The Colorado Eagles defeated the Ontario Reign 5-4 in overtime on Tuesday night in its first play-in game of the Pacific Division Playoffs at FivePoint Arena in Irvine, California.
Rookie defenseman Justin Barron ended the contest at 9:00 of OT with a wrist shot during a rush up the ice to keep the Colorado Avalanche's American Hockey League affiliate's playoffs alive. It was the first game-winning goal of Barron's pro career, and he also added two assists in the outing.
The contest featured five different lead changes, with the Eagles' Keaton Middleton leading the club in scoring by registering four points (two goals, two assists). T.J. Tynan put together a multi-point effort as well (one goal, one assist), and Riley Woods also scored for Colorado.
The Eagles jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first stanza but subsequently fought back from two different one-goal deficits. Middleton tallied the game-tying, short-handed marker with 8:47 left in the third period before Barron notched the overtime-winner midway through the extra frame.
Colorado goaltender Adam Werner made 27-of-31 saves, as Ontario held a 31-29 edge in shots in the contest.
The Eagles move on to face the San Jose Barracuda on Wednesday at 8 p.m. MT in the second play-in game, another win-or-go home matchup for the final spot in the postseason. The winner of the Colorado-San Jose matchup will then face the No. 1-seed Henderson Silver Knights in a best-of-three semifinals beginning on Friday.
Main photo on top courtesy of @ColoradoEagles Twitter account