THUNDER BAY – Sports – Thunder Bay Chill played the last two games of the season in 2008 against the Kansas City Brass in Thunder Bay and swept them to put the Chill at 40 points, tops in the PDL while they waited for a Sunday game between the Toronto Lynx and Michigan Bucks. The Bucks were at 38 points and a win would put them at 41. A win they got over the Lynx that gave them top honors in the Central Conference and the PDL and as a result hosted the Central Conference Championship in Pontiac, Michigan.
Well the exact same thing just happened in 2012. The Thunder Bay Chill swept the Kansas City Brass this past weekend by scores of 5-1 Friday night and 3-1 Saturday night to vault them into first overall in the PDL at 40 points, with the identical record of 13-2-1 as they did in 2008. Michigan Bucks on the other hand suffered their first defeat on Friday night at the hands of the River City Rovers, making the Sunday afternoon rematch between these two teams crucial for both teams. The Chill had to wait for the result to see what would happen.
A win by the Bucks would put them at 13-1-2 for the year giving them 41 points, and again take top honors in the Central Conference and PDL, and the right to host the Central Conference Championship. A win by the Rovers would give them the right to host a mid week play in game with FC London to determine who would move onto the Conference Championship playoff. That would also have allowed Thunder Bay to host the Central Conference Championship and the overall PDL point leader at 40. Just as they did four years ago, the Bucks did exactly what they needed to do with a 4-0 victory over the Rovers, and will therefore host next weekend’s Central Conference Championship event.
Striker Sullivan Silva put on a show in Friday night’s match against the Brass when he scored four goals. He went on to add two assists on Saturday to vault him into first place in the PDL Points Scoring title with 32 points and also tied for first place for the PDL Goal Scoring title at 13 goals along with Deshorn Brown of Reading United.
Striker Juan Velez also had a great weekend picking up a goal and 3 assists.
The production put him tied for third overall in both the assist category with eight and Point Scoring title with 26.
Goaltender Stephen Paterson who did not play in Saturday night’s game ended the season in second place with 10 wins in the 13 games he played in, one behind Doug Herrick, of the Sounders FC U23 who had 11 wins in 14 games.
Paterson also had 7 clean sheets on the year.
The Chill won’t be hosting the Central Championship event next weekend, but the road so far has proven to be very similar to the 2008 when the team went on to win the North American PDL Championship. “Of course we are disappointed at not hosting next weekend”, said Chill head coach Tony Colistro. “But we have only ourselves to blame. We were in control of our own destiny going into Des Moines last weekend, and we let it slip away, the advantage of not having to travel and playing on our own field and giving our fans the opportunity to see some playoff games was what we were looking for” he continued.
The home field advantage Colistro is talking about continued for the Chill with the wins over the Brass and is now at 17-0-1 over the last 18 games (including two playoff victories in the Central Conference Championship against FC London and Michigan Bucks when the franchise was awarded the event in 2010).
Thunder Bay will travel to Pontiac, MI to play FC London (River City conceded the play in game to FC London) who came in second in the Great Lakes Division on Saturday July 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm. They will follow the game between Michigan Bucks and Real Colorado Foxes scheduled for 6:00 pm.
Winners will play at 6:00 pm on Sunday July 22, 2012. All games will be played at Ultimate Soccer Arenas.
The Chill will also be hosting their annual awards banquet on Wednesday July 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm at the Da Vinci. Hardware will be handed out to the team’s MVP, Best Defender and Rookie of the Year. The organization will also honor one of its many volunteers at the event. In addition this year will also mark the first for awards for the Chill Youth Reserve teams who will also be in attendance and honored for their hard work over the year.
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.