Posted 137 days ago ago by David Fine
Teams tied in Western Conference standings
Ralston, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm (8-9-2-2, 20 pts) and Omaha Lancers (9-10-2-0, 20 pts.) are knotted at sixth in the Western Conference and meet Friday at Ralston Arena for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop.
The Storm and Lancers have split the first two games of the season series; Tri-City won the last meeting at the Viaero Center, 4-1, on November 4. The teams play eight times this season.
Three of the Storm’s main pieces – Alex Limoges, Paul Washe and Dayton Rasmussen – are in Bonnyville, Alberta representing the U.S. Junior Select Team at the World Jr. A Challenge for the next two weeks. Equipment Manager Dan Bouska is also wearing red, white and blue and representing the squad. To fill the void, the Storm has brought in goalie Parker Swanson and forward Donovan Ott.
After tonight’s contest, the Storm hosts the Des Moines Buccaneers Saturday for Ugly Sweater Night, presented by Midway Auto Dealerships and Bud Light. Wear your favorite holiday sweater and enjoy $1 beer and soft drinks.
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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. 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.
"Dop don’t stop"
With Dayton Rasmussen representing the U.S. Junior Select Team, the Storm is expected to rely heavily on Eric Dop over the next four games. Dop recorded his first USHL win Saturday, making 29 saves in a 5-2 win over the Waterloo Black Hawks.
In five USHL games, Dop has allowed 11 goals and pitched a 1-1-1-1 record, 2.52 goals against average and .919 save percentage. The 18-year-old from Lewis Center, Ohio came to the Storm from the Minot Minotauros, where he played in five games and allowed nine goals.
Committed to Bowling Green State, Dop has made at least 25 saves in each of his four starts.
On a world tour
Last season, the Storm went 2-0-1-1 when it lost three key contributors – John Marino, Carson Meyer and Jake Wahlin - to the World Jr. A Challenge.
After falling to Bloomington in overtime and shootout on consecutive days, the Storm defeated Sioux City and Omaha to close out the pre-holiday slate. Against Sioux City, Wade Allison scored his only USHL hat trick, finished off by a game-winning goal in overtime. Allison scored the next night in the third period at Omaha, his 10th of the season and fourth in about 24 hours, to help the Storm sweep the last two games before the holidays.
Scouting the Lancers
Much like the Storm, Omaha has remade its roster over the past few weeks to stay competitive in the conference. On November 30, the Lancers acquired second-year forward Cole Gallant from the Fargo Force in exchange for Jacob Paganelli. The same day, in somewhat of a pre-trade deadline blockbuster, leading returning scorer Brannon McManus and goalie Peter Thome were shipped to Chicago for goalie Tommy Nappier and forward Greg Printz.
Printz is committed to Providence and has four goals and seven assists in his first USHL season. Nappier has combined for a 9-1-2-0 record, 1.97 goals against average and .926 save percentage. The netminder played both games last weekend for the Lancers, helping Omaha earn points in each (1-0-1-0).
Reigning USHL/CCM Defenseman of the Week Derek Hamelin recorded a pair of assists Friday against Des Moines and then went plus-2 Saturday matching arguably the league’s top-scoring duo; Muskegon’s Collin Adams (league-best 27 points) and Andrei Svechnikov (rookie-leading 24 points).
Leading scorer Pierce Crawford has nine goals and 16 points. The Lancers have managed three victories over their last nine games (3-4-2-0).
Tri-City hosts the Des Moines Buccaneers for Ugly Sweater Night + $1 Beers on Saturday, December 10 at 7:05 p.m. One of the most popular nights of the season, enjoy the fun by wearing your favorite ugly sweater and enjoying $1 beers and soft drinks.
The Storm readies for a 2016 Clark Cup Final rematch on Friday, December 16 (7:35 p.m.) and Saturday, December 17 (7:05 p.m.) at Dubuque. Last playoffs, the Storm swept Dubuque out of the Final, 3-0, capped off by a victory in front of a sell-out crowd May 20 at the Viaero Center.
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