The Colorado Eagles have won the Turner Trophy as the Central Hockey League's Turner Conference champions for 2010-11, claiming the title with a thrilling 1-0 victory over the 2010 CHL Champion Rapid City Rush in Game 7 of their best-of-7 series at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Arena on Wedmesday night.
The Eagles will play in the CHL Finals for the fifth time in their eight year franchise history looking to win their third CHL Championship. Colorado won the Ray Miron Presidents' Cup in 2005 and 2007 beating the Laredo Bucks both seasons and were runners-up in 2008 (Arizona) and 2009 (Texas).
The path for the Eagles to the CHL Finals went through the Rapid City Rush, Missouri Mavericks and Quad City Mallards. In the Opening Round, the Eagles defeated the Flock 3-1 in their best-of-5 series and then in the Turner Conference Semi Finals defeated the Mavs 3-1 in their best-of-5 series. In the conference finals, the Eagles moved past the Rush with a 4-3 series win.
In his sixth season as Eagles head coach, Chris Stewart will coach the team in his fourth Finals with Colorado and fifth overall (Huntsville, 1999 CHL Champions). Stewart coached the Eagles in their first five seasons as a franchise, winning the Cup in 2005 and 2007 before stepping away from behind the bench for two seasons. Currently third on the CHL's all-time wins list with 415 regular season victories, Stewart returned to the coaching ranks prior to the 2010-11 season.
During the 2010-11 regular season, the Eagles finished tied for first in the Turner Conference with the Rapid City Rush posting a 40-22-4 record (84 points) but lost the tiebreaker to the Rush who were the top seed in the Turner Conference playoffs despite having the same record as the Eagles.