The 2017-18 North American Hockey League season isn’t even a month old yet but the Coulee Region Chill just cracked the win column for the first time. And they did it in impressive fashion this past Saturday night in Cloquet against the Minnesota Wilderness.
First things first, though, was the matchup on Friday night. The Chill and Wilderness went head-to-head for the first time on the season in what’s an out-of-division matchup with the Chill located in the Midwest Division and the Wilderness in the Central.
Often with the home team, the Wilderness came out fresh and ready to play from the drop of the opening puck, scoring just 59 seconds in. Emil Zetterquist got the call in net for Coulee Region but the 4+ hour trek North looked to play a factor right out of the gate.
The second period was when the Chill made the most of their noise as Andy McGlynn (Tyler Ebner, Marshal Plunkett) scored on a power play in the first three minutes of the period. The rest of the game was all Wilderness, scoring two more goals throughout the contest.
Zetterquist, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, saw a lot of action throughout, 43 shots total – but picked up the loss.
Saturday night is what head coach Ryan Egan has been waiting for. With just eight returning players from last years team it’s taken some time for the new crew to get the feel for one another. In the first period it was two newcomers – Nick Bowman (Jacob Dirks, Brandon Koch) and Connor Szmul (Koch, Tomas Vochozka) – that got Coulee Region on the board.
In the second and third periods is when the Chill veterans took over. Matt Hines (Pontus Jigemark) and Tyler Ebner (McGlynn, Billy Duma) both scored in the second to put Coulee Region up 4-0 and Duma (McGlynn, Plunkett) finished the scoring out in the third.
After the tough loss on Friday night Zetterquist came back to stonewall the now 3-5-1 Wilderness, saving 35/35 shots on the night.
This weekend the Chill return home for the first time since last season’s home playoff loss to the Janesville Jets to face, you guessed it, the Jets. Saturday nights opener starts at 7pm with the Sunday matchup at 4pm. You can order your tickets by clicking here.