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The Coulee Region Chill of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are pleased to announce that defenseman Marshal Plunkett has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for Army in Atlantic Hockey.
Plunkett, 19, is completing his third season playing in the NAHL and second with the Chill. The 5’11/170 lbs. native of West Salem, Wisconsin, is having his best career season on the ice as he has recorded 32 points (11 goals, 21 assists) in 50 games played to date.
Overall in his three-year NAHL career, Plunkett has played in 141 career games and recorded 66 points.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Army hockey family. It has been a goal of mine since I first started playing hockey to play at the NCAA Division I level and I owe thanks to my family, friends, and coaches who have guided me throughout my career and continue to support me into my future,” said Plunkett.
Plunkett was also selected to and played in the 2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the Midwest Division team, where he picked up an assist in two games.
Plunkett made his NAHL debut during the 2015-16 season with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. In the season prior to that in 2014-15 he played for the Madison Capitols 16U team in the NAPHL, where he had 8 points in 19 NAPHL games.
“Over the past three seasons Marshal has proven to be an elite player in the NAHL. Our organization is excited to have been a part of his development and ultimately playing a role in helping him reach his goal of playing at the NCAA Division I level. West Point is getting a fantastic and talented young man that they will be proud to wear the Black Night Crest,” said Chill head coach Ryan Egan.
*Story provided by NAHL
For the third consecutive weekend the Coulee Region Chill had a weekend series against the Springfield Jr. Blues.
The first went as planned, sweeping the Jr. Blues at home. The second was a setback with the Jr. Blues returning the favor on their home ice. This past Friday and Saturday night it was both teams leaving the Green Island Ice Arena victorious.
Sitting in fifth place in the Midwest Division, the Chill have been in Springfield’s rear view mirror over the past few weeks, trying to gain ground on the fourth and final spot in the 2018 Robertson Cup Playoffs.
That fourth-place spot has since changed, however. As Springfield skated off the ice Saturday night they simultaneously swapped spots in the standings with the Minnesota Magicians.
While looking at the two points lost to Springfield to end the weekend it may be even more important to look at the two points gained on the Magicians last Thursday night.
Nick Bowman, a recent invitee to the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, scored two goals – including the game winner – and assisted on another in the 4-3 defeat over Minnesota.
Bowman went on to score a hat trick on Friday night over the Jr. Blues as well en route to being named the Midwest Divisional Star of the Week. Joining Bowman in receiving recognition for his strong play on the ice for the Chill was Brandon Koch; Koch, joining Bowman at the Top Prospects Tournament next week, had four assists on the weekend.
This weekend’s matchup begins on Friday night in Janesville against the Jets before the two teams take the ice in La Crosse on Saturday night.
The busy month of February got off to a solid start for the Coulee Region Chill. Sitting ten points out of a playoff berth they’ll need to continue winning over the course of the next seven games to have a chance for a push in March, the final full month of the NAHL season.
The team they’re chasing for that final spot, the Springfield Jr. Blues, were welcomed to La Crosse last Thursday and Friday night and walked out of the rink with two losses to their resume.
Coulee Region put up seven goals Thursday night with both teams trading two goals a piece through the first two periods. The player of the night was forward Tyler Ebner; a La Crosse native, Ebner had his best night in the North American Hockey League. He secured his first career hat trick, ending the night with a single-game career-high three points.
Friday night’s victory wasn’t as flashy on the offensive side of the puck for Coulee Region, winning 4-1, but was dominated by Emil Zetterquist between the pipes. After saving 39/43 shots the night before he followed it up with a 47/48 saves Friday night.
The sweep didn’t cap the weekend with the Chill having a date with the Janesville Jets, an in-state rival sitting second in the Midwest Divisional standings.
After scoring 11 combined goals the two nights prior Coulee Region scored just one off the stick of Collin Price on Saturday night. It was the team’s lone goal off the power play in which they had seven total chances compared to just four for Janesville. Josh Graziano gave way to Zetterquist for the night saving 27/29 shots.
It’s a 2-1 start for the Chill in February and this week they’re slated for a road series against Springfield, looking to continue to gain ground on the fourth and final Robertson Cup playoff spot.
Last week was a busy one for the Coulee Region Chill. Just three days after returning from two weeks in Alaska they had to hit the road once again for a game against Midwest Division rival Minnesota Magicians.
The first two periods were back-and-forth affairs, Nick Bowman putting home both goals for Coulee Region with the help of Connor Zilisch. Down two late in the third, the roles reversed as Zilisch scored with the help of Bowman and Marshal Plunkett on their sixth power play of the night.
That would be Coulee’s third and final goal of the night and the last chance for Emil Zetterquist to avoid the loss.
