Posted 349 days ago ago by David Fine
Kearney, Neb. – Tri-City Storm Captain Tory Dello has won the Curt Hammer Award for the 2015-16 season, the United States Hockey League announced Friday.
The award is presented annually to the USHL player “who distinguishes himself both on and off the ice by demonstrating outstanding performance skills, pride and determination”. Awarded first for the 1988-89 season, the recognition is named after the late Curt Hammer, the President of the Des Moines Buccaneers from 1984-87 and a former USHL secretary who succumbed to cancer in 1987.
The USHL established the award “to honor his commitment to the League and the perseverance he displayed in continuing his work through hockey while battling the illness.”
Dello is the third Storm winner of the award, joining Garrett Gamez (2013-14) and Christian Hanson (2004-05).
The Notre Dame commit is from Crystal Lake, Illinois and stands six-foot, 190 pounds. Dello has played in three full seasons with the Storm and 167 USHL games (15 playoff games), totaling eight goals and 40 points. In 2015-16, the defenseman had a plus-19 rating, 12 points and a single-season high four goals.
Dello played a leading planning role in the Storm’s “Sammy’s Superheroes Night” on January 22, 2016. Sammy’s Superheroes Foundation was founded in August 2012 after Sammy Nahorny was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma.
The organization raises awareness for childhood cancer and donates funds to pediatric cancer research. During the game, the Storm’s starters helped kids affected by cancer come on the ice as their “honorary starters”. Dello picked Sammy as his starter, bringing him into the locker room, helping him play soccer with other Storm players before the game and eventually coming onto the ice with the six other children affected by cancer. He even volunteered Sammy to lead the players in a “let’s go Storm” cheer after the game.
What makes Dello’s contribution special is his dedication to Sammy even after he lead Sammy off the ice before puck drop. The two continue to frequently text and have “hung out” off the ice, going places around Kearney. In many of Dello’s other visits, he has helped relate to those in potentially life-threatening health situations, taking leadership while visiting hospitals and showing a clear understanding of why it’s important to relate to kids and adults that look up to him.
During this regular season and playoffs, Dello has spent more than 20 hours in the community visiting hospitals, raising money for childhood cancer research and spending time in elementary schools.
Dello and the Storm open the Clark Cup Finals, its first since 2004, Friday, May 13 at 7:35 p.m. at the Mystique Community Ice Center against the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Watch tonight’s game at Fanatics Sports Bar in Kearney for a “Watch Party” with other fans. Game 2 is on Saturday, May 20 at 7:05 p.m.
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)
GAME 2: Saturday, May 14, 7:05 p.m. (Mystique Ice Center)
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).