Posted 144 days ago ago by David Fine
Storm looks for sweet 2017 start vs. Buccaneers
Kearney, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm (11-13-2-2, 26 pts., T-7th Western) plays its first game of the new year against the Des Moines Buccaneers (16-8-1-2, 35 pts., T-2nd Western) at the Viaero Center Friday at 7:05 p.m., for Trolls Night, presented by Kearney Cinema and Hilltop Cinema.
Tri-City will give away free troll dolls. Plus, it’s a $5 Kids Friday presented by Kearney Taco Bell, featuring a voucher for a free taco and soft drink.
This weekend is a home-and-home against the Buccaneers; The Storm, winners in two of three, travels to play at Des Moines Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
The Storm has dropped its first two games against the Buccaneers. Last time against Des Moines on December 10, Buccaneers forward Kobe Roth scored the only goal of the game with less than five minutes remaining in the third.
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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., Jan. 6 vs. Des Moines, 7:05 p.m. (Trolls Night)
Sat., Jan. 7 at Des Moines, 7:05 p.m.
**Tues., Jan. 10 – USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, Sioux Falls, SD (Five Storm players participating)**
Fri., Jan. 13 at Bloomington, 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 14 at Bloomington, 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 20 vs. Sioux City, 7:05 p.m. (NE Farm Bureau Night)
Sat., Jan. 21 vs. Omaha, 7:05 p.m. (Taste of Nebraska Night)
On ice for goals
The Storm has scored 78 goals this season and Captain Alex Limoges has been on ice for 34 of them (44%), the most of any Tri-City player. The club’s goals leader (11), Limoges has been on ice for 18 opponents’ goals, a team-best +16 differential. Linemates Charlie Kelleher (31 goals for/19 goals against) and Linus Weissbach (28 goals for/14 goals against) are second and third on the club, respectively, in differential.
Last weekend, Tri-City scored eight goals and Adam Goodsir was on ice for a squad-best five of them. The 18-year-old is one of five Storm players that will play at the 2017 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Tuesday, January 10 at Sioux Falls.
Joseph Campolieto leads Tri-City defenseman in goals on-ice for (27) and differential (+9). The Storm acquired the native of Eynon, Pennsylvania in October from the NAHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.
This weekend is the only time this season the Storm plays a home-and-home series on back-to-back nights. A home-and-home is a series that alternates home and away games.
Last season, Tri-City had three home-and-home series on back-to-back nights, facing Lincoln, Des Moines and Omaha. The Storm swept the Stars in December and went 2-4 overall.
The Storm has another home-and-home against Omaha in January, but the games are on January 21 and January 24.
The Storm has taken the fewest penalty minutes/game in the league (12.2 PIMs/game, 342 PIMs), nearly the same pace as last season under Head Coach Bill Muckalt. Last season, Tri-City took the fewest PIMs in club history (726), or 12.1/game. At the current rate, the Storm will take about 733 penalty minutes.
Logan Drevitch, the team’s penalty minutes leader, 53, has taken one minor penalty since the Storm acquired him from Muskegon on November 28.
Scouting the Buccaneers
Led by reigning USHL/CCM Goaltender of the Week Jan Ruzicka, Des Moines has won three straight games. Ruzicka started for the Buccaneers on Wednesday and Friday, going 2-0-0-0 with a 1.83 goals against average and .929 save percentage. Ruzicka is fifth among goalies with a 2.07 goals against average and .924 save percentage.
Ruzicka made 25 saves to defeat the Storm, 5-2, on November 26 and is 4-3-0-0 overall against Tri-City in his two seasons with the club.
Nick MacNab shut out Tri-City with 18 saves on December 10 and has not given up a goal to the Storm in two career starts, going a perfect 63-for-63. MacNab is 6-3-0-1 with a 2.19 goals against average and .920 save percentage.
David Keefer, coming off a two-goal performance last Friday vs. Omaha, paces the group with 11 goals and is tied with Kobe Roth for a team-best 22 points. Roth scored the overtime-winning goal to best Omaha.
On Saturday, January 7, Tri-City completes a home-and-home with Des Moines at 7:05 p.m. at Buccaneer Arena, with coverage beginning 15 minutes before the game on The Breeze 94.5 FM.
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