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Idaho Steelheads

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Idaho Steelheads
City: Loveland, Colorado
League: ECHL
Conference: Western
Division: West
Founded: 2003 (In the CHL)
Home Arena: Budweiser Events Center
Colors: Black, gold, white
Owner(s): Colorado Eagles Professional Hockey LLC
General Manager: Chris Stewart
Head Coach: Chris Stewart
Media: The Coloradoan
Loveland Reporter-Herald
Affiliates: Independent
Franchise history
2003–present: Colorado Eagles
Regular Season Titles: 3 (2005, 2006, 2009)
Division Championships: 7 (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2016)
Conference Championships: 5 (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011)
Ray Miron President's Cup: 2 (2005, 2007)

The Colorado Eagles are a professional ice hockey team based in Loveland, Colorado. The Eagles play in the West Division of the ECHL's Western Conference.

The Eagles were founded as an expansion franchise in 2003 in the Central Hockey League and remained in the league until June 2011. During their time in the CHL, the Eagles won two Ray Miron President's Cups, three regular season titles, five conference titles and six division titles in eight seasons. The Eagles play at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland and serves the Fort Collins-Loveland metropolitan area.

Franchise history Edit

Central Hockey League era (2003–2011) Edit

The franchise was founded in 2003 by former Montreal Canadiens player Ralph Backstrom.[1] The Eagles advanced to the playoffs in their first season and won the CHL championship in their second season, 2004–05. They won their division in 2005–06, but lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, after having defeated the Oklahoma City Blazers in the first round. They would again win the CHL Championship in 2006–07, defeating the Laredo Bucks four games to two in the Cup Finals.

After the 2007–08 season, coach Chris Stewart retired, and Kevin McClelland was named as his replacement. Following the 2009–10 season, McClelland was not retained and Stewart - who had been working as team President and GM since leaving the bench - resumed head coaching duties. Stewart is currently President, GM and Head Coach.

During the 2008–09 season, the Eagles hosted the 2009 CHL All-Star Game and took on a group of CHL All-Stars from various teams. The exhibition took place on January 14, 2009 at the Budweiser Events Center, with the Eagles defeating the CHL All-Stars, 8-4.

Move to ECHL (2011–present) Edit

During the 2011 Ray Miron President's Cup playoffs, the Eagles had been rumored to be transferring to the ECHL following the completion of the playoffs.[2][3] Former International Hockey League commissioner Dennis Hextall has stated that he had heard that the Colorado Eagles may already be included in the ECHL's tentative schedule for the 2011–12 season.[4]

On May 29, 2011, KEVN-TV in Rapid City, South Dakota reported that Colorado was to move to the ECHL in time for the 2011–12 season.[5] The following day, the team announced that they would have a press conference on May 31 at the Budweiser Events Center and that local media were urged to attend and fans urged to listen to the press conference online or on a local radio station.[6] At the press conference, Head Coach, General Manager and President Chris Stewart announced that the team had been accepted as an expansion franchise in the ECHL for the 2011–12 season.

In August 2011, the Eagles were assigned to the Western Conference's Mountain Division as part of the league realignment for the 2011–12 ECHL season.[7]

They served as the second-tier affiliate of the National Hockey League's Winnipeg Jets and the American Hockey League's St. John's IceCaps until the end of the 2012–13 hockey season[8] and then as the Calgary Flames and Adirondack Flames affiliate during the 2014–15 season.

Season recordsEdit

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, OTL = Overtime/shootout losses or tie, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Records as of end of the 2015–16 ECHL season.[9]

