By Romi Bean

LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4)– The Colorado Eagles punched their ticket to the ECHL’s Western Conference Finals for the second straight season with a four-game sweep over the Idaho Steelheads.

Last season, the Eagles went all the way, claiming their first Kelly Cup title.

The Colorado Eagles quest for back-to-back ECHL Championship titles continues Saturday in the Western Conference Finals.

The defending Kelly cup champions are led by second-year head coach Aaron Schneekloth.

Last season, Schneekloth led the eagles to their first-ever Kelly cup title, becoming the first rookie coach to win an ECHL championship since 1990.

Second-time around his goal hasn’t changed, “At the start of the year, there’s 26 teams and 26 head coaches talking about winning a championship. Tthat’s what we play for. It’s exciting to be in conference finals but we’ve got a long way to go.. We want to go out on top and prove we’re playing for something.”

eagles hockey pkg 05 10 frame 2 Colorado Eagles Prepare To Defend Championship

(credit: Colorado Eagles)

The Eagles players don’t feel pressure to go back-to-back. They’re keeping their focus simple: Keep doing what they’ve been doing. Play sound hockey and have fun.

“Even last year we didn’t feel pressure, it’s just playoff hockey. We know we have a good team and every game we’re playing hockey and hockey is fun to play,” said Julien Nantel.

“We’re excited, we’re ready, we’re going one round at a time. We just have to relax, enjoy our time, stick together, play hard and that’s it,” said J.C. Beaudin.

The Colorado Eagles take on the Fort Wayne Komets in the Western Conference Finals, beginning Saturday, May 12 at the Budweiser Event Center.

Romi Bean is a sports anchor and reporter at CBS4. Connect with Romi on Twitter @Romi_Bean.

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