Posted 334 days ago ago by Kendall Grayson
Kearney, NE. – The Tri-City Storm will be represented by nineteen former players in this year’s NCAA Hockey Tournament. The Storm have at least one former player on twelve of the sixteen teams in the tournament field. Nine of the nineteen players representing Tri-City in this year’s NCAA Tournament are members of the Storm’s 2016 Clark Cup Championship team. The 2018 NCAA Tournament begins tomorrow at four regional host sites.
The list of former Storm players competing in the tournament includes; Chase Berger, Garret Cecere, Patrick Curry, Tory Dello, Walker Duehr, Brandon Duhaime, Kevin Kerr, Jake Kielly, Hayden Lavigne, Joel L’Esperance, Alex Limoges, Cutler Martin, Jack McNeely, Gordi Myer, Bobby Nardella, Dayton Rasmussen, Sam Sternschein, Nico Sturm, and Jake Wahlin.
Full List of Storm Players in 2018 NCAA Hockey Tournament
Former Storm Head Coach Bill Muckalt, and former Storm Assistant Coach J.B. Bittner will also make appearances as coaches in this year’s tournament. Muckalt served as the Storm’s Head Coach from 2015-2017 and is currently the Associate Head Coach of the Michigan Wolverines. Bittner was an Assistant Coach for Tri-City from 2013-2015 and is currently an Assistant Coach with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
St. Cloud State (25-8-6) enters the tournament as the #1