After having the weekend off following the 2017 NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN, the Coulee Region Chill looked to get in the win column this past weekend against the Minnesota Magicians. The series was their fifth and sixth consecutive games on the road to start the season, and their first against any of their Midwest Division opponents.
It took a full period before anyone could get past either of the goalies. Ultimately it was Minnesota that got on the board first early in the second period. Matt Hines (Pontus Jigermark, Tyler Ebner), who appeared in 24 games with the Chill last season, tied the game at the 13 minute mark before both teams entered the third deadlocked at one.
After another Magicians goal the Chill took a 3-2 lead thanks to goals by Nick Bowman (Bailey Martin, Tomas Vochozka) and Landon Lushanko (Bowman, Vochozka). They held their lead up until 50 seconds left in the game when the Magicians were able to tie and take the game into overtime.
A lot of action but no scoring in the extra frame; the Chill outshot the Magicians four-to-three and neither team committed a penalty. The game was forced into a shootout with the advantage going to the Magicians as Minnesota came away with the victory, 4-3. Emil Zetterquist made his second start on the young season and looked solid once again stopping 30/33 shots.
The story in Saturday night’s game was the penalty kill. Again, the Chill didn’t get on the board until the second period but even goals by Sam Dabrowski (Brandon Koch, Kevin Bryant) and Jacob Dirks (Vochozka) couldn’t help overcome the three power play goals scored by the Magicians. Josh Graziano was in net for his second game on the season, saving 27/31 goals in the loss.
Hockey fans in La Crosse have to wait one more weekend before they get to see the 2017/18 Chill in action. Next week Coulee Region hits the road – back to Minnesota – for a weekend series against the Wilderness. Both games are set to begin at 7:05 at the Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet.