Posted 357 days ago ago by David Fine
Deciding game in Kearney on Tuesday, May 10
Kearney, Neb. – Four Tri-City Storm forwards scored, but the Waterloo Black Hawks scored four in the third to defeat the Storm, 7-4, and tie the Western Conference Finals series at two.
Nick Swaney had a hat trick and four points for Waterloo.
The decisive Game 5 is at the Viaero Center on Tuesday, May 10 at 7:05 p.m. The winner advances to the Clark Cup Finals.
Down, 2-0, halfway through the first, Tri-City fought back to tie the game twice, but could never take the lead. Waterloo had quick answers after the Storm tied, including a go-ahead goal by Sam McCormick with 7:47 left 47 seconds after Tri-City tied the game at three.
Jake Kielly took the loss with 33 saves, while Cale Morris won making 25 stops.
The Storm’s Carson Meyer scored his team-best fifth playoff goal at 11:26 of the third, tying the score, 3-3. Meyer and Duhaime each finished with one goal and two points.
Meyer and Dan Labosky are tied for the team lead with nine postseason points.
With under eight minutes to play, Sam McCormick shot a puck that deflected off of Jack McNeely’s stick, fooling goaltender Jake Kielly and waffling over his left shoulder and in.
The Hawks rattled off two more goals to seize a 6-3 edge. With the net empty, Alex Limoges stuffed a feed from Labosky on the power play at 18:27, pulling the Storm within a pair. Tri-City was 1-for-7 on the man up. Waterloo was 2-for-5.
Swaney completed the hat trick with an empty netter 24 seconds later to ice the game.
The Hawks scored twice on the first 10 shots. First, Yuri Terao deflected a shot through Kielly on a right-point slap shot from Jake Ryczek and Shane Bowers at 9:12. Next, shorthanded, the Hawks capitalized on a turnover in front of the net and Ronnie Hein stuffed it through at 11:41 after getting a pass from Nick Swaney.
Two transition plays tied the game early in the second. At 4:35, Brandon Duhaime knocked a loose puck on the left goal line for his first postseason goal. The 18-year-old forward from Parkland, Florida was hooked down at the left circle, but had the presence of mind to feed it to a driving Carson Meyer. With the Storm creating net-front traffic, Duhaime lifted it over Morris.
Just 1:15 later, Monte Graham stuffed a snap shot in from the left post to the cage’s right corner. Collin Rutherford passed the puck from behind the net to Graham and Mattias Goransson earned the second assist.
With Graham’s first postseason point, Tri-City has had 15 of 16 forwards record at least one point. On the goal, Rutherford earned his first postseason point.
Swaney answered for Waterloo on the power play at 8:31 to regain the Hawks’ lead, 3-2. The goal ended the Storm’s streak of 23 straight successful penalty kills.
Game 5 at the Viaero Center is on Tuesday, May 10 at 7:05 p.m., featuring $5 Kids Tickets and $6 College Tickets.
Storm postseason games can be heard on The Breeze 94.5 FM – kliqfm.com. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. for games one and two with the Viaero Wireless Pregame Show.
Western Conference Finals Schedule:
#3 Waterloo Black Hawks vs. #1 Tri-City Storm
GAME 1: Friday, April 29, 7:05 p.m. (Viaero Center) – Tri-City 4, Waterloo 0
GAME 2: Saturday, April 30, 7:05 p.m. (Viaero Center) – Waterloo 3, Tri-City 1
GAME 3: Friday, May 6, 7:05 p.m. (Young Arena) – Tri-City 3, Waterloo 0
GAME 4: Saturday, May 7, 7:05 p.m. (Young Arena) – Waterloo 7, Tri-City 4
GAME 5: Tuesday, May 10, 7:05 p.m. (Viaero Center) –
Purchase playoff tickets here (http://bit.ly/Storm_Tickets).