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The Chill duel Janesville for the Dairyland Trophy

The Janesville Jets and the Coulee Region Chill are the only two Wisconsin teams in the 26-team NAHL. This season, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) is sponsoring a travelling trophy for the winner of a competition between the two teams. The Jets and Chill will go face-to-face eight times during the 2010-2011 season, which kicked off earlier this month, and winner of the series gets the America’s Dairyland Milk Can Trophy and statewide bragging rights.

Their first face-off is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Janesville Ice Arena and another game tomorrow night.  They play again Nov. 24, Dec. 19 and 31 of 2010, and Jan. 1, March 3, and March 19 of 2011.

For more team news, follow the Jets and Chill on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JanesvilleJETS1and www.twitter.com/CRCHILL.

Chill ice Brown Bears

LaCrosse Tribune | Tribune Staff | Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Coulee Region Chill can safely call their opening week a success.

For Chill goalie Aaron Davis, his opening day was a success, too.

The Chill defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears 6-3 on Saturday in their final game in the NAHL Showcase at Schwans Super Rink and finished their four-day road trip with a 3-0-1 record.

Davis, a year removed from starting for Mound (Minn.) Westonka High School, gave up a pair of first-period goals but settled down to record the victory in his first start. The 5-foot-8, 150-pounder finished with 30 saves and helped turn back all four of the Brown Bears' power plays.

The Chill put together a three-goal burst within a span of 61/2 minutes in the second period to seize control. Berkely Scott scored the first goal at 3 minutes, 30 seconds, and he assisted on a goal by Zac Frischmon that ended the surge with a power-play goal at the 10:07 mark.

Scott added another goal in the third period.

Connor Gaarder assisted goals by Matt Blomquist and Scott in the third period, giving him an NAHL-leading seven.

Relaxed Chill rallies past Texas

LaCrosse Tribune | Tribune Staff | Friday, September 17, 2010

BLAINE, Minn. – The Coulee Region Chill scored five unanswered goals, three on the power play, to defeat the Texas Tornado 5-2 Friday in the NAHL Showcase.

It was the second win in Chill history. The team is 2-0-1 with a final game against Kenai River in the season-opening showcase today.

"I was kind of interested to see how they'd react because our first two games we were never down," Chill coach Garrett Strot said. "No one panicked, and we kept getting good scoring chances and then we were able to get on the board on the power play."

Texas scored two goals early in the second period before Coulee Region started its rally.

Lucas Dillon got things going with a power play goal before Berkely Scott and Eric Drapluk gave the Chill a 3-2 lead in the second.

Coulee Region added goals by Matt Blomquist and Zac Frischmon, his team-leading third, on a five-minute power play after a Texas player was sent off for kneeing.

Chill goalie Paul Moberg stopped 34 shots for the win.

It was the third game in as many days for all NAHL teams, with one more to play today.

"I thought we kept looking pretty strong and Texas was looking gassed," Strot said. "We've got five out of six points so far, so today was huge."

Chill goaltender Moberg one cool customer

LaCrosse Tribune | Joel Badzinski | Thursday, September 16, 2010   

BLAINE, Minn. — Paul Moberg’s mouth was turned down slightly at the corners when he came out of the dressing room after Thursday’s game. 

That was the only telling sign, at least from Moberg, that the Coulee Region Chill had lost.

The day before, it was a subtle smile to signal a win.

In victory or defeat, Moberg is a cool customer, which he

figures is the only way to approach a challenging 58-game junior hockey season.

“Well, I’ve been here before,” said Moberg, who played in 41 games for North Iowa, now Coulee Region, in 2009-10. “I’ve been in lots of those games. One thing I focus on is making the saves I’m supposed to make, and if you do that the rest of the game plays out for you.”

Some goaltenders are fiery, giving off keepaway stares and chirping at opponents. Some live in their own ritual-filled world (touch left post, tap ice, touch right post, repeat three times).

Moberg’s style is to be an island of calm at all times: “Oh, you want to take a shot? See, now it’s in my glove. How’s your hotel?”

His technique matches his mental approach. Moberg, who is 6-foot-1, never seems out of position relative to a shot, and when there’s traffic in front of the net, he doesn’t scramble around, just drops down his big leg pads and stick.

Moberg, a state champion golfer for Forest Lake (Minn.) High School, was at his unshakable best Thursday. He had a shutout through 58 minutes, 45 seconds and stopped 51 of 53 shots fired at him by the St. Louis Bandits.

Unfortunately for Moberg and the Chill, all they had to show for it was a 2-1 overtime loss in the NAHL Showcase at the Schwan Super Rink.

Figure Moberg for another 40-50 starts this season, with rookie Aaron Davis seeing spot duty, and if Moberg continues to play the way he did Thursday the Chill will have the single most important ingredient for a strong hockey team: a rock-solid No. 1 goalie.

