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Chills and thrills - Junior Hockey News

Published: Friday, 7 Dec 2012
By: Randy Russon

Coulee Region Chill is currently on the outside looking in as it chases a playoff spot in the six-team, Central Division of the North American Hockey League.
Heading into play this weekend, the Chill is tied with the Aberdeen Wings for fifth place in the Central with 17 points, which is 6 back of the surging, fourth-place Minot Minotauros, who have turned it around big time under Canadian-born coach Marty Murray after winning only 7 of 60 games during the 2011-12 season.
At any rate, after struggling during the months of September and October, Coulee Region posted a November record of 4-4-2 and is 3-1-1 in its last five outings. Overall, the Chill takes a record of 6-12-5 into this weekend.
The Coulee Region turnaround has much to do with three players who were recognized by the NAHL with honourable mentions for November player-of-the-month at their respective positions: Goalie Blake Cates, forward Hunter Anderson and defenceman Derek Smith.  
A 1994 birth year, Cates has taken over as the no. 1 goalie with the Chill, sporting a 4-5-2 record, 3.05 goals against average and .913 save percentage.
Also a 1994 birth year, the 6-foot-4, 215 pound Anderson -- interestingly, he was an outstanding defensive end during his high school football days -- is developing into a premiere NAHL power forward with the Chill. Not only does the rookie Anderson have 9 goals thus far this season but has a team-best, plus-minus rating of +9.
Smith, who was born in 1993, trails only Anderson on the Chill plus-minus chart with a +7.
John Hamre, who is in his first season as coach-general manager, is slowly changing the atmosphere and culture within the Chill dressing room. Gone are a number of malcontents who weren't willing to be part of the structure that Hamre has been building since being hired by the Chill shortly after new owner Michelle Bryant purchased the Coulee Region franchise this past summer.
Not only will there be a number of Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association scouts in Kalamazoo when the Jr. K-Wings play host to the Soo Eagles on Saturday afternoon but a member of the National Hockey League's New York Rangers will also be there. The focus of the Ranger scout's attention will be Eagles goalie Zach Nagelvoort. The 6-foot-2, 190 pound Nagelvoort has won his last 6 starts, allowing only 7 goals in the process. For the season, Nagelvoort, who is a 1994 birth year, has 6-3-1 record to go with a 1.84 goals against average and eye-popping, .942 save percentage. Nagelvoort has been teaming with 1992 birth year Tyler Marble -- who has a commitment to play at Division 1, Lake Superior State next fall -- to give the Eagles a 1-2 goaltending tandem that is the best in the North Division of the NAHL, if not the entire league...Eagles coach-general manager Bruno Bragagnolo was doing some cross-border scouting in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Canada on Thursday night. Bragagnolo took in the AAA midget game between the Soo North Stars and visiting Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves. Among the North Stars that Bragagnolo had his eyes on as potential recruits for the 2013-14 season are 1995 birth year forwards Ryan Vendramin and Matt Pinder and 1996 birth year defenceman Nick Trecroce. Vendramin (Sarnia Sting) and Trecroce (Sudbury Wolves) are both Ontario Hockey League draft picks...On an Eagles team with offensive standouts Jared VanWormer, Eric Rivard, Robin Hoglund and Alexander Taulien, one lesser-known forward who has been elevating his game of late is 1993 birth year winger Kyle Loridon. After going scoreless in his first 16 games this season, Loridon has tallied twice in his last four outings and has impressed Coach Bragagnolo with his speed and physical play. "He's really coming on," Bragagnolo said of Loridon. "He's really picked up his game."...A scout with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings has been tracking a pair of 1995 birth year defencemen from the NAHL North: Alex Robert of the Eagles and Corey Schueneman of the Michigan Warriors.


posted Dec. 7th, 2012 - 1:53pm
Coulee Region Chill says:

Coulee Region plays Janesville for Milk Can Trophy

It's Hockey Night in the Coulee Region as the Janesville Jets and the Chill do battle for the "Milk Can Trophy" at the Omni at 7:00 p.m.

The Coulee Region Chill were 4-4-2 for the month of November and are 3-1-1 in their last 5 games and this recent success has a lot to do with three players that closed out the month with strong play that was recognized by the NAHL and has resulted in them being named to honorable mention in their respective positions. Goalie Blake Cates, defenceman Derek Smith and forward Hunter Anderson received those honors from the NAHL.

The Chill swept the Janesville Jets a few weeks ago while on the road in a very physical series that is sure to stick in the minds of Jets team that has recently turned things around with many roster changes and is 3-0-2 in the last 5 games.

Last Friday night the Coulee Region Chill bounced back from a 3-1 deficit to score 4 unanswered goals and win 5-3 over the Brookings Blizzard, a team that had a 4-1 edge in the season series.

The Janesville Jets are coming off a 5-0 shut out of a very experienced Kalamazoo Wings team last Saturday night with Brock Kautz in net. It will be interesting to see which netminder Coach Dibble goes with? Will it be the hot glove of Brock Kautz, who struggled against the CRC in that 6-1 win for the Chill, where he gave up 5 goals on 17 shots, or the younger goalie in Austin Priebe, who has put up solid numbers against the Chill, 2-1-0 1.98 GAA, .931 SVG?

The battle for America's Dairyland Milk Can Trophy is again up for grabs at the Omni Center this weekend and will be on display. The Chill have taken 5 out of the available 8 points in the season series thus far.

Chill vs. Jets this Friday & Saturday night. Both games start at 7:00 p.m. Video/audio on fasthockey.com and audio only on the Coulee Region Sports Network.

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* Article disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Randy Russon, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.

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