Tag Archives: Junior Hockey

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.

Chill work to gain points in three-shootout weekend

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.

Zetterquist makes NCAA D1 commitment

The Coulee Region Chill, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that goaltender Emil Zetterquist has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for St. Lawrence University in the ECAC.

Zetterquist, 19, is in his first season playing in the NAHL. The native of Stockholm, Sweden, has made an impact for the Chill since the start of the season, becoming one of the top goaltenders in the NAHL.

Zetterquist (6’1/182) currently ranks 3rd in the NAHL in save percentage with a 94% mark. He also boasts a 4-2-3 record with a 2.27 goals against average and one shutout.

“I’m really honored to get a chance to be a part of the rich hockey culture that St. Lawrence has built. I thank my family and everyone who has helped me on the way. I can’t wait to start my college career as a Saint,” said Zetterquist.

“The Coulee Region Chill is very excited for Emil and his commitment to St. Lawrence University.  Emil has been a large part of our recent success and gives us an opportunity to win every night.  St. Lawrence University is getting a young man who will they will be proud to call a Saint,” said Chill head coach Ryan Egan.

Prior to playing in the NAHL, Zetterquist played in Sweden, including AIK J20 team last season and the Huddinge IK program prior to that.

*Story provided by NAHL

Coulee Region sweeps Brookings, first of 2017

It took a few weeks but the Coulee Region Chill are finally becoming one.

Between head coach Ryan Egan, the progression of the younger players and the veterans on the squad, everyone is starting to play together, evident through their play the past three games.

This past weekend it was all about the leaders in the Central Division – the Brookings Blizzard – and what kind of test it’d be for the Chill. And it all started out with a fight to the end on Friday night.

The two teams started slow as to most opponents that aren’t familiar with one another. No penalties and no goals were recorded in the first. The first penalty came at the 2:20 mark in the second period, sending a Blizzard player to the box. An unsuccessful power play was soon flipped into Brookings’ favor when Chill forward Tyler Ebner hit the box on a hooking minor 5:41 into the period. It took just 27 seconds for Brookings to take advantage and beat Chill goalie Emil Zetterquist for the first goal of the game.

Ebner would make up for his penalty, however. The native from La Crosse, WI scored on Coulee Region’s second power play opportunity of the period with helpers from both Marshal Plunkett and Billy Duma. And what took the Chill over 36 minutes to do once they did twice in just 51 seconds as Plunkett (Connor Szmul) scored to close out the second period, Chill leading 2-1.

All that occurred the first two periods of last Friday night set up for what would be an exciting third period. In the first 10:55 of the third Brookings both tied and took the 3-2 lead over Coulee Region before Nick Bowman (Andrew McGlynn, Tomas Vochozka) and Jacob Dirks (Brandon Koch, Vochozka) turned the game in the Chills’ favor. Coulee needed to hold on for another 6:25 to win but Vince Marino of Brookings beat Zetterquist to tie the game with just over three minutes to play.

Both teams took matters into overtime where neither team could find the back of the net while they combined for five total in the final period.

In round one of the the shoot-out, Jackson Decker started things out with a goal on his shot, giving Coulee the 1-0 advantage. In round two both teams missed, giving Chase Brand the opportunity to tie it for Brookings. Which is exactly what he did. That led to the game falling on the shoulders of Bowman, a native of Shelby Township, Michigan in his first season with the Chill. And he didn’t disappoint, beating the Blizzard goaltender giving Coulee Region the 5-4 OT win.

Zetterquist saved 34/38 shots over the course of the night.

It’s over a five hour drive from Brookings, SD to La Crosse so the Blizzard were in town for a full weekend series.

Unlike the night before, most of the action Saturday night happened in the first period. Connor Szmul, this past weekends’ number one Star of the Midwest Division, scored two first period goals with assists from Connor Zilisch, Matt Hines, Bailey Martin and Jesper Solomon Frisell. Vochozka (Koch, Zetterquist) added another goal just 1:11 into the second period to make the score 3-1.

Both teams traded goals in the third with Szmul (Koch, Decker) ending the night with a hat trick. Zetterquist followed up his previous night with another strong showing, this time saving 35/37 shots on the night.

The Chill have found some momentum and now look to carry it into their three-game weekend starting this Thursday night against the Minnesota Magicians at the Green Island Ice Arena. They’ll be home Friday night as well taking on the Austin Bruins in what’ll be a home-and-home between the two teams, concluding Saturday night in Austin.

Go Chill!

