LaCrosse Tribune | Joel Badzinski | Saturday, November 6, 2010
ONALASKA – Paul Moberg is going to keep the puck, and the Coulee Region Chill definitely will take the win.
Moberg stopped 22 shots for his first NAHL shutout in 53 games – he was the starter for North Iowa last season – and the Chill won their first game on home ice, defeating the Alexandria Blizzard 1-0 at the OmniCenter.
"I got the puck," Moberg said. "I thought about giving it away, but not this one."
The teams combined for 14 goals Friday as Alexandria used six power play goals to win 8-6. It was a completely different game Saturday. Instead of struggling on the penalty kill, the Chill held the Blizzard scoreless on six power plays while Mickey Knox scored the game's only goal on a short-handed rush.
"We weren't taking stupid penalties; we were more disciplined, and we took care of ourselves rather than worrying about the other team," Coulee Region coach Garrett Strot said.
Moberg gave up five goals Friday before being replaced by Aaron Davis in the third period. He bounced back in a hurry.
"I just knew I could play better," Moberg said. "We just figured sometime I'm going to get the bounces. The last couple of weekends things definitely were not in our favor, but I just kept my head in it."
Moberg said the team studied video of Friday's game, and except for a rash of penalties, didn't see anything that worried them too much.
"We made some dumb mistakes, simple mistakes," Moberg said. "We were pretty focused going in, and that was huge."
The game was deadlocked 0-0 through two periods, with Moberg and Alexandria goalie Jake Williams (28 saves) matching stops.
Coulee Region got the edge on a penalty kill in the third period. Defenseman Eric Drapluk got control of the puck in his own zone and chipped it ahead, starting a 2-on-1 for Zac Frischmon and Micky Knox. Frischmon held the puck until the defenseman committed and slid it over to Knox, who tucked it under Williams.
"Me and Zac have good chemistry," Knox said. "It was a great pass; he gift-wrapped that one for me."
Coulee Region had another goal waved off with five minutes left. The officials said the net was off, and Strot agreed after the game.
The Blizzard pulled Williams for a sixth attacker with 1:13 left in the third period. Moberg and the Chill withstood several rushes to the net, then got to celebrate their first home win since the team moved from Mason City this past spring.
"It was great to work hard and give our fans a win," Moberg said.