Season GP W L OTL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
Central Hockey League
2003–04 64 43 16 5 91 232 156 1453 1st, Northwest Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1–3 (Wichita)
2004–05 60 43 10 7 93 221 123 1345 1st, Northwest Ray Miron President's Cup Champions, 4–1 (Laredo)
2005–06 64 44 14 6 94 241 183 1898 1st, Northwest Lost in Conference Finals, 1–4 (Bossier-Shreveport)
2006–07 64 46 17 1 93 256 182 1944 1st, Northwest Ray Miron President's Cup Champions, 4–2 (Laredo)
2007–08 64 37 20 7 81 254 223 1637 1st, Northwest Lost in Ray Miron President's Cup Finals, 0–4 (Arizona)
2008–09 64 45 15 4 94 275 195 1429 1st, Northwest Lost in Ray Miron President's Cup Finals, 1–4 (Texas)
2009–10 64 42 15 7 91 277 208 1557 2nd, Northern Lost in Conference Semifinals, 0–4 (Bossier-Shreveport)
2010–11 66 40 22 4 84 250 199 1352 2nd, Turner Lost in Ray Miron President's Cup Finals, 3–4 (Bossier-Shreveport)
2011–12 72 38 28 6 82 250 252 1485 2nd, Mountain Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 0–3 (Stockton)
2012–13 72 34 31 7 75 239 224 1534 3rd, Mountain Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2–4 (Idaho)
2013–14 71 33 26 12 78 211 218 1158 4th, Mountain Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2–4 (Idaho)
2014–15 71 41 23 8 90 236 209 1457 3rd, Pacific Lost in Division Semifinals, 3–4 (Ontario)
2015–16 72 41 27 4 86 232 193 1427 1st, West Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2–4 (Utah)

Retired numbersEdit

The Steelheads currently have three retired numbers.[10]


The Steelheads' most notable rivals are the Alaska Aces.[11] These two teams are the surviving remnants of the WCHL in their original markets, their common histories going back nearly 20 years. Three other WCHL refugees, the San Diego Gulls, Long Beach Ice Dogs, and Fresno Falcons have since folded, while the Bakersfield Condors relocated in 2015 to become the Norfolk Admirals.

With the ECHL's 2015 exit from California, the Steelheads are the westernmost ECHL team in the 48 contiguous United States and the second-westernmost team overall after Alaska. Geographically, Idaho's closest opponent is the Utah Grizzlies at Template:Convert/mi, followed by the Colorado Eagles at Template:Convert/mi.

Until their 2014 suspension of operations[12] the Steelheads also enjoyed a rivalry with the Las Vegas Wranglers due to their frequent playoff meetings.


  1. Scott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd., 163. ISBN 1-894974-21-2. 
  2. Sandalow, Brian (April 30, 2011). Icy future awaiting Bees?. The Monitor. Retrieved on May 25, 2011.
  3. Cohn, Justin A. (May 6, 2011). Lots of excitement. The Journal Gazette. Retrieved on May 25, 2011.
  4. DeVrieze, Craig (April 29, 2011). Change rumors swirl in the CHL. Quad-City Times. Retrieved on May 23, 2011.
  5. Coppock, Cory (May 29, 2011). Colorado Eagles moving to ECHL. KEVN-TV. Retrieved on May 30, 2011.
  6. Press release (May 30, 2011). Eagles schedule new conference for Tuesday. The Coloradoan. Retrieved on May 30, 2011.
  7. Press release. "Annual ECHL Board of Governors meeting concludes", ECHL, August 1, 2011. Retrieved on August 1, 2011. 
  8. Press release. "Jets cut ties to ECHL club", Winnipeg Free Press, May 14, 2013. Retrieved on May 14, 2013. 
  9., Colorado Eagles season statistics and records.
  10. "Idaho Steelheads will retire Marty Flichel's number this season", Idaho Statesman, August 9, 2014. (accessed 11 August 2014)
  11. Prentice, George. "Idaho Steelheads' 4 for $46", Boise Weekly, November 6, 2013. (accessed 15 June 2014)
  12. Guillermo, Matt. "Venue flux to sideline Las Vegas Wranglers next season", KVVU-TV, May 20, 2014. (accessed 15 June 2014)

External linksEdit

Commons-logo.png Media related to Idaho Steelheads at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies
Kelly Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Trenton Titans
Preceded by
Alaska Aces
Kelly Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Cincinnati Cyclones
Preceded by
Florida Everblades
Brabham Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Alaska Aces
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