up the defense: The back end during the series against the Roadrunners was questionable at best. Too often, the Firebirds challenged zone entries, yes, but when Tuscon got in, they let them shoot. That can’t happen against the Eagles. If you let the Eagles shoot, they will score.

And for Pete’s sake, you’re broadcasting on a radio station named “The Eagle,” just don’t for like five games or less.

How Colarado Wins: 

Minimize turnovers: Taking an extra moment or an extra step may do a world of wonders on a notably speedy team. Keeping the passes just a little cleaner in the second round will help with puck possession and eliminate time on their dangerous sticks.

Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2023 season!

    Zack Power covers the Toronto Marlies for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHMarlies.

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