The Chill were able to get a home series against the St. Louis Jr. Blues for the Central Division Finals. The first game was Friday, March 22nd at 7 PM. The Chill knew this was going to be a tough series, they had battled for first place in the Central Division all season with the Jr. Blues and split each series against them evenly.
Friday’s game would begin feeling like playoff hockey, a back and forth game until midway through the period, where the Chill were the first to get on the board. A goal from Connor Losen, with assists from Thomas Magnavite and Brandon Ratzloff would give the Chill the 1-0 lead. Their lead wouldn’t last long unfortunately, just a few minutes later the Jr. Blues tie it up 1-1. Then less than a minute later they take the 2-1 lead over the Chill. The period will end with the Jr. Blues adding one more goal to their score to make it 3-1 as they headed into the locker room for the first intermission. The second period would see no scoring from either team. Then much like the first, the third period would see the first goal from the Chill. A goal from Marco Escobar midway through the third period, with help from Toon De Schepper, would cut the Jr. Blues lead to one and make it 3-2. A couple minutes later, the Jr. Blues would take the two goal lead once again, making it 4-2 and then not long after, scoring again to make it 5-2. The Chill would pull the goalie with a minute left in the game in hopes to make a comeback but the Jr. Blues would gain control of the puck and score on the empty net to make the final score 6-2 in favor of St. Louis. Goalie Devin Naidow stopped 29 of the 34 shots he faced during the game. The Chill needed to win their next game in order to force a game 3 in hopes to make it to the Fraser Cup.
On Saturday, the Chill started the game out much like the night before, getting on the board first at the 7:22 mark of the first with a goal from Brandon Ratzloff, assist to Thomas Magnavite and Brady Lindauer, to give them the 1-0 lead. That would be the score heading into the first intermission. The second period was a very even period between both teams, but in the last five minutes of the period the Jr. Blues came alive and score 3 back to back goals to take the lead 3-1 going into the final period of play. The third period was back to very even play, but even with the Chill pulling their goalie in the final minute it still wasn’t enough to get a comeback on the red hot Jr. Blues. The final score would remain 3-1 and St. Louis was heading to the Fraser Cup. Goalie Michael Janke stopped a total of 29 out of 32 shots he faced.
Besides the loss in the Central Division finals, the Chill ended with an amazing season. For the first time in franchise history they finished in the #1 spot in the Central Division during the regular season. They ended with a regular season record of 36-9-1-1 and 74 points. They went 2-3-0-0 during the playoffs.
We would like to thank all of the players, coaches, staff, volunteers, billets, parents, and fans for a fantastic season and it would not have been possible without all of you! We will see you next season!