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Eagles soar to opening night win over Vandals

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Cheney, Wash --  The line to enter the arena wound down the stairs of the EWU URC moments before doors opened for the Eagles home opener against the Idaho Vandals on Friday night. The energy and anticipation continued to build through the opening ceremonies, with a record, capacity crowd filling seats at the time the puck was dropped. 

It took the Eagles less than ninety seconds to open the scoring against the Idaho Vandals thanks to the quick stick work of a familiar face to Spokane hockey fans, former Spokane Brave, Greg Lind. Eastern Washington would add two more goals in the period courtesy of a laser shot from Senior Felix Allard and a second marker from Lind. 

Eastern would come out of the break and extend their lead with a highlight reel goal from Taylor Bargar, who used an Alexander Ovechkin like diving move to slide the puck past Vandals goaltender Austin Smith. The Eagles added another tally when Chad Haywood unleashed a laser of his own before Idaho answered with two powerplay goals from Dustin Doan and Dustin Pierce to close out the period with a 5-2 scoreline. 

The third period was all EWU as the Eagles took advantage of the Vandals' short bench and added six goals in the frame, including two from Branden Stevenson. The Eagles would hang on to win 11-2, giving senior goaltender Tyler O'Donnell his 10th career win in the ACHA, stopping 20 shots in the process. 

After the game, the Eagles were informed that due to several injuries incurred by the Vandals during the game, Idaho would not be able to field a full team for the second game of the series on Saturday night, forfeiting the contest and giving the Eagles their second win of the season. 

The EWU Eagles will head out on their first road trip of the year next week when they face the University of Washington Huskies in their first contest against a PAC8 opponent since joining the conference over the summer. EWU will return home to face the Oregon Ducks on October 5th and 6th at the EWU URC.
The EWU Eagles Hockey team is an ACHA D2 club program that plays in the PAC8 Conference. The team plays all home games at the EWU URC. Tickets for all home games can be purchased at the door for $5, EWU students with a valid student ID card will receive free admission. For an upcoming schedule and more information please visit the team website at
www.EWUACHAHockey.com or on Facebook by searching EWU Eagles Hockey.

Tyler Pisani