Storm News
Mar
31
2017

2016-17 Game 57 Preview: Chicago at Tri-City

Posted 257 days ago ago by David Fine

No joking around, it's the Storm last home game

Kearney, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm (20-28-6-2, 46 pts., 7th Western) plays its last home game of the season and looks to sweep the Chicago Steel (36-15-2-3, 77 pts., 1st Eastern) Saturday at 7:05 p.m. The Storm honors the league’s best fans on Fan Appreciation Night, presented by the Nebraska Lottery. Tri-City will giveaway lottery tickets, coupons for a free donut from Daylight Donuts, Clark Cup championship t-shirts and pennants.

There will be a special, free postgame skate. It’s also the last chance to take advantage of 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.

Friday against Chicago, Tri-City bounced the Steel by scoring the first three goals and holding on for a 3-2 win. Eric Dop made 29 saves. Dop has made 11 straight starts. Tri-City is 13-15-1-0 at home this season.

Tri-City completes a stretch of three games in three days against Sioux City Sunday at 3:05 p.m., with the Viaero Wireless Pregame Show starting at 2:45 p.m. The Storm’s final weekend of the season features a pair of road games. On April 7, the Storm is at Cedar Rapids at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, April 8, Tri-City completes the regular season against Des Moines at 7:05 p.m.

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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 

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.

Second goals
Nick Azar and Ronnie Attard each recorded their second goals of the season in Friday’s 3-2 win against Chicago. Azar’s goal was his first since October 9 (37 games). Attard, who had not recorded a point since December 31, took a pair of points in 1:31. The 18-year-old has four points this season.

Tri-City is 2-0-0-0 when Attard scores. Committed to Western Michigan, the defenseman missed the first quarter of the season recovering from an upper-body injury.

Back in Kearney

Former Storm goaltender Peter Mannino is an Assistant Coach for the Chicago Steel is at the Viaero Center this weekend for the first time as a USHL coach. The Storm honored Mannino’s Tri-City legacy with a special in-game video on Friday.  

Tri-City won its only Anderson Cup in 2003-04 and Mannino competed in 38 games. He holds the Storm’s single season record for wins (26) and goals against average (2.11) in a season. From February 11 – March 27, Mannino won ten games in-a-row, still a Tri-City best. The Storm made its first Clark Cup in 2004 and lost in four games to the Waterloo Black Hawks.

Mannino is one of 13 former Storm players to make the NHL. In 2009, the native of Farmington Hills, Michigan played three games for the New York Islanders. Mannino appeared in six games for three different teams (two with Atlanta, one with Winnipeg) and played professionally in the ECHL, AHL and NHL from 2008-15.

From 2004-08, Mannino spent four seasons at the University of Denver and won the National Championship in 2005.   

Scouting the Steel (part two)
Chicago has scored the game’s first goal 35 times this season, second behind league-best Sioux City. When scoring first, the Steel is 27-5-0-3.

The Steel has a winning record against all but two USHL teams, Madison (1-2-1-0) and Youngstown (2-3-0-0). Against the Western Conference’s top-four teams (Sioux City, Waterloo, Fargo, Des Moines), Chicago is 5-1-0-2. The Steel is 10-7-1-0 when facing the Eastern Conference’s top-five (Muskegon, Dubuque, Green Bay, Youngstown).

Chicago is at Waterloo on Tuesday and hosts Muskegon Saturday. The Steel finishes up the regular season a week from now (Saturday) at Madison.

Coach successes
Storm Head Coach Bill Muckalt and Chicago’s head man Dan Muse each come from the collegiate ranks. Prior to taking the Tri-City job, Muckalt spent four years as an Assistant Coach at Michigan Tech University. Muse has eight years of the experience at the collegiate level, working for Williams College, Sacred Heart University and Yale University from 2007-15. Muse spent six seasons at Yale (two as Associate Head Coach).

Last season, Muckalt became the fifth Head Coach in the Tier-I history of the USHL to win the Clark Cup in his first season. Muse coached Team East during the 2017 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.    

Snapping the streak
The Chicago Steel have clinched a Clark Cup Playoffs berth for the first time in nine seasons, snapping the league’s second-longest drought. The last time Chicago played a playoff game was in 2008. Des Moines holds the league’s longest playoff drought, last qualifying in 2007.

The Storm longest playoff drought is three seasons (2007-10, 2012-2015).

Season series history
Tri-City is 27-16-1-2 against Chicago in the USHL’s Tier-I history, the Storm’s second-best record against any USHL team (Youngstown, 12-3-1-1).

The series has been marked by runs; Tri-City was 19-6-1-1 against Chicago from 2002-08. The Storm then dropped four straight home games to the Steel and went 1-6-0-1 from 2008-10. From 2010-14, each team had a three-game series winning streaks.

The Storm and Steel have played no more than two times a season for the last seven campaigns. From 2002-10, the cross-conference foes met at least four times a season.

On Deck
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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