CHIPPEWA FALLS, WI- The Chippewa Steel have another full weekend of hockey ahead of them to kick off the final month of the regular season. The team will start the weekend at home against their divisional rival, the Janesville Jets, on Thursday night. Following Thursday’s game, they will head to Austin, MN to face the Austin Bruins for the final time this season. A couple wins for the Steel this weekend would help push them closer to clinching a second ranked playoff spot ahead of Kenai River. In reality, this is a big weekend for both Janesville and Austin as well – as they fight to keep their playoff dreams in check.
Despite a tough series last weekend against the Wilderness, the Steel took both games down to the wire in overtime. Earning two points from the series kept them in the second-place spot in the division. Grisha Gotovets has racked up five assists in his last three games for the Steel, and the team will surely look to him to continue moving the puck and creating scoring chances. Luke Farthing will also be a player to watch for the Steel as he looks for his 10th season goal against the Jets.
In head to head match ups with the Jets, the Chippewa Steel have won eight of the last nine games – their only loss coming in late February at home. Janesville has a lot to play for in these next few weeks as they battle with a hot Minnesota Magicians team for a fourth-place playoff spot. The Magician’s win over the Steel last Sunday gave them the points they needed to pass Janesville in the standings with 11 games still to be played in the Jets’ season.
The Austin Bruins are also fighting to hold their third-place spot in the Central Division just two points ahead of Minot. Chippewa last faced Austin in late January where they swept the series. The Steel look for a repeat of that series on the Bruin’s home ice on Friday and Saturday night.
The puck will drop at 7:10 pm at Chippewa Area Ice Arena on Thursday night’s home game and can also be streamed live via HockeyTV. Thursday’s game promotion is BOGO Adult game tickets and a canned food drive presented by Midwest Family Broadcasting. For tickets visit chippewasteelhockey.com or call 715-861-2131.
The Chippewa Steel are members of the NAHL which is the oldest and largest junior hockey league of its kind in the United States and one of only two USA Hockey-certified leagues that operate under the non pay-to-play model. The NAHL is also one of the best at advancing players to NCAA and professional hockey. Notable Alumni of the NAHL include Ryan Suter (MIN), Patrick Kane (CHI) and Phil Kessel (ARI) All league games are viewable via HockeyTV. For more information, visit chippewasteelhockey.com.