Chill win first home game behind Koch’s three assists and outstanding goaltending

Coulee Region entered this past weekend with just one game on the schedule: a rematch against the Janesville Jets who they’d just played and fell to twice the previous weekend.

Over a month into the season both teams found themselves Saturday night on different ends of the Midwest Division, an irrelevant statistic when both teams hit the ice. At the same time both teams couldn’t find the back of the net in a contest that saw zero goals scored in the first period. The only action from the opening frame was a minor hooking penalty on Janesville.

Things were much of the same in the second period, too. Coulee Region were on the end of three minor penalties, the third of which resulted in a late-period Jets goal to take a 1-0 lead. But it was the Janesville penalty with just 22 seconds left before the second intermission that set the tone for the rest of the game.

Just 1:20 into the final period Connor Zilisch tied the game 1-1 with assists from Brandon Koch and Tomas Vochozka. Zilisch’s goal game with just 18 seconds left on their second power play of the game.

The goal sparked something on the Chill bench; just over a minute later West Salem native Bailey Martin (Koch) scored to give Coulee the lead over their in-state rival. Another power play goal at the 13:19 mark by Nick Bowman (Koch, Jacob Dirks) was the only insurance the Chill would need, winning 3-1 for their first home win of the season.

While Bailey and Koch came home with the first and second star of the night, respectively, it was Emil Zetterquist that stole the show in net. The native from Stockholm, Sweden proved his pad skills are much better than his t-shirt tossing skills, stopping 42/43 shots over the course of 60 minutes en route to his second win of the season.

Chill fans get a treat this weekend with Coulee Region sticking around for a third weekend in a row, hosting the Brookings Blizzard Friday and Saturday night at the Green Island Ice Arena.

Chill fall in season opener

Saturday night was the start to what all the fans have been waiting for since this past April when the Coulee Region Chill fell in the first round of the playoffs to the Janesville Jets. Coincidentally it was the same opponent entering the doors to the Green Island Ice Arena.

The Chill and Jets have a great rivalry and own the state at the NAHL level; both teams organizations’ are the only ones that call Wisconsin home. It’s always a toss up when both teams matchup regardless of overall wins/losses.

Janesville and Coulee Region entered this past weekend at either side of the division standings but that didn’t stop Chill head coach Ryan Egan from getting his young Chill squad ready.

The first period got off to a sloppy start. Veteran Andy McGlynn spent four minutes in the penalty box in the first six minutes of the game, serving one penalty for a too many men minor in the first minute of the game.

Janesville failed to convert on either penalty but still pushed the puck past Chill rookie goalie Emil Zetterquist twice in the first. Marshal Plunkett, native of nearby West Salem, WI, added his own goal 30 seconds into a power play with the help of Billy Duma and McGlynn.

The second period was about the Coulee Region penalty kill, killing off a 3-5 Janesville advantage midway through the period and another minor at 11:58. Plunkett added his second goal of the night (third of the season) with just 4:01 left to play before the second intermission.

Starting the third period with a 5-4 man advantage, the Chill couldn’t find the back of the net. The same can’t be said for Janesville, however, scoring at the 7:26 mark and never looking back.

Zetterquist faced 39 total shots over the course of the contest, saving 36 in 58:40 minutes of action.

A quick turnaround for both teams as they hit the ice at 4pm Sunday afternoon. Again it was the Chill hitting the box early but Janesville took advantage and scored just 2:13 in. Jackson Decker, the man guilty of the cross-checking minor, tied the game with his first goal of the season with passes from Pontus Jigemark and Jacob Dirks.

The second period saw a flurry of goals including three power play goals from Coulee Region and two goals from Janesville. Plunkett (Tyler Ebner, Decker) and Nick Bowman (2) Brandon Koch, Dirks (2), Jigemark) scored for the Chill.

The third period began with a 4-3 Coulee Region lead and it stayed that way for 18 minutes and ten seconds before Janesville tied the game at four. Just 40 seconds later the Jets took a 5-4 lead and finished with an empty netter with 48 seconds left.

Zetterquist got the night off and gave way to Josh Graziano who saved 25/30 pucks on the afternoon.

Coulee Region plays host to Janesville for the third consecutive game this Saturday night at 7pm.

Coulee Region picks up first win of season in weekend split

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.

Go Chill!

