If you like extra hockey, this past weekend was your kind of weekend. If you’re a Coulee Region Chill fan you were on the edge of your seat in every game including one against the Minnesota Magicians on Thursday night and both against the Austin Bruins on Friday and Saturday night.
The long weekend began on the right foot with Kevin Bryant (Billy Duma, Sam Dabrowski) scoring his first NAHL goal this season 11:07 into action. Over the next period and a half the only action could be found in the penalty boxes with the Chill serving three and the Magicians serving two.
Chill goalie Emil Zetterquist held a shutout until 7:09 in into the third period when Minnesota’s Kyler Grundy broke the scoring drought on the man advantage. The momentum carried on for another 27 seconds as the Magicians scored once again, giving them the 2-1 advantage.
A goal at the 12:09 mark by Coulee Region’s Thomas Vochozka (Nick Bowman, Brandon Koch) tied the game at two and eventually forced overtime.
After both teams failed to score in the extra period the Chill entered the first-of-three shootouts on the weekend. Minnesota’s Matthew Stanton scored right off the bat and it’s all they’d need as Magician’s goalie George McBey blanketed all three Chill shooters. Zetterquist finished the night saving 34/36 shots.
Friday night it was on to the first match between the Chill and the Bruins in the 2017-18 season. The home-and-home series started off in La Crosse at the Green Island Ice Arena.
Austin scored the first goal of the night with 4:05 left in the final period and it wasn’t until 17 seconds remaining that Andy McGlynn (Matt Hines, Bowman) tied the game to force overtime.
After no scores in OT the Chill entered their second consecutive shootout. First up to hit the ice was McGlynn who gave Coulee the 1-0 advantage. The Bruins went through two shooters before their own Dante Zapata forced an extended shootout period. It took both teams four shooters before one man, Chill captain Matt Hines, came through to give the Chill their fifth win of the season. Josh Graziano got the start and the victory, saving 31/32 shots.
Saturday night the two teams faced off in Austin. Unlike the night before both teams didn’t go scoreless through the first two frames. Austin scored the only goal in the first, 4:58 in. Coulee’s Lund (Duma) tied the game at one 56 seconds into the second period but Austin would regain the lead soon thereafter.
Into the third period, Bowman (McGlynn, Vochozka) tied the game at two as both teams needed more time to figure the other out, forcing overtime.
After both teams sent seven shooters each to the ice the night before, Austin would only need two this past Saturday night with the Chill coming up short on all three chances. Zetterquist would fall in his second consecutive shootout saving 33/35 shots on the night.
It’s been a while but the Chill are finally hitting the road for an extended road trip this weekend as they travel to Springfield to take on the Jr. Blues on Friday and Saturday night at 7:05pm and 6:05pm, respectively.