Posted 358 days ago ago by David Fine
Storm leads best-of-five, 2-1
Kearney, Neb. – Tri-City Storm netminder Jake Kielly made a playoff-best 41 saves for his third postseason shutout and the Storm followed his lead, seizing a 2-1 series lead with a 3-0 win over the Waterloo Black Hawks Friday at Young Arena.
Kielly’s mastery started early; two of his first three saves came on odd-man rushes. Continuing the theme, the 19-year-old backstopper made 14 stops in the second and 16 in the third. The Storm was outshot, 41-27.
The 6-foot-3, 190-lb. goalie is the only in Storm playoff history to record multiple postseason shutouts.
Wade Allison scored his third of the postseason six minutes into the first, Max Humitz tallied four minutes into the second and Jake Wahlin added an empty-net goal with six seconds left. Cale Morris made 24 saves in defeat.
The Storm is one win away from advancing to the Clark Cup Finals. Game 4 is Saturday, May 7 at 7:05 p.m. in Waterloo.
Tri-City’s Wade Allison catapulted the Storm to a 1-0 edge, finishing a shooting gallery at 5:45 of the first. The goal developed in multiple stages. First, Allison curled and shot the puck from the right post, stopped by Morris. Next, Dan Labosky poked a follow-up attempt into Morris’ pads. Finally, Allison deposited by backhanding it through traffic from right circle. Alex Limoges had the second helper.
Kielly also emerged in the first, making 11 saves. Shots were even at 11 after 20 minutes.
The Hawks brought increasing pressure during the second, but Kielly had 14 saves and the Storm extended its lead. At 4:01 of the middle frame, Max Humitz added insurance at the right post by one-touching a behind-the-net pass from Joe Cipollone to the top pocket.
Humitz is Tri-City’s most-experienced regular and postseason player, competing in 187 regular season games and 18 postseason contests. His second goal of the postseason gives the 20-year-old winger four career playoff tallies.
Cipollone took his first postseason point, giving Tri-City 18 skaters with at least one point this playoffs. Twenty-one Storm skaters have played at least one postseason game.
Kielly starred in the third, making arguably the best stop at the right post with his leg. With multiple Hawks whacking, Kielly kept his leg strong to fight off three shots.
Wahlin’s empty-net goal from Carson Meyer iced the game with six seconds remaining.
Game 4 is Saturday, May 7 at 7:05 p.m. in Waterloo. The Storm is home for Game 5, if necessary, 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)
GAME 5: Tuesday, May 10, 7:05 p.m. (Viaero Center) – if necessary
Purchase playoff tickets here (http://bit.ly/Storm_Tickets).