Central Division Star of the Week: Blake Cates, goaltender, Coulee Region Chill

Currently on the outside looking in the Central Division playoff race, the Coulee Region Chill needed points this weekend in their series with Aberdeen and that’s what they got as they rode goaltender Blake Cates to a weekend home sweep of the Wings. Cates, 18, started and won both games as the native of Stillwater, Minnesota, put together his best back-to-back games of the season. For the weekend, Cates (6’1/210) allowed just two goals on a total of 79 shots, which was good for a 97.4% save percentage. On Friday, Cates made 36 saves in a 6-1 win over the Wings. The next night, Cates was even better as he made 41 saves in a 3-1 Chill win. Despite having a .500 record of 6-6-2 this season, Cates ranks 5th in the NAHL in save percentage this season with a 92.5% mark. “Blake was backbone of success for us this past weekend and really has done it the entire year,” said Chill head coach John Hamre. “He is a great player to coach and an outstanding person on top of that and he has worked hard to become a legitimate Division I prospect. It was an intense series with some valuable points on this line. He had outstanding rebound control the entire weekend and was poised and calm in every situation.”

2nd Star: Andy Faust, forward, Coulee Region Chill