The action didn’t stop last Wednesday night. After playing both Kenai River and Fairbanks the prior two weekends, both opponents found themselves in La Crosse in Friday and Saturday night, respectively.
For the Chill it was a chance to crack the goose egg they came home with, a chance to redeem themselves on their home ice. And through the help of five different players – Matus Havrila, Andrew McGlynn, Gavin Holland, Jackson Decker, and Collin Price – the Chill sent the Brown Bears on the road with the loss.
The win not only came behind a strong effort on the offensive side but also in net; Zetterquist had a strong night, saving 40/44 shots and picking up the win.
Saturday night the offense slowed, scoring one goal thanks to the stick of Jackson Decker. The offense as a whole put up just 18 shots on Fairbanks while Zetterquist looked solid stopping 36 shots in the 1-2 loss.
This upcoming weekend proves to be crucial for the Chill going up against the Springfield Jr. Blues Thursday and Friday night. Down just 12 points from the Jr. Blues and a potential playoff spot, getting four points from Springfield would be a great step as they enter the final couple months in the 2017-18 season.
Typically a sweep will give a junior hockey team momentum. Aspiration to continue the fight. And typically a long road trip will do the exact opposite.
The Coulee Region Chill began 2018 with a sweep over the Minnesota Wilderness of the Central Division. That was prior to last weeks annual journey to take on Alaskan Central Division opponents, the Kenai River Brown Bears and Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
Travel isn’t an excuse, at least not one that head coach Ryan Egan would use for his hockey team. But it is certainly a factor for any teams having to make the trip.
For the Chill it was the Brown Bears that were first on the schedule for their five-game slate. Friday night’s game started slow with Kenai River jumping out to a 2-0 lead after the first period. Andrew McGlynn teamed up with Jackson Decker to score on a power play after a minor hooking call on Kenai River.
In the third period, with the Chill facing a 1-3 deficit, Kevin Bryant scored to give Coulee Region life midway through the frame (Holland; Dabrowski). The clock would eventual strike zero on the Chill’s night, falling behind another solid effort from Emil Zetterquist in net.
Saturday night both teams seemed to find the net a lot easier; after a scoreless first period in which both teams combined for 15 shots, both Coulee Region and Kenai River both scored twice in the second, Jackson Decker and Tomas Vochozka both scoring for the Chill in the last four minutes of the period.
Fast forward to the tail end of the final period. Much like the period before, the Chill were facing a two-goal deficit in the final five minutes. This time it was Connor Szmul and Gavin Holland that found the back of the net, forcing overtime.
In what was a back-and-forth regulation it was the Brown Bears that had their way in the extra period, finding their way past Chill goalie Josh Graziano. The Chill would lose 4-5.
The upcoming weekend doesn’t get any easier for Egan and the Chill. The three-game series against Fairbanks begins on Thursday night and then it’s back to Wisconsin, adjusting back to the Central time zone and preparing for a mid-week contest against the Minnesota Magicians.
The first half of the season wasn’t what the Coulee Region Chill was looking for. On the outside looking in for the Robertson Cup Playoffs they knew that a strong start to the second half was crucial.
Now with one weekend in the books, 2018 is off to a great start for Ryan Egan and his Chill squad. On Friday night the chill found themselves down a single goal after the first period but came back by putting up eight goals over the final two periods.
Nick Bowman was the first start of the night, scoring three goals and two assists. Sam Dabrowski and Andy McGlynn added two goals themselves with Connor Zilisch and Tomas Vochozka both adding one each.
Emil Zetterquist started the night out in net and saved 24/26 shots before Josh Graziano came in just 12 seconds in the third, after an injury to Zetterquist.
While Friday’s contest was won with a bang, it was Saturday night that showcased resiliency and tough goalkeeping to finalize the sweep.
Through 60 minutes Zetterquist faced 45 shots, allowing just one puck past him early in the third period en route to his sixth win on the season. Jackson Decker and Kevin Bryant put the Chill on the board with their second and third goals of the season in the first and second period, respectively.
Great shots and goalkeeping were key but it was Coulee Region’s discipline throughout all six periods on the weekend that helped pave the way; two penalties were committed by the Chill on Friday night and a single cross-checking penalty on Saturday night.
Over the next two weekends the Chill will be in Alaska: first up, the Kenai River Brown Bears for a two-game series next weekend and a three-game set against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs the following weekend.
The season of learning continues for the Coulee Region Chill and second-year head coach Ryan Egan. This past weekend the Chill dropped two games to Midwest Division opponents, coming away victorious in just one. They did, however, put up another strong fight.
