Thunder Bay, ON – The Thunder Bay Chill head to St. Louis, Mo this weekend to start their 16th season of play in the Premier Development League, and for the first time ever, there will be a new head coach taking over behind the bench. The only head coach the Chill have ever known resigned earlier this year, and won’t even be on the road trip to the Show Me State, where the Chill face the St. Louis Lions (1-0-0) for back to back games on Saturday at 6:00 PM EDT and Sunday at 3:00 PM EDT.
In addition to the coaching change, the Chill have also made a significant change in field personnel, where only 4 players return from 2014, and 3 other players return from prior years.
After a 3 year absence the Chill all-time leading scorer Brandan Swartzendruber, returns. along with Sergio Campano Franco and Kyle Andrade who were both with the 2013 PDL finalist team in Austin, Texas.
Thunder Bay has dominated St. Louis since the Lions entered the league in 2006 with an overall record of 17-7-1, however 2014 belonged to the Lions. St. Louis took 3 of 4 from the Chill last season including the July 14 contest in Shattuck, Mn, that eliminated the Chill from the playoffs after 7 consecutive appearances in the post season.
The Chill aim to get back on track this weekend with new coach Giovanni Petraglia stating the “Chill have to be in the playoffs”. Petraglia has been Colistro’s assistant for 3 seasons, and knows the culture that has created a championship atmosphere over the years. Petraglia feels that the Lions will have some advantage in that they have played a game and won. “They will be coming into our game with the confidence that they built with their win on Sunday”, said Petraglia. “As we have not played a game yet, we need to get our game legs quickly in order to match their intensity”, he continued.
The Chill will come home to prepare for two friendlies against the Winnipeg Lions on Saturday May 30th at 7:30 pm and Sunday May 31 at 1:00 pm. Following that the Chill will have their home opener on Friday, June 5th and Saturday June 6th, when the Springfield Synergy (2-1-0) come to town.
The Thunder Bay Chill plays in the 63 team prospect focused Premier Development League (PDL) which is the top developmental men’s league in North America.