Mikhail Maltsev slipped a backhand home with four minutes to play in regulation, lifting Colorado to a 3-2 win over Coachella Valley in Game 2 of their Pacific Division semifinal series on Thursday night.
With the best-of-five series even at one win apiece, the teams head to Palm Desert for the final three games beginning Sunday evening.
Maltsev’s goal was his third in two nights and his fifth in five games against the Firebirds this season.
Cedric Paré netted a shorthanded goal for the Eagles — his fourth goal of the postseason — to give Colorado a 1-0 lead for the second game in a row.
Ryker Evans and Luke Henman gave Coachella Valley a lead, but Josh Jacobs scored with 2.5 seconds left in the second period to pull Colorado even heading into the third.
Jonas Johansson made his first career Calder Cup Playoff appearance and stopped 21 shots to earn the win for the Eagles.
Joey Daccord (3-2) made 35 saves for the Firebirds.
Pacific Division Semifinals (best-of-5)
P2-Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. P3-Colorado Eagles
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 26 – Coachella Valley 6, COLORADO 2
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 27 – COLORADO 3, Coachella Valley 2
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 30 – Colorado at Coachella Valley, 6:00
Game 4 – Wed., May 3 – Colorado at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*Game 5 – Fri., May 5 – Colorado at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern