Posted 2 years 12 days ago ago by David Fine
Rematch of 2016 Western Conference Final
Kearney, Neb. – The redesigned Tri-City Storm (7-8-2-2, 18 pts., 6th Western) hosts the Waterloo Black Hawks (12-6-0-1, 25 pts., 2nd Western) for the first time this regular season Friday at 7:05 p.m. The last time these teams met in Kearney, Tri-City defeated Waterloo, 5-3, in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final to advance to the Clark Cup Final.
Friday’s game is First Responders Night, presented by New West, and is the first of two straight against the Black Hawks. Tri-City will honor local firefighters, policemen, EMTs and all other first responders throughout the game. It’s also a $5 Kids Friday, featuring $5 tickets for those 12 and under plus a voucher for a free taco and soft drink at Kearney Taco Bell.
Over the last six days, the Storm added two players, acquiring forward Logan Drevitch from Muskegon in exchange for former Captain Jack McNeely and picking up defenseman Jack Summers from Springfield (NAHL).
To fill the leadership void, Head Coach and General Manager Bill Muckalt installed Alex Limoges as Captain and first-year forward Adam Goodsir as Alternate Captain on Thursday.
Besides the transactions, national attention continues to pour in over Tri-City’s Weiner Dog Races. They reached #8 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top Ten Plays on Wednesday. On Instagram alone, the video has been viewed more than 1 million times.
Saturday’s game starts at 3:05 p.m. against Waterloo and is Boy Scout Day, presented by Cabela’s. The Storm will wear one-night-only specialty jerseys, available for auction after the game.
Get Storm Tickets
Viaero Wireless Pregame Show at 6:45 p.m.
Radio: The Breeze 94.5 FM | Listen Live |
Mobile: Free audio on your mobile device with the Tri-City Storm Mobile App (iPhone App Store // Google Play)
Streaming Video: Pay-to-watch on http://USHL.HockeyTV.com
Social: @TriCityStorm for in-game updates and broadcaster @RealDavidFine
Upcoming Schedule (Download here)
Fri., Dec. 2 vs. Waterloo, 7:05 p.m. – First Responders Night, $5 Kids Friday
Sat., Dec. 3 vs. Waterloo, 3:05 p.m. – Boy Scout Day, Specialty jerseys
Fri., Dec. 9 at Omaha, 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 10 vs. Des Moines, 7:05 p.m. – Ugly Sweater Night + $1 Beers
Fri., Dec. 16 at Dubuque, 7:35 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 17 at Dubuque, 7:05 p.m.
The returning champions
After the week’s transactions, six players remain from the Storm’s 2016 Clark Cup Championship team, goaltender Dayton Rasmussen, defenseman Joey Matthews and forwards Monte Graham, Brian Hawkinson, Alex Limoges and Paul Washe.
All have played more prominent roles this season: Rasmussen is now the starter and has more wins this season (7) than last (4). Among forwards, Limoges leads the team in points, Hawkinson is a cog on the penalty kill, Graham exceeded his points total from last season and Washe is second on the squad in goals (7) and points (16). Matthews has ascended to one of the top defensive pairings.
Tri-City began the season with nine returning Clark Cup Champions on opening night.
Where were we last year?
The Storm has the same record now (7-8-2-2, 18 points) as it did through 19 games at this point last season. Tri-City won the 2016 Clark Cup.
Going into game 20 at Muskegon on November 28, 2015, the Storm was 13th in goal scoring (2.37 GF/gm) and 9th in defense (2.79 GA/gm). This season, the Storm ranks 7th in offense (2.95 GF/gm) and 13th in goals against (3.00 GA/gm).
After falling to the Lumberjacks, 4-3, in Game 20, Tri-City earned points in 30 of its next 33 games (19-3-6-5).
Scouting the Black Hawks
Led by the winningest Head Coach in USHL history, P.K. O’Handley, the Black Hawks are second in the conference and six points back of Sioux City for the league’s best record.
Returning Hawk Nick Swaney paces the club with 17 points and was named to the U.S. Jr. Select Team that will participate in the 2016 World Jr. A Challenge in December. Nova Scotia native Shane Bowers is second on the squad with 16 points and was given an “A” rating by NHL Central Scouting on its November Players to Watch List, denoting a potential first-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.
In cage, Robbie Beydoun has played in 14 games, sports a 7-5-0-1 record, is third in the league with a 1.77 goals against average and fourth with a .931 save percentage. The second-year netminder spent last season with Fargo. First-year goalie Severi Isokangas, from Finland has played in eight games, accruing a 5-1-0-0 record, 3.08 goals against average and .882 save percentage.
Saturday, December 3 is Boy Scout Day, presented by Cabela’s, and features a special 3:05 p.m. start time and one-game-only specialty jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game. Get Storm Tickets