Chill back over .500, eye playoffs - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Chill back over .500, eye playoffs

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

Back in late December, the Coulee Region Chill were 10-17 and quickly becoming an afterthought for the NAHL playoffs.

After a pair of wins to open February though, the Chill are back over .500, and back in the postseason chase again.

The Chill (20-19) beat Austin 4-3 on Saturday night to surpass the .500 mark for the first time since opening night back in September. They've done it with six wins over their last seven games, and currently trail Janesville by eight points for the final playoff spot in the Midwest Division.

Trading away Michael Wilson in December brought three forwards - Kevin Dineen, Larry Jungwirth and Alex Lambacher - to the team, and it helped create a more balanced offense.

Assistant coach Chistopher Ceransky said it also made the players on the team rethink about the effort they were putting in.

"It's a completely different team. If you come to the game, you feel a different energy," Ceransky said. "It's not the Chill team that you saw in the beginning that could barely score two goals in a game. These guys are pretty high-flying now."

The Chill have averaged just above 3.5 goals per game in 2016. They are also getting better goaltending from Hunter Vorva and Matiss Kivlenieks, who are a combined 7-2 over their last 10 starts.

"People are just happy in the locker room," Kivlenieks said. "Coaches are happy, we're happy, we're winning games. We've got to make the playoffs, we're just only a few points behind."

The Chill wrap up a 5-game road trip on Friday when they take on the MN Wilderness. The Chill will start a 4-game homestand beginning Saturday night when they host Austin.

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