Former Chill goalie Kivlenieks signs NHL contract

The Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL) have signed former NAHL and Coulee Region Chill goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks to a three-year Entry Level contract, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.
Kivlenieks, 20, spent the 2015-16 campaign with the Coulee Region Chill of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), posting a 16-10-1 record with a 2.41 GAA, .925 SV% and two shutouts in 29 games played. He finished fifth in the league in SV% and 12th in GAA.
The Riga, Latvia native was also selected to and played in the 2016 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the Midwest Division team.  During that season, Kivlenieks committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Minnesota State-Mankato.
This past season, Kivlenieks went 36-7-4-2 with a 1.85 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and five shutouts in 49 games to help the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers capture the 2016-17 Anderson Cup as the league’s regular season champions.
He was named the USHL’s Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year and to the First All-Star Team after leading the league in wins, GAA, SV%, shutouts (tied) and finishing second in minutes played (2,991). His GAA was the second lowest mark for a season in USHL Tier 1 history and his SV% was the second highest in USHL Tier 1 history.
He led the Musketeers in the playoffs to Game 5 of the Clark Cup final before falling 2-1 in overtime of the deciding game. He finished the postseason with an 8-3-2 record, 2.08 GAA, .925 SV% and two shutouts in 13 contests, leading the USHL in minutes played (807) and ranking second in shutouts and third in GAA and SV%.
The 6-2, 184-pound netminder has represented Latvia at several international tournaments. He was named the best goaltender at consecutive IIHF Division I Group A World Junior Championships after leading Latvia to a bronze medal in 2015 with a 1.75 GAA and .928 SV% and to a gold medal in 2016 with tournament-bests in GAA (1.71) and SV% (.941).

Schroer makes his D1 commitment to Northern Michigan University

The Coulee Region Chill, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that forward Caleb Schroer has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Northern Michigan University.
Schroer, 21, had his career-best season in 2016-17. The native of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, finished tied for 3rd in NAHL scoring this season with 67 points (26 goals, 41 assists) in 59 games played. He was named the Midwest Division Most Valuable Player and Forward of the Year for his efforts, along with being named to the All-NAHL 2nd Team.
Schroer (5’9/168) also had three points in three playoff games.
“The Coulee Region Chill organization is very excited for Caleb and his commitment to the University of Northern Michigan. Caleb has worked very hard for this opportunity and that work has paid off this year as he played a large role in our on ice success.  We wish Caleb the best of luck and we know that coach Potulny and his staff will be happy to call Caleb a Wildcat,” said Chill head coach Ryan Egan.
Schroer has spent three seasons playing in the NAHL. He made is NAHL debut in 2014-15 with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The 2015-16 season began with Fairbanks, where he was then traded to Coulee Region after 10 games. In 136 career NAHL games, Schroer has recorded 97 career points.
Prior to playing in the NAHL, Schroer played three seasons for Wisconsin Rapids High School.
“I’m excited for this great opportunity and am going to go in and work as hard as I can every day to prove I belong,” said Schroer.
*Story provided by the NAHL

Chill return home with threat of elimination

The opening round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs pitted the Chill against their divisional rival in the Janesville Jets. The first game of the best-of-five series played out in Janesville Friday night where there were no shortage of fireworks. The game was opened with a Jets goal in only 14 seconds. This goal was answered by both Caleb Schroer (Kendall, Doran) on a power play and Steven Quagliata (McGlynn) scoring before the first period came to a close to give the Chill a 2-1 lead. A second-period goal for the Jets tied the game up where it stayed until Janesville scored with 3 minutes left in regulation. The Jets held the lead which handed Brad Arvanitis the loss after saving 38 of 41 shots. The Chill’s shot total proves a unique statistic as the team’s two goals came in the period with only 6 shots on goal and couldn’t find the net in the following two periods where 26 shots on goal were registered.

 

In game 2 the following night, Janesville brought its offensive firepower right off the bat scoring two goals in the first period separated by a goal from Billy Duma (McGlynn, Bryant). The last regulation goal was put in by Matt Doran 38 game minutes later to bring the score to a 2-2 tie. The first overtime went by without a score leading to the second overtime period. The Chill struggled offensively in this final period only adding 4 shots to their total compared to 12 from Janesville. Ultimately, a poorly-timed penalty for the Chill led to a power-play goal from Janesville to clinch the win and put Coulee Region in a 2-0 hole in the series.

 

This coming weekend the Chill will fight for their survival at home where they hold a 3-3 record facing the Midwest Division powerhouse. The Chill will host game 3 (and game 4 if necessary) on Friday and potentially Saturday night. The puck will drop on a crucial game 3 Friday night at 7:00 at Green Island Ice Arena and will start at the same time Saturday night if game 4 is needed. In the case of the Chill knocking off the Jets for both of these games, the fifth and final game of the series will take place at 7:00 Sunday night in Janesville.