For the second time this season the Chill traveled down to Springfield to take on the Jr. Blues, a divisional series that takes place three times throughout the season. The first series of the season took place in the middle of November and ended in a 1-1 split.
This time around the first-of-two games kicked off last Thursday night. The Chill got off to a quick start, scoring three unanswered goals in the first 21:25 of the game with Nick Bowman (Connor Szmul, Andy McGlynn), McGlynn (Logan Kon, Collin Price), and Louis Helson (Hunter Canestra) all finding twine.
After taking a 3-0 lead nothing else went right for the Chill who went 0-5 on the power play for the night. Springfield went on to score five times – once with an empty net – to take home the game one win. Chill goalie Josh Graziano saved 36/40 shots.
Friday night the scoreboard flipped. Marshal Plunkett (Matt Hines, Szmul) gave the Chill one in the first to keep pace with Springfield’s two while Connor Zilisch (Zetterquist, Sam Dabrowski), along with a goal from Hunter Canestra (McGlynn, Hines), gave the Chill a 4-3 lead going into the third period. Hines (Plunkett, Dabrowski) scored the insurance goal and put an end to any Jr. Blues comeback with an empty netter with just 24 seconds remaining. Zetterquist got his revenge on the Jr. Blues in this one ending the night with 32/35 saves and an assist.
The weekend wasn’t done in Springfield. The Chill took the long bus ride home Friday night for a contest against the Kenai River Brown Bears Saturday night. Price (Hines) clearly didn’t feel the effects of a long bus ride from the night before, scoring just 26 seconds in.
Kenai River scored the next two goals, taking a 2-1 lead into the final period. Tyler Ebner (Nick Lund) tied the game with just over six minutes left but the Brown Bears took the lead back 11 seconds later.
With under two minutes left, Zetterquist left the ice to give the Chill a man advantage. Kenai River took advantage and scored on the empty net. Price (Bailey Martin, Zilisch) scored for the second time on the night to bring the Chill within one again but it would be too little, too late.
Zetterquist saved 37/40 shots on the night.
The Chill find themselves just two games away from Christmas break, hosting the Fairbanks Ice Dogs Friday and Saturday night at the Green Island Ice Arena. After that they’ll have time to reflect on the first half of the season and refocus for a strong second half push.
Holiday weekends can put a stress on any athletes. Every season on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving the Coulee Region Chill find themselves on the ice mere hours before enjoying a large buffet of great food with their families and/or billet families.
The odd-off day in the latter half of the week puts a spin on their routine. And it just so happens that Thanksgiving this year fell in the middle of a three-game weekend starting off with the Janesville Jets this past Wednesday.
After a slow first period for both teams Coulee Region’s Bailey Martin (Nick Bowman, Tomas Vochozka) took advantage of a slashing minor committed by Janesville’s Justin Bofshever early in the middle frame to go up 1-0. They held the lead up until the 16:32 mark before the Jets tied the game up at one.
Same story in the third period except this time it was Connor Zilisch (Brandon Koch, Martin) scoring on the power play with Bofshever serving a slashing minor. Janesville once again tied the game and eventually forced overtime.
In what was a very offensive game – Jets and Chill with 49 and 40 shots, respectively – neither team could convert in overtime. Forced into their sixth shootout in the month of November, neither Marshal Plunkett or Andrew McGlynn could pick up a goal as the Jets forced two past goalie Josh Graziano who finished with 47/49 saves on the night.
After the off day the Chill hit I-90 West bound for Austin for a home-and-home series with the Bruins. Coulee Region surrendered two goals — one shorthanded — in the first period despite seeing just eight shots. Plunkett (Vochozka, Matt Hines) made it 1-2 just 25 seconds into the second period and it stayed that way until the 14:01 mark. Austin proceeded to score two more goals, taking a 4-1 lead into the third period.
Coulee Region’s Tyler Ebner (McGlynn, Jackson Decker) gave the Chill a last hope with 7:53 remaining but Austin’s Travis Kothenbeutel scored late on an empty netter to prevent any hopes for a comeback.
Graziano got the call for the second consecutive night.
Fast forward to Saturday. The Chill brought the series back to La Crosse where they beat the Bruins 2-1 just 15 days prior. The contest had little action when you look at the box score; just three penalties committed by each team. And the one goal scored all night came way of Austin’s Evan Cholak with 12:07 left in the game.
It was another solid effort from Graziano but he’d be tallied for the loss, saving 29/30 shots in just over 58 minutes of action.
Coulee Region plays host to the Minnesota Magicians this Thursday night in what’s the first college night of the year. All students get in free with proof of their college ID. Then it’s off to Richfield Saturday night to finish the home-and-home series against the Magicians.
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.
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.