“That’s back-to-back games he’s been really good,” Coulee Region coach Garrett Strot said. “He has to be consistent. Last year, he started great, then went through a lull, then got it back again.”

Moberg went 10-26-3 with a 3.69 goals against average and 90.3 save percentage as North Iowa struggled through a lost winter.

The Chill front office brought in a small army of goalies during the summer camp season to push Moberg.

But you got a pretty good idea Moberg was going to keep his job during the last two days of tryouts, when calls of “Mo-beeeee” came from the arena press box — where only coaches and front office members were allowed — with each save.

“Last year, I kind of played for my stats,” Moberg said. “That sounds bad, but we weren’t scoring goals and the last third of the season we were losing, and I started playing for my numbers, making sure I got 90 percent (saves). I kind of shut that out because it was tough. I was basically playing for this year.”

Moberg is all set to make it a good one. Not only is he playing like a seasoned veteran, but he’s also got a cadre of big, mobile defensemen to protect him, guys like Mike McDonald (6-5, 205 pounds), Matt Blomquist (6-3, 200), David Mylrea (6-2, 205) and Tate Rusk (6-4, 190).

“He’s one of the best goalies in the league and we all know it,” McDonald said. ““He knows what he’s got in front of him, and we do everything we can to help him out.”  

It’s a very cool debut for Chill

LaCrosse Tribune | Joel Badzinski  |Wednesday, September 15, 2010   

BLAINE, Minn. – David Mylrea skated off the ice with a loud whoop and a big grin Wednesday afternoon. Mylrea and the Coulee Region Chill had a little something to celebrate: A 5-2 win over Port Huron (Mich.) in the NAHL Showcase at the Schwan Super Rink.

It was the Chill's first game as an Onalaska-based junior hockey franchise after moving from Mason City, Iowa this spring.

"I was real happy with what was going on out there," said Mylrea, one of 10 returning players. "I liked it, liked it a lot."

There was a lot to like, especially from the team's veterans. Mickey Knox scored two goals, one on the power play and one short-handed, goalie Paul Moberg took a shutout into the third period and finished with 24 saves, and Mylrea won a second-period fight and had an assist.

As for the newcomers, Chris Hughes had a goal and an assist, and big defenseman Tate Rusk had two gutsy blocked shots and an assist. Onalaska native Nathan Trannel was a healthy scratch. He likely will play in at least one of the Chill's four games at the Showcase.

Coulee Region coach Garrett Strot wasn't sure how the opener would go with a roster comprised of the returning players, six more junior hockey veterans and 10 rookies.

"I could tell in warm-ups that we were tight," Strot said. "We had one drill and it was brutal, and I was, ‘Oh…' It wasn't because of lack of focus. We were just tight."

Port Huron, an expansion team, came out and tried to knock the Chill back to Onalaska with a wave of physical plays.

But the Falcons were too aggressive and took five penalties in the first period. Coulee Region capitalized with two goals, one on the power play.

"When you're killing penalties all the time, it takes a lot out of you," Strot said. "I don't know if they were trying to intimidate us or what, but our guys kept going. If they want to keep doing that, go ahead. We'll take the power plays."

Zac Frischmon scored at the 5-minute, 17-second mark of the first period, tipping in a shot by Andrew Pitts past Salvatore Ticci – the first goal for the team as the Coulee Region Chill.

Port Huron kept throwing gloves, elbows and sticks and parading to the penalty box. David Ripple made it 2-0 on the power play at 16:16 of the first on another redirected shot.

"We just took stupid penalties, obviously, and got behind," Falcons coach Ernie Hicke said. "And in the second period we made stupid mistakes and fell behind 4-0. You can't do that at this level."

Knox pounced on a mistake by Ticci at the side of his own net, when Ticci lost the puck on a miscommunication with his nearest defenseman. Knox curled around and tapped it in for a 3-0 lead early in the second period.

"The goalie tried to pass it out and they put it right on my tape," Knox said. "I kind of had a gift; he wrapped it up for me and I just had to put it home."

The Falcons' frustration boiled over quickly, as Cole Meyer took a five-minute cross-checking penalty and Leonid Kovalev picked a fight with Mylrea, who got in a punch before twisting Kovalev down to the ice.

"That's just another day in the life of the league," Mylrea said. "You've just got to learn how to deal with it and not stand down and let them run all over you, let them know you're there."

Hughes and Knox (power play) scored to make it 5-0 before Port Huron jumped on some bad line changes by the Chill in the third period to spoil Moberg's shutout.

Moberg, returning as the top goalie, still liked what he saw in his end of the rink.

"(The defense) played great," Moberg said. "They blocked a ton of shots, spread the forwards out and pushed 'em outside, had good sticks blocking passes, everything." 

