The Salt Lake Golden Eagles fought back twice to tie the score, but couldn't come back a third time as the Kansas City Blades took a 5-3 victory Tuesday night at Kemper Arena.
The Eagles will try to avoid a two-game losing streak for the first time since October when they play the Blades again Wednesday night. The Eagles are now 16-13-2, while the Blades, who have won three of four, are 9-24-1.The Blades jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game on goals by Darin Smith and ex-Eagle Rick Barkovich.
But Salt Lake came back to tie it late in the period as Bryan Deasley tipped in a slapshot by Scott McCrady and Paul Kruse backhanded a shot in off an assist by Todd Harkins.
In the second period, K.C.'s Mike Kelfer scored off a breakaway, but Lyons came back and scored with an assist by Darren Banks.
However, late in the period Stu Kulak came out from behind the net to beat Steve Guenette, who suffered his second straight loss. The Eagles had a chance to tie the score midway through the third period, but C.J. Young's shot hit the right goalpost with 9:00 left in the game.
Ron Handy iced the game with his 21st goal, with less than five minutes left in the game.
"I thought we came out not as prepared as we'd like to be - we seemed fairly flat," said Salt Lake Coach Bob Francis. "They're a vastly improved team. They're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and they're playing with a purpose now."
The Eagles lost goalie Wayne Cowley, who has played sparingly the last month since Guenette came back from Calgary. Cowley has been loaned to Cincinnati of the East Coast Hockey League.