West Valley City • The Colorado Eagles are in first place in the Mountain Division for a reason and Friday night at the Maverik Center they demonstrated why. Playing superb in all facets of the game, Colorado withstood a late Grizzly charge in skating to a 5-2 victory, further dampening Utah's precarious playoff hopes.

"I thought the difference was goal scoring, and we had plenty of chances in which we missed the net, and missing empty nets kills you," head coach Tim Branham said. "Saturday's game will be the biggest game of the year for us."

The Eagles stormed out of the gates with a pair of first-period goals and never looked back. Casey Pierro-Zabotel fired a deep shot from the blue line past Utah goalie Ryan Faragher for a 1-0 lead. Then, during a Utah shift change, Cam Maclise gathered a puck in the neutral zone and with nary a Grizzly in sight except Faragher, dumped the puck into the back of the net.

Utah managed just 12 shots on goal for the game.