Knox scores twice, Chill win debut at showcase

LaCrosse Tribune | by JOEL BADZINSKI | Wednesday, September 15, 2010 6:55 pm | Mickey Knox scored two goals and Paul Moberg made 24 saves as the Coulee Region Chill won its first game of the season–and as an Onalaska-based junior hockey team–5-2 today over Port Huron (Mich.) at the NAHL Showcase. The Chill made the Falcons pay for 11 penalties, scoring twice on the power play. Knox also scored short-handed. Coulee Region took a 5-0 lead before allowing two goals in the third period.

The Chill are moving in

They have worked hard to get here and this Sunday the players report to Onalaska for the begining of the 2010-11 NAHL season.  First stop is a meet and greet with all of the Chill staff, coaches and host families that will get them settled in for the months ahead.  Then it is down to business Monday getting through the paperwork and meetings before they hit the ice on Tuesday. 

There are only about two weeks to get ready for the NAHL Showcase Tournament in Blaine, but the coaches and staff are ready for the task.  It also helps to have a few returning players to help take the team through the ropes.

With everyone coming together the rest of the staff has just enough time to get everything else in order for the first home game on October 29th.  Volunteers are being contacted now to help out with home games and special events.  It is exciting to see the final details getting finished up and making way for the great hockey to come.

Over 120 show up to Final Chill Tryout

The Coulee Region Chill conducted its final tryouts for the 2010-11 campaign last weekend and over 120 hopefuls made it to camp in Anoka, Minn., with their sights set on making the North American Hockey League (NAHL) club.

On the third day of tryouts, fourth-round draft choice and Michigan’s Mr. Hockey Chris Hughes (St. Mary Catholic Central High School) had a huge day as the forward scored a number of times.

The fourth day gave the Chill hopefuls another shot to show what they could bring to the table with a morning and afternoon session.  It was clear to the coaching staff that there were going to be some difficult decisions to be made before the next round of cuts.

The night session consisted of four teams, 59 skaters and six goalies. Each team of 15 did battle twice and showed off some of their best skills, including a breakaway goal by second-round draft pick Nathan Trannel (Onalaska High).

Cuts were made down to the final 35 players. The stage was set for a final all-star game to be played on Day 5.

With 12 returning players in the mix of 35 going into the camp finale, all on hand at Anoka Ice Arena knew that the best level of competition was about to unfold. The defense and goaltending was stellar in a seesaw contest that eventually ended in a shootout.

All the minutes had been played, now it was just a waiting game.

Chill head coach Garrett Strot and assistant coach Todd Sanden met with each player following the game with a post-analysis interview in which the final 35 players were advised whether they’d lace up the skates for the Chill in 2010-11.

The Chill will call on 10 returning players for leadership, including goaltender Paul Moberg; defensemen Matt Blomquist, Mike McDonald and David Mylrea; and forwards Micky Knox, Scott Bell, Zac Frischmon, Connor Gaarder, Lucas Dillon and Dane Shaugabay.

Defenseman Eric Drapluk (Philadelphia Revolution of the EJHL) and forwards Trannel and Hughes – all Chill draft picks – were also selected.

Hulking 6-foot-3, 185-pounder Tate Rusk (Brainerd High) will join the defense along with Andrew Pitts (North Metro High) and Ben Gislason (Breck High). Forwards Jake Useldinger (East Grand Forks), Ben Jaremko (Elk River High) and James Hughes (Centennial High) also made the team.

Rick Wesp, the Chill’s general manger, liked what he saw at the final camp.

“The goaltending looked solid and we’re faster,” said Wesp.

The Coulee Region Chill open up the 2010-11 season in Blaine, MN. At the NAHL Showcase on Sept 15th, at 2:30 pm against the Port Huron Fighting Falcons.

See photos of the tryouts here

Later home opener still doesn’t slow the Chill staff

While patiently waiting for the NAHL 2010-11 season schedule to be announced tomorrow (7/9/10) the Chill staff have still been busy preparing for the season.   The October home opener will bring a little breathing room, but there is still much to do before we hit the ice both on the road and in Onalaska. 
 
On the team side our coaches, GM and support staff are busy making preparations for our final Tryout camp being held July 28th  – Aug 1st in Anoka, MN.  We are looking forward to more great hockey as players from all over compete for a final shot at this season’s team.  Those chosen will report to practice after Labor day and it is down to business to get the team ready for the the 2010-11 season starting with the NAHL Showcase Tournament September 16th – 19th in Blaine, MN.
 
All the while the office staff is skating through sponsorships, promotions, host families, tickets sales and merchandise.   That’s right, the new Coulee Region Chill merchandise will be available soon.  We plan to have the details posted next week about what’s available and how you can get your hands on some “cool” gear.
 
We are very excited to start the new season.  Looking forward to a lot of fun times and great hockey.