Coulee Region Chill 5, Springfield Jr. Blues 3
Things got off to a shaky start for the Chill Friday night in Springfield against the Jr. Blues. The Chill took the ice and fell into an 0-3 deficit after Drew Richter, Kyle Meeh and Joey Lupo all scored for Springfield before the clock struck the 14 minute mark in the first period. That third goal, however, was all the Chill would stand for.
Shortly after Lupo scored to make it a 3-0 game for Springfield, Alex Lambacher (Dominik Florian assisted) put one in the back of the net for Coulee Region. Lambacher decided it wasn’t enough and added another goal 2:44 into the 2nd thanks to another helper from Florian. After assisting on the first two Lambacher goals, Florian joined in and scored one of his own with an assist from Isaac Theisen.
The third period went over 15 minutes tied 3-3 until Nico Luka (Joey Sofo) have the Chill their first lead of the contest. In an attempt to score with a six-man advantage, the Jr. Blues pulled their goalie but it would prove to be ineffective as Theisen scored on an empty netter with assists from Florian and Lambacher with just 14 seconds left to play.
Hunter Vorva would be credited with the win in 45+ minutes of ice time, saving all 28 shots he faced. Tommy Nappier was handed the loss for Springfield.
Coulee Region Chill 3, Springfield Jr. Blues 4
The first period in Saturday night’s contest began much like the last two periods from Friday night. The Chill scored twice with goals from Phil Erickson (Caleb Schroer) and Joey Sofo (Alex Falconer, Luka).
The second wasn’t as nice for Coulee Region as Nathan Viberg tallied two goals in the second for the Jr. Blues, both goals assisted by Brady Tomlak and Jeff Skinner. Josh Bell continued the scoring for Springfield at the 9:25 mark in the third to put them up 3-2. 67 seconds later Schroer tied the game at three thanks to an assist from Luka – his second of the night – and Erickson.
The 3-3 tie was short lived; 69 seconds after the Schroer goal, Anthony Tzveyn gave the lead back to Janesville and that would be the final nail in Coulee Region’s coffin.
Hunter Vorva was given the nod to start and faced a barrage of shots throughout the night – 53 total – and saved 49 of them. Tommy Nappier got the win for Springfield after replacing Niko Della Maggorie, saving 16 of the 17 shots he faced.
The Chill will be away from home this weekend once again as they travel to face the Minnesota Magicians Friday night and head to Austin one last time this season to face the Bruins Saturday night.
Forward Dominik Florian and defenseman Nico Luka receive honorable mentions from the NAHL after a great weekend against the Springfield Jr. Blues.
Florian, native of Vlasim, CZE, was an integral part of the 5-3 comeback win against the Jr. Blues on Friday night. After the Chill fell in an 0-3 deficit in the 1st period, Florian – along with the rest of the Chill players – stepped up. Florian assisted on the first two Chill goals, scored his own in the latter half of the 2nd to tie the game at three, and assisted on Isaac Theisens' empty-net goal to make the final score 5-3. After failing to score any points in Saturday nights contest, Florian finished the weekend with one goal and three assists for four points.
Luka, native of Bartlett, IL, scored what would be the game-winning goal in Friday nights victory. That goal was his 4th of the season and 2nd game-winning goal of his junior hockey career. On Saturday night Luka assisted on two of the three goals scored by the Chill. Luka now has four goals and 15 assists for 19 points on the season. He currently leads all Chill defenseman in all three categories.
Coulee Region Chill forward Isaac Theisen has made his NCAA commitment to play D1 hockey at the Air Force Academy.
Theisen is playing in his second season with the Chill. In his first season last year, Theisen accumulated five goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 56 games played. This season he's tallied 12 goals and 18 assists in 26 fewer games.
Due to his commitment, Theisen will no longer be participating in the 2016 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Plymouth, MI. He'll be replaced by Chill teammate Alex Lambacher.
For the full story as well as a statement from head coach AJ Degenhardt, head over to the press realease on the NAHL website by clicking here.
