West Des Moines, IA – Sports – After capturing the Heartland division crown last Sunday in St. Louis, the Thunder Bay Chill go into this weekend’s games against the Des Moines Menace with a lot less pressure than previous years when playing the Menace on the road.
The Chill (11-1-0) takes on the Menace (6-5-2) on Friday July 6th and Saturday July 7th at Valley Stadium in Des Moines. The Menace was swept by the Chill in Thunder Bay two weeks ago in Thunder Bay and they will be looking for revenge. More importantly, they are looking to secure the second playoff spot in the Heartland Division. The Menace is currently five points back of Real Colorado.
Thunder Bay Chill’s head coach Tony Colistro said “that it is always tough to beat Des Moines in their own stadium, but it will be much harder this time since they are fighting for that second spot”. Des Moines did win that spot in 2011 when these two teams represented the Heartland division in the Central Conference Championship.
Nonetheless, the Chill would still like to have the best record in the Central Conference and the opportunity to host the Conference Championship. The Chill currently has the best record in the entire PDL and would like to be in that position when the season ends. “We have never accomplished that” said Colistro, “so it is something to strive for during the remaining four games”, he continued. The Chill currently are tied for the second most goals scored in the PDL thus far with 31 and lead the PDL with only 5 goals against in 12 games.
Regardless of the need to win these games the Chill is looking to stay mentally prepared for the upcoming playoffs. “You don’t want to go into the playoffs coming off defeats” said Chill captain Sicelo Buthelezi, who is in his third year with Thunder Bay. “We want to end the season focused and as if each one of our last four games was a playoff game”, said Buthelezi.
The Chill will head home after Saturday’s game with Des Moines after being on the road for 10 days. They close out the regular season at Chapples Park when the Kansas City Brass head to Thunder Bay for two games on Friday July 13th and Saturday July 14th.
The Thunder Bay Chill plays in the Premier Development League (PDL) which is comprised of 73 teams throughout North America and is in their 13 season of play.