Storm News

2016-17 Game 56 Preview: Chicago at Tri-City

Posted 2 years 141 days ago ago by David Fine

Dash 4 Cash, postgame autographs, $5 Kids Friday and two home games left

Kearney, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm (19-28-6-2, 46 pts., 8th Western) begins its final home weekend of the season with a set against the Chicago Steel (36-14-2-3, 77 pts., 1st Eastern) Friday at 7:05 p.m. Friday’s game features a Dash4Cash, presented by NebraskaLand National Bank, postgame autographs with all Storm players and a $5 Kids Friday. Also check out the Storm’s Coca-Cola jersey raffle; any fan that purchases a coke at the Storm game will be entered into a drawing for a free Tri-City jersey.

During intermissions, fans and schools will try to grab as much “cash” as they can in an allotted time frame. Schools will compete for $1,000 during one break and fans will grab up to $250 in the next intermission.  A $5 Kids Friday means all kids 12 and under get $5 tickets to the game, plus a coupon for a free taco and soft drink at Kearney Taco Bell. 

The Storm is looking for its second straight win after defeating Sioux Falls at home last Saturday. Tri-City has three games in three days this weekend, its first “three-in-three” since the 2014-15 season. Chicago is the only team in the Eastern conference to secure a Clark Cup Playoff berth and is five points ahead of second-place Muskegon. A Steel victory and Muskegon regulation loss clinches the Eastern Conference. 

If Eric Dop gets the call Friday, he would make his 11th straight start and become the first Tri-City netminder since Aaron Rock in 2005-06 to start more than 10-in-a-row.

A pair of former Storm goalies are also making their return to Kearney. The Storm traded Dayton Rasmussen traded to Chicago in February. Additionally, Peter Mannino is an Assistant Coach for the Steel and led Tri-City to the Anderson Cup in 2003-04.

On Saturday, April 1 against Chicago at 7:05 p.m., the Storm honors the league’s best fans on Fan Appreciation Night, presented by the Nebraska Lottery. There will be a special, free postgame skate.

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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)
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Remaining Schedule (Download here).
Fri., March 31 vs. Chicago, 7:05 p.m. (Dash For Cash, $5 Kids Friday, Postgame Autographs
Sat., April 1 vs. Chicago, 7:05 p.m. (Fan Appreciation Night, postgame skate)
Sun., April 2 at Sioux City, 3:05 p.m.
Fri., April 8 at Cedar Rapids, 7:05 p.m.
Sat., April 9 at Des Moines, 7:05 p.m.

It’s been awhile
The Storm and Steel last played on October 3, 2015, 545 days ago. Entering that weekend set, Chicago had hosted just one game in its new home, the Fox Valley Ice Arena. Tri-City swept Chicago by a combined 8-3 score to begin 3-0-0-0, the Storm’s best start since 2003-04 (4-0-0-0).

Both clubs featured first-year head coaches, Dan Muse and Bill Muckalt. At the time, Muse was the second-youngest Head Coach in the league (33 years old). Both are in their second USHL campaigns.

Chicago last played in Kearney on October 11, 2014, 902 days ago.

Slavin bouncing
Josiah Slavin recorded his first multi-point game (1g, 2a) and a career-high three points Saturday in the Storm’s win over Sioux Falls. After failing to score on his first four shots, Slavin completed the effort with an empty-net goal to add insurance in the final minute.

Since January 24, Slavin has recorded five goals and eight points, fourth on the team. Over that span, the 18-year-old has had two point streaks (three games, two games).

The 6-foot-2, 182-lb. native of Erie, Colorado is the younger brother of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin.

Bongiovanni first
Forward Wyatt Bongiovanni has scored the Storm’s first goal in consecutive games. Saturday, Bongiovanni tied the game, 1-1, with Sioux Falls and the Storm earned its fifth victory after allowing the opening goal.

The 17-year-old has ripped the Storm’s first goal five times this season, all since January 21, and Tri-City is 3-2-0-0 when Bongiovanni scores the opening tally. Over that span, Bongiovanni has seven goals. His first goals include the Storm’s Teddy Bear Toss tally on March 4 against Fargo.

Last season, Bongiovanni scored three goals. His first USHL goal, in his league debut, was Des Moines’ opening tally on September 25 at Lincoln. 

The native of Birmingham, Michigan has 12 goals and is second on the Storm with 30 points. Des Moines selected Bongiovanni with the third overall pick in Phase I of the USHL Draft.

Scouting the Steel
Chicago picked up wins in consecutive games and clinched a Clark Cup playoff berth on Saturday with a victory against Des Moines. The Eastern Conference’s top team ranks in the top-five of goals for (2nd), goals against (3rd), power play (5th) and penalty kill (1st).

Jack Badini leads Chicago in goals (27) and is third on the team with 41 points. Reggie Lutz and Jake Jaremko are tied for a team-high 45 points. Lutz scored twice in Chicago’s last game against Youngstown.

Since coming to the Steel, former Tri-City netminder Dayton Rasmussen is 5-2-0-0 with a 2.36 goals against average and .913 save percentage. Ales Stezka is 20-9-1-2 with four shutouts, a 2.23 goals against average and .917 save percentage.

On Deck
On Saturday, April 1 against Chicago at 7:05 p.m., the Storm honors the league’s best fans on Fan Appreciation Night, presented by the Nebraska Lottery. 

The Storm plays its third game of the weekend Sunday at 3:05 p.m. against Sioux City. Tri-City finishes 2016-17 with a pair of road games on April 7-8. On Friday, the Storm is at Cedar Rapids for a 7:05 puck drop. The season finale begins at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 at Des Moines.

Listen to all games on The Breeze 94.5 FM. Coverage starts with the Viaero Wireless Pregame Show 15 minutes before puck drop.

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2017_03_31 Game 56 Preview HEAD.jpg 

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