By Joel Badzinski | LaCrosse Tribune | Friday, April 8, 2011
KASSON, Minn. – Zac Frischmon said he was following a simple rule.
In overtime, just get the puck to the net. If it goes in, that's even better.
Frischmon gave the Coulee Region Chill a 4-3 win over the Owatonna Express on Friday in Game 3 of the NAHL Central Division semifinals at Dodge County Arena. It was Frischmon's second game-winning goal of the series, which Coulee Region leads 2-1 and can end tonight.
"You feel a little more comfortable," Chill coach Garrett Strot said. "But it's definitely not over."
All three games of the best-of-five series have been decided by one goal. The Chill won Games 2 and 3 in overtime.
Frischmon got the puck after linemates Lucas Dillon and Connor Gaarder worked it to him in the high slot. Gaarder slid a perfect pass to where only Frischmon could get it, and Frischmon turned and fired low past Charles Williams.
"That's what you want to do, just throw it on the net," Frischmon said. "I knew I wanted to shoot it low and if it missed there was going to be a rebound. It just caught (Williams) off-guard."
The Chill's top line of Frischmon, Gaarder and Dillon had just one point in the first two games of the series. Strot said he wasn't worried because they were getting plenty of chances, and the trio combined for 11 points Friday.
"We joked about it after (Game 2)," Frischmon said. "We said, ‘Well, now the floodgates are open. Things are going to happen.' We knew it was just a matter of time."
Frischmon had two goals and two assists, Dillon one goal and three assists and Gaarder one goal and three assists.
But once again, it wasn't easy against Owatonna. The Express won six of eight against Coulee Region during the regular season, then won Game 1 of the playoffs in Onalaska.
The Chill scored on a power play at 1:33 of the first period, when Dillon snuck in behind Owatonna's defense and tapped in a pass from Frischmon. Owatonna responded with goals by Lawrence Cornellier and Jake Youso, then Frischmon tied it with 40 seconds left, capping a surprisingly wide-open first period.
The Chill controlled play in the second period, but it looked like they wouldn't have anything to show for it until the first line worked some more magic. On a 2-on-1 rush, Frischmon carried the puck, held it, and just as Williams turned to play his shot, fed it to Gaarder.
Coulee Region clung to its one-goal lead for almost 19 minutes of the third period. For the second game in a row, Owatonna pulled Williams for an extra attacker and beat Aaron Davis (34 saves) as Youso scored with 64 seconds left.
Five minutes into overtime, Owatonna had a dangerous chance, as a puck got through to Davis in a scramble and he flopped down to keep it out.
"It was bouncing around and I knew it was somewhere under me," Davis said. "When you sit down, it's not going anywhere. It was just a little extra momentum for Frischmon to go get it done."