THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Thunder Bay Chill (1-0-1) are heading home from St. Louis with a win Sunday, after opening the 2015 season with a tie against the Lions on Saturday night at the Tony Glavin Complex. These were the first two games of the season for a much revamped team who have only been together for two weeks, and there were definitely signs of players not being in game shape early in the season.
The Chill gave up a 2-0 lead Saturday night in a two minute span that cost the Chill the full 3 points. Sullivan Silva and Sergio Campano Franco had provided the scoring with the Chill showing dominance on the field. Having given up the lead, the Chill faced even a greater uphill battle in that goaltender Michael Miller had to come out of the game with an ankle injury. This gave local Chill U18 keeper Jack Hughes the opportunity to come in play the final 18 minutes, making 2 saves to secure the tie. Hughes had been inserted into the lineup when it became apparent that starting keeper Daniel Alvarado was going to be out indefinitely with a knee injury. “I wasn’t expecting to play this weekend”, said Hughes who just turned 18 last Thursday.
Hughes played the full 90 minutes on Sunday making 3 saves on 4 shots in securing the team’s first win of the season. After going down 1-0 in the first half against a strong wind, 19 year old Brazilian Daniel Farias De Oliveira scored just before the half to send the teams to the locker room tied 1-1. The Chill showed signs of a strong attack in both games with 20 shots on goal forcing the Lions’ keepers to make 16 saves. “If we could have finished a few more of our chances we could have won both games comfortably”, said Chill head coach Giovanni Petraglia, who earned his first 4 points as the Chill boss man.
The Chill won the game in the 74’ on a play that went 120 yards on three touches of the ball. Keeper Hughes punted the ball, where Sullivan Silva neatly flicked it forward to Sergio Campano Franco who went in alone on Lions keeper McTurck to slot in his second of the season. Silva had a goal and an assist on the weekend as he showed signs of the 2012 PDL MVP, after fighting injuries the last two season.
With Alvarado and Miller both out indefinitely, the Chill will now turn to Director of Soccer Operations Tony Colistro to search for a keeper to come in to solidify the back end as the team looks at facing the current division co-leaders Springfield Synergy (2-1-0) on June 5th and 6th at Tbaytel Field at Fort William Stadium. Game time is 7:30PM.
Prior to that the Chill host the Winnipeg Lions on Saturday May 30th at 7:30PM and Sunday May 31 at 1:00PM in two friendlies, at the same location.