Forwards Dom Florian and Isaac Theisen along with goalie Matiss Kivlenieks will represent the Coulee Region Chill at the 2016 Top Prospects tournament.
Florian has appeared in 26 games this season, recording a team-leading 12 goals (three game-winning goals) and 10 assists for a total of 22 points on the season.
Theisen has found the back of the net 11 times in 33 games while contributing a team-leading 17 assists for a total of 28 points to this point.
Kivlenieks is 7-8 on the season, recording two shutouts (all in January). His 2.45 goals-against-average leads the team and is only .001% behind teammate Hunter Vorva with a .922 save percentage.
The tournament is set to take place February 15th and 16th at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, MI. Last week the coaches for each division were announced; coaching the Chill players along with the rest of the selected players from the Midwest division will be Trevor Stewart of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and Corey Millen of the Minnesota Wilderness.
Today the NAHL released the schedule as well as the team breakdowns for each division for the annual Top Prospects Tournament.
The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Easton, is an annual tournament showcasing the top prospects throughout the entire league teaming up with opposing players throughout each division.
This year the Coulee Region Chill will be sending three players to the tournament set to take place February 15th and 16th in Plymouth, Michigan. Top prospects head coaches have until 5pm CT on January 22nd to finalize their rosters. The NAHL is expected to announce the rosters on Monday, January 25th on nahl.com.
The schedules for the tournament is as follows:
Forwards Dominik Florian and Isaac Theisen were named honorable mentions for their work on the ice this past weekend.
Florian, native of Vlasim, Czech Republic, was quiet in Friday nights contest against the Janesville Jets but was clutch Saturday night. After failing to record any points the night before, Florian recorded both an assist and goal that proved to be the game winner in overtime to bring the weekend series to 1-1. Florian now has 10 goals and nine assists in a season that started off slow due to injury. He need 14 points to tie his point total from last year which ended at 33.
Theisen, native of Monroe, MI, had similar statistics as Florian as he also contributed a goal and an assist this past weekend. Theisens lone assist came in the 1-4 loss on Friday night at Janesville and his goal came at the start of the 2nd period to get the Chill on the board in a game that'd eventually end in a 4-3 victory in overtime. He, too, has 10 goals on the season to go along with 14 helpers as well, both of which are career bests in a season for the 2nd year player.
Coulee Region Chill 1, Janesville Jets 4
The first game of the home-and-home series took place at the rink of the Janesville Jets in Janesville, WI. Janesville got off to a quick start with three goals on only 10 shots in the 1st coming from Adrian Holesinsky, Peter Bates and Kip Hoffman.
Coulee Region tightened up ship in the 2nd and tallied one goal of their own courtesy of Matt Doran (Shane Kusmeski, Isaac Thesien assisted). The Chill couldn’t find any offensive firepower throughout the 3rd after being forced to kill off four separate power plays throughout the frame. Dawson DePietro scored one late for the Jets with the empty net to give Janesville a 4-1 victory in a game that snapped a four-game win streak for the Chill.
Matiss Kivlenieks was in net for the Chill, saving 27 of 30 shots on the night. Blake Weyrick picked up the win for the Jets with just 21 saves on 22 shots.
Coulee Region Chill 4, Springfield Jr. Blues 3
The two teams returned to La Crosse on Saturday night in what would be a back-and-forth contest throughout.
Much like the night before, the Jets jumped on the board first with an Andrew Roye goal 16:44 into the 1st. The Chill answered back 4:04 into the second with a goal from Isaac Theisen (Colin Theisen, Dominik Florian). Janesville answered back quickly with a power-play goal from Holesinsky after Kuzmeski was called for a head contact. The Chill would add two more goals throughout the 2nd period by Alex Lambacher (Justin Kendall, Nico Luka) and Phil Erickson (Kusmeski, Spencer Zweiner) finding twine, and Janesville would add another as well with Kip Hoffman connecting just under six minutes left to play before the 2nd intermission.
It was all crickets in the 3rd period with both teams tied at three apiece and that’s how they’d go into overtime. After the Chill killed off a Kuzmeski penalty in OT Florian buried one through a small window just :48 seconds left to play before a shootout and Coulee Region split the weekend series 1-1 with a 4-3 final.
Hunter Vorva got the nod in net and picked up the win after saving 24 of 27 shots on the night. Jack LaFontaine was given the loss for Janesville.
The Chill kick off this weekend Friday night in a game away from home against the Austin Bruins and return home Saturday night against Janesville. Puck drops at 7pm on Saturday at Green Island Ice Arena. Saturday will be Military night and if you have military ID you get in for FREE!
Goalie Matiss Kivlenieks and forward Colin Theisen receive honorable mentions from NAHL after weekend sweep.
Kvlenieks, of Riga, Latvia, has been on a tear as of late. Since returning to the Unites States after winning best goaltender of the tournament and leading his home country of Latvia to a Championship title of the IIHF World Junior Div. I Group A Championship he's won three games while stopping 85 of 87 shots in that span. This last Saturdays game against the Springfield Jr. Blues he stopped all 33 shots he faced en route to his second straight shutout.
Theisen, forward from Monroe, MI, suited up for the Chill for the first time this season on Friday night and contributed right away. His goal and assist in Friday's 4-2 win over the Jr. Blues helped propel the Chill to their third consecutive win.
Coulee Region 4, Springfield Jr. Blues 2
The weekend series against the Jr. Blues started at 7pm Friday night at the Green Island Ice Arena. The game started out slow as neither team could put a shot in net in the 1st period but the 2nd started out quick as Springfields’ Drew Richter chipped one in just :51 seconds in. The Chill didn’t go into the 2nd intermission down, however, as Davis Zembergs (Justin Kendall assisted) tied the game at the 17:19 mark.
The third period was all about Coulee Region and their ability to get it past Jr. Blues goaltender Tommy Nappier. Of the 12 shots throughout the period the Chill converted on three of them courtesy of newcomer Colin Theisen (Dominik Florian), Florian (C. Theisen), and Aussie Miller (Shane Kuzmeski, Joey Sofo).
Chill goaltender Hunter Vorva allowed only two goals on 36 shots throughout the night and was awarded the 4-2 win on the night.
Coulee Region 1, Springfield Jr. Blues 0
Saturday was an all-around quiet night on the scoring side for both teams but it wasn’t quiet for either teams’ goalies. Springfields’ Nappier was in net once again for the Jr. Blues and Matiss Kivlenieks was in net for the Chill. The only puck that managed to find its way past either goalie was that of Joey Sofo (Alex Falconer, Shane Kuzmeski) at the 13:34 mark in the second period.
Nappier stopped a total of 46 shots on the night but it wasn’t good enough. Kivlenieks stopped all 33 shots he faced on the night en route to his second consecutive shutout – only two on the season – and extended the Chill winning streak to four.
The Chill return to the ice Friday night in a home-and-home series with the Janesville Jets. Friday nights game will be away in Janesville and saturdays back in La Crosse. Puck drops at 7pm both nights! Go Chill!
It was certainly a big weekend for the Coulee Region Chill and it just got a little bit bigger for two well-deserving players that helped lead the boys to a sweep over the Austin Bruins and Janesville Jets this past weekend.
Matiss Kivlenieks, goalie from Riga, LAT, has had a great last month. After being awarded the best goaltender in the tournament while playing for his home team of Latvia in the IIHF World Juniors Div. 1 Group A Championship, Kivlenieks backed up his play with a weekend that saw him save 52/54 shots including a shutout against Janesville, the first of his career. Kivlenieks is now 5-7 on the season with a 2.73 GAA and .916 save percentage.
Nico Luka, forward from Bartlett, IL, scored two goals and an assist over the weekend. His first goal came against the Bruins on Thursday night and his second, along with his only assist on the weekend, was scored in the 5-0 shutout against the Jets on Saturday night. His goal against the Bruins on Thursday night proved to be the game-winning goal.