Posted 297 days ago ago by David Fine
Storm finishes season series against conference foe
Ralston, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm (15-22-5-2, 37 pts., 8th Western) seeks to even the season series as its completes the eight-game set with the Omaha Lancers (17-21-5-1, 40 pts., 6th Western) Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
Tri-City is 3-3-1-0 against Omaha and the Storm fell in overtime, 3-2, on February 10. The Storm has points in three straight games against the Lancers.
The squads are well-acquainted; Saturday’s game is the fifth matchup since January 21. During the 28-day span, Tri-City is 2-1-1-0 against Omaha.
The Storm suffered a 5-1 loss against Des Moines Friday. Omaha scored three goals in the first and bested Cedar Rapids, 5-2.
Tri-City begins a four-game home stand on Friday, February 24 against Sioux Falls on “Pack it In Purple Night”, presented by the Kearney Hub and the United Way. The Storm will wear one-night-only jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game. Saturday, February 25 against Sioux City is Hockey Appreciation Night, with a free postgame skate after, presented by Graham Tire.
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Upcoming Schedule (Download here).
Sat., Feb. 18 at Omaha, 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 24 vs. Sioux Falls, 7:05 p.m. (Pack it in Purple, one-night-only jersey auction, $5 Kids Friday)
Sat., Feb. 25 vs. Sioux City, 7:05 p.m. (Hockey Appreciation, Postgame skate)
Fri., March 3 vs. Fargo, 7:05 p.m. (Ag Appreciation Night, $5 Kids Friday)
Sat., March 4 vs. Fargo, 7:05 p.m. (Teddy Bear Toss)
Hello, again (x4)
The Storm and Lancers will match for the fifth time in four weeks Saturday. Three of the games have been in Kearney. Tri-City is 1-0-0-0 at Ralston Arena over the last month and 1-2-0-0 this season.
In general, Omaha has won closely-contested games in the series. Tri-City has routed Omaha by large margins.
Tri-City’s victories against Omaha have all been by at least three goals (14 GF, 3GA), including a 6-1 win on January 24. The Lancers have won a pair of one-goal decisions, including a 3-2 OT decision last time.
Eric Dop has allowed seven goals over two matchups against the Lancers. Logan Halladay has two career appearances against Omaha and is 1-1-0-0, allowing three goals in each game. Wyatt Bongiovanni leads Tri-City with four goals against Omaha and is tied with Bryan Yoon for a series-best five points.
After giving up two goals to the Storm in his first two appearances, Tommy Nappier has surrendered nine goals in the last three starts.
The Storm is 50-48-7-7 in the USHL’s Tier-I history against Omaha. Tri-City needs a win Tuesday to avoid dropping the season series; the Storm has won three of the last four.
Since the start of the 2012-13 season, the year Ralston Arena opened, Tri-City is 19-16-3-2 against Omaha, The Storm was 1-8-0-0 vs. the Lancers in 2013-14. The Storm won the first-ever game at Ralston, 3-0, on October 26, 2012.
The “future” is bright
Like the Storm, Omaha has made a few transactions over the last month aimed at building for the future. The Lancers traded three of their top five scorers – Pierce Crawford, Austin Alger and Mitch Perrault – in exchange for forward Noah Lalonde, an affiliate player and draft picks.
The Storm dealt five players early last week for two affiliates, four draft picks and two players to be named later.
Scouting the Lancers
Parallel to its season series with Tri-City, Omaha has often won close games and lost contests by large margins. Half of the Lancers’ victories (8) have been by one goal. Meanwhile, the club has the worst goal differential (-40) in the Western Conference and has lost eight games by at least four. The Lancers have allowed at least six goals in six games.
Captain Filip Rydstrom leads the group with 20 assists and 28 points. No active Omaha player has scored ten goals. Rookie Emilio Pettersen is second among active Lancers with 19 points.
The club relies on Tommy Nappier in net, making 22 appearances in 24 games since being acquired from Chicago just after Thanksgiving. The Ohio State commit is 8-9-4-1 with a 2.63 goals against average and .905 save percentage since the deal.
Former Storm defenseman Michael Joyaux scored the overtime winner against Tri-City last game and has 11 points (2g, 9a) in 14 career games against Tri-City. Against all other teams, the 3rd-year blueliner has 38 points in 148 games.
Saturday in Omaha, the Storm drops the puck for the final time this season against the Lancers. Listen on the Breeze 94.5 FM with the Viaero Wireless Pregame Show at 6:45 p.m.
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