Now that they're back on the winning track, the question for the Golden Eagles is, "Can they keep it up?"
The Eagles (5-7-1) coasted to a pair of victories over the expansion Kansas City Blades over the weekend, 6-1 and 8-4. However, the independent Blades happen to be the worst team in the International Hockey League right now with a 2-11 record.A better test for Salt Lake will come this week when the Phoenix Roadrunners (5-5-1) return for a couple of games Wednesday and Friday in the Salt Palace. When the two rivals met last Wednesday, the Roadrunners were 6-4 winners.
Eagle Coach Bob Francis wasn't concerned that his team's easy wins came against Kansas City. "These were two big games for us and the guys deserve a lot of credit," he said. "The guys perservered and made it happen."
Francis said his team might have been "looking at the standings a little early." But the latest two victories moved the Eagles into a temporary second-place tie in the IHL West (now they're tied with Phoenix for third). "We put ourselves right back in the race," said Francis.
The Eagles will have to make due without Marc Bureau, who was called up to Calgary Sunday. Bureau broke out of a mild scoring slump with four goals and four assists in the two weekend games. "We just have to make the adjustments," said Francis.
At least the Eagles still have Martin Simard, who was named IHL player of the week after scoring seven goals in his first three games back following a hand injury.
Phoenix will be well-rested, not having played since a 4-3 home loss to Muskegon on Friday.