Posted 345 days ago ago by David Fine
Kearney, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm is home for Game 3 of the Clark Cup Final looking to close out the Dubuque Fighting Saints at the Viaero Center on Friday, May 20 at 7:05 p.m. The Storm leads its best-of-five series, 2-0, and outscored Dubuque, 9-3, in a pair of games at the Mystique Community Ice Center last weekend.
First-year Head Coach and General Manager Bill Muckalt has guided the Storm to its most wins in a Final series; in 2004, the only other time Tri-City made the Clark Cup, Head Coach Bliss Littler and the Storm fell in four games, 3-1, to Waterloo.
This marks the first time the Clark Cup is in Kearney. The last time the Cup was in Nebraska was 2008, when the Omaha Lancers won the Clark Cup.
The first 3,000 fans receive rally towels for Friday’s affair. Kids tickets are $5 and student tickets are $6 for all playoff games. Tickets are available now at the Viaero Center Box Office (call: 308-338-8144) and online at http://bit.ly/Storm_Tickets.
The Storm is 4-0 when taking the first two games of a series. Tri-City last took a 2-0 edge in this season’s opening round sweeping Sioux Falls. The Storm has won the first two games in three of its five playoff series.
Since returning to the USHL in 2010, Dubuque is 0-2 when falling behind, 2-0, in a series. In 2012 and 2014, Dubuque was swept out of the playoffs by the Indiana Ice in the second round.
In the Tier I history of the league (since 2002-03), teams that lose the first two games in the Final are 1-4. This is the fourth time the team that begins the series at home has dropped its first two games (2004, 2010, 2015, 2016). In 2010, the Green Bay Gamblers lost the first two games of the Final at home to Fargo but overcame a 2-0 deficit. In the 2004 Clark Cup Final, the Storm lost its first two games at home before falling in four games to Waterloo. Teams that lose the first two games at home are 1-2.
Storm History: Leading, 2-0, in a series (record: 4-0)
2004: West Division Semifinals vs. Des Moines: won series, 3-0
2004: West Division Finals vs. Sioux City: won series, 3-1
2015: Western Conference Semifinals vs. Omaha: won series, 3-0
2016: Western Conference Semifinals vs. Sioux Falls: won series, 3-0
The Storm has seven empty-net goals in ten playoff games, including three in the Final. During the regular season, Tri-City had eight empty-net goals in 60 games. Carson Meyer had four empty-netters during the regular season, the only Storm player to have more than one. Meyer has none in the playoffs.
Dan Labosky and Jake Wahlin have bagged two empty-net goals in the playoffs.
Dubuque is second with three empty-net goals in the playoffs.
Still closely contested
Even though the Storm has outscored Dubuque, 9-3, in the first two games, the Fighting Saints have scored the first goal in each contest. This trend has made for closely contested third periods.
Dubuque is 3-2 when scoring first and 3-3 when allowing the first goal. Tri-City is 4-0 when scoring first and 4-2 when surrendering the first goal.
Saints netminder Cale Morris has allowed six goals through the first two games. The native of North Branch, Minnesota has a 2.17 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Jake Kielly has a 1.71 goals against average and a .948 save percentage, best in the playoffs.
All the records
Here is a list of records broken, tied or within reach by Storm players this postseason.
Broken – Dan Labosky: most career postseason points – 20
Broken – Dan Labosky: most career postseason assists – 13
Broken – Dan Labosky: most assists in a single postseason – 11
Broken – Dan Labosky: most assists, postseason game – 3 (April 15, 2016 vs. SF)
Broken – Jake Kielly: most career postseason shutouts – 3
Broken – Jake Kielly: most career minutes (597), career saves (310) and career games played (10) in postseason
Broken – Wade Allison: most points in a postseason period – 4 (May 13, 2016 at DUB).
Tied – Dan Labosky: most points in a postseason game – 4, May 14, 2016. Tied with Bill Thomas, March 31, 2004.
Tied – Wade Allison: most points in a postseason game – 4, May 13, 2016 Tied with Bill Thomas, March 31, 2004.
Tied – Dan Labosky: most points in one postseason – 16. Tied with Bill Thomas, 2004 postseason
Tied – Wade Allison: most goals in a postseason round – 4, Clark Cup Final. Tied with Bill Thomas (4, 2004 Clark Cup Playoffs opening round).
Within Reach – Dan Labosky: most points in a postseason round (Labosky has six points in Clark Cup Final and needs two points to tie Calle Ridderwall’s 2007 first-round mark of eight points set against Sioux City).
Within Reach – Wade Allison: most points in a postseason round (Allison has eight points in Clark Cup Final and needs two points to tie Calle Ridderwall’s 2007 first-round mark of eight points set against Sioux City).
Clark Cup Final Schedule:
#1 Tri-City Storm vs. #3 Dubuque Fighting Saints
GAME 1: Friday, May 13, 7:35 p.m. (Mystique Ice Center) – Tri-City 5, Dubuque 1
GAME 2: Saturday, May 14, 7:05 p.m. (Mystique Ice Center) – Tri-City 4, Dubuque 2
GAME 3: Friday, May 20, 7:05 p.m. (Viaero Center)
GAME 4: Saturday, May 21, 7:05 p.m. (Viaero Center)
GAME 5: Tuesday, May 24, 7:05 p.m. (Mystique Ice Center)
Purchase playoff tickets here (http://bit.ly/Storm_Tickets).