Coulee Region splits series in Springfield

It’s been awhile since the Coulee Region Chill spent the weekend away from the Green Island Ice Arena. In fact, since their home opener on October 21st the Chill hadn’t played more than one consecutive game away from their home ice, playing a total of seven straight contests in La Crosse, WI.

The trip down to Springfield, IL is by no means a short one, a mile short of a 400 mile road trip. That didn’t mean much to the Chill last Friday night, however, taking down their Midwest Divisional opponent 7-1.

Coulee Region’s Billy Duma (Marshal Plunkett, Bailey Martin) starting the scoring route just 5:51 into the first period. Shortly thereafter Springfield tied the game at one just before Martin (Tomas Vochozka, Nick Bowman) and Brandon Koch (Vochozka, Bowman) scored on consecutive power plays to end the first period.

Domination continued for the Chill through the second period as they continued to take advantage of the power play. Veteran Andrew McGlynn (Plunkett, Tyler Ebner) and Martin (Bowman, Vochozka) made it a 5-1 Chill lead at the second intermission. Jesper Solomon Frisell (Ebner, Jackson Decker) and Connor Szmul (Connor Zilisch, Louis Helson) scored in the third to round out Friday night action.

Friday nights game was an all-around effort in every aspect. Coulee Region stayed out of the box, committing just one minor penalty in the first period. The Chill were outshot 24-44 but Josh Graziano held Springfield in check stopping 43 shots.

On Saturday night the Jr. Blues got out to a quick start, scoring the first two goals of the game within the first three minutes in both the first and second periods. Down 0-2 with 3:30 left before the second intermission Bowman, the Midwest Division Star of the Week, got the Chill on the board with helpers from McGlynn and captain Matt Hines. Hines (Bowman, Vochozka) followed up his assist 38 seconds later to tie the game, and Zilisch (Vochozka, Bowman) gave the Chill the 3-2 advantage before the second intermisison.

After an early Springfield goal in the third no one could crack either goalie up until it was time for a shootout. Springfield scored first in the shootout followed by McGlynn. From there it was all about the goalies as the Chill went through eight shooters before Springfield could capitalize and win game two, 4-3.

Emil Zetterquist had his busiest night of the year thus far playing 65 minutes of action and facing a total of 54 shots.

The Chill face a three-game weekend starting Thanksgiving Eve against the Janesville Jets at home before entering a home-and-home series with the Austin Bruins on Friday and Saturday night.