Posted 140 days ago ago by David Fine
Game 1 Preview: Storm looks for sweet start to 2017-18 vs. Lancers
Ralston, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm opens the 2017-18 regular season at the Omaha Lancers Friday at 7:05 p.m. First-year Head Coach/General Manager Anthony Noreen, hired in May, is hoping to lead a rebound campaign for the Storm after Tri-City finished 8th in the Western Conference with 50 points last season. The Lancers tied for 6th in the Western Conference with 51 points in 2016-17.
Tri-City’s home opener is Fri., Oct. 13 against the Sioux City Musketeers at 7:35 p.m. The game is presented by Viaero Wireless and features a Friday the 13th Jason Mask giveaway to the first 2,000 fans, a Funtastic $5 Kids Friday (tickets $5 for kids 12 and under) and $2 off concessions to the first 500 fans.
The Storm split its last two preseason games, but managed to tie the score in each when facing multi-goal deficits. Tri-City was 3-4-0-0 in the exhibition season and Omaha was 4-4-0-0. Tri-City and the Lancers went 1-1-0-0 against each other in the exhibition slate.
Returning leading scorer Adam Goodsir tied for a USHL-best five goals during the 2017 preseason, including scoring a hat trick against Muskegon at the Fall Classic. Tyler Ward led the team with six points (3g, 3a) and two multi-point efforts. In net, Filip Larsson was 2-1-0-0 with a 1.89 goals against average and .917 save percentage. Jake Barczewski achieved a 1-1-0-0 mark, 3.04 goals against average and .918 save percentage.
The Storm’s Anthony Noreen, 34, is set to coach his first Storm game against rookie Omaha Head Coach Dave Wilkie. Noreen is in his 5th season as head coach of a USHL club, spending 2011-15 with the Youngstown Phantoms. After winning 2014-15 USHL Coach of the Year, Noreen spent parts of two seasons as Head Coach of the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. Noreen’s career record is 126-99-19. He is the Storm’s 8th Head Coach.
Wilkie is Omaha’s 12th Head Coach and the first former Lancers player and Clark Cup Champion to lead the club. The 43-year-old was the Omaha AAA Hockey Clubs Director of Hockey Operations (U18 and U16 Head Coach) over the previous seven seasons. Some notable Storm players coached by Wilkie at Omaha AAA include his son, Chris, current Tri-City blueliner Bryan Yoon and 2016 Clark Cup MVP Wade Allison.
1st-round new names
The Storm boasts three 2017 first-round picks on its opening night roster: F Tyler Ward (7th overall), G Filip Larsson (8th) and D Tony Malinowski (9th). Tri-City selected Ward and Larsson back-to-back in the Phase II Draft, then traded weeks later to acquired Malinowski from Omaha.
Ward recovered from an upper-body injury to lead the Merritt Centennials with nine goals and 16 points in 11 BCHL playoff games. Larsson is a 2016 sixth-round selection of the Detroit Red Wings. Malinowski topped the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U18 with eight goals and 37 points in 51 games.
Scouting the Lancers
Omaha has missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons, the second time the Lancers have endured a multi-year drought (1986-89). A pair of NHL draft picks, D Nick Perbix and F Noah Cates, hope to reverse the Lancers’ fortunes. Perbix, selected by Tampa Bay in the sixth round of the 2017 draft, had 40 points for Elk River High School (MN) last season. Cates is a 5th-round Flyers draft pick and impressed with two goals and seven points over 11 games for the Lancers late last season.
Goaltender Zach Driscoll is back for his second USHL season and last played for Omaha in 2014-15. After his Lancers career, the 20-year-old spent 2015-16 with Penticton (BCHL) and last year with St. Cloud State University. This is Driscoll’s final season of junior eligibility. In 2014-15, Driscoll was 6-4-2-0 with a 2.86 goals against average and .897 save percentage.
Home Opener: Fri., Oct. 13, 7:35 p.m. vs. Sioux City, presented by Viaero Wireless.
- The first 2,000 fans in attendance at the home opener will receive a Friday the 13th Jason mask.
- The first 500 fans will receive $2 off concessions.
- $5 Funtastic Kids Friday
- Tri-City hosts 30 regular season games at the Viaero Center in 2017-18.
- Friday and Saturday home games begin at 7:35 p.m. Call 308-338-8144 for more information.
Sun., Oct. 15: Storm at Omaha, 5:05 p.m.
Thurs., Oct. 19: Paint the Ice for Cross-check cancer weekend
Color Out Cancer: Fri., Oct. 20, 7:35 p.m., vs. Omaha, presented by Midway Auto Dealerships
- Specialty jerseys
- $5 Funtastic Kids Friday
- Team Concepts Family Night
Cross-check Cancer Night: Sat., Oct. 21, 7:35 p.m. vs. Lincoln, presented by Kearney Concrete
- Specialty jerseys, jersey auction after game
- Storm pays on painted ice
Storm game broadcast coverage: listen on The Breeze 94.5 FM, watch on ushl.hockeytv.com.