Posted 2 years 7 days ago ago by David Fine
Kearney, Neb. – Tri-City Storm Head Coach and General Manager Bill Muckalt has named returning defenseman Jack McNeely the Captain of the 2016-17 Tri-City Storm. McNeely, 19, is the second-oldest player on Tri-City. Committed to Minnesota State, McNeely has played 77 games (14 playoff) with the Storm, most on the club.
Muckalt has also announced that forwards Brian Hawkinson and Alex Limoges and defenseman Joey Matthews have been named assistants. Matthews and McNeely were paired together on defense for all of the Clark Cup Playoffs. The four members of this season’s leadership group won the 2016 Clark Cup.
Muckalt explains what each leader brings --> LISTEN HERE
Muckalt on the four leaders: “All four are going to provide a really good and solid leadership group to help this team. They all know what it takes to be champions.”
Muckalt on McNeely: “Jack has proven to be a consummate teammate and has all the qualities we’re looking for from a leadership standpoint to help guide this team. Jack knows what the expectation is from our coaching staff. He’s very popular with his teammates and has the respect of his peers.”
Muckalt on Limoges: “His play exemplifies what we want from our players. He’s a great teammate and person that our younger players can look to for answers.”
Muckalt on Matthews: “To me, Joey Matthews brings a never-say-die attitude. He’s worked for everything he’s gotten here and his role has continued to increase. He’s worked hard every day to make himself better … We really value what he brings to our locker room on and off the ice.”
Muckalt on Hawkinson: “Anybody that has the chance to watch Brian Hawkinson play can see he puts the team before anything he does individually. He’s just a shining light and is willing to do all the things that aren’t the easiest – blocking shots and killing penalties. He embraces that and does those things and does them with such passion, enthusiasm and attention to detail. His teammates recognize that.”
McNeely appeared in all 11 Clark Cup playoff games last season and tied a team-high with 59 regular season games played. McNeely totaled eight assists during the regular season. The 6-foot-3, 187-lb. blueliner was the 2014-15 Captain of Lakeville North High School (Minnesota), leading the squad to a 31-0 record and the Minnesota High School Hockey State Championship.
The Assistant Captain Limoges, 19, is Tri-City’s leading returning scorer, tallying 15 goals and 39 points in the 2015-16 regular season. During the playoffs, the Cornell commit was second in the league with nine assists and third with 14 points, trailing only linemates Wade Allison (16 pts) and Dan Labosky (19 pts) in playoff scoring. Limoges graduated from Kearney High School in 2016.
Matthews is 19 years old and hails from Columbia, Illinois. After missing five of the first six games during the 2015-16 regular season, Matthews skated in 63 of the final 65 games, most of them paired with McNeely. During the regular season, the 5-foot-9, 180-lb. blueliner scored two goals and ten points in 53 games.
Hawkinson, committed to Miami University, tallied one goal and four points during the regular season and became a force on the penalty kill. The 18-year-old’s lone goal came during the 2016 regular season finale, April 9, on a spin-o-rama that gave the Storm a late lead against Omaha. Originally from Aurora, Colorado, the forward stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 175 pounds. Like Limoges, Hawkinson graduated from Kearney High School in 2016.
Last season’s Storm Captain, Tory Dello, has started his freshman year at Notre Dame. The 2015-16 assistant captains, Dan Labosky (Wisconsin), Mattias Goransson (UMass Lowell) and Jake Wahlin (St. Cloud State) have also moved on to play college hockey.
The Storm opens the regular season on Friday, September 23 at Lincoln. Puck drop is at 7:35 p.m., with the Viaero Wireless Pregame show at 7:20 p.m. Listen to all Storm games on The Breeze 94.5 FM.
Coming off a 2016 Clark Cup Championship, Tri-City kicks off the home schedule with Championship Night on September 30 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Sioux City.
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The Storm will raise its Clark Cup Championship Banner and give away a special championship pennant to the first 1,000 fans. Presented by Viaero Wireless, Championship night will include a pregame ceremony to honor last season’s championship team as well as tributes throughout the night.
Viaero Center Box Office hours are 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Call 308-338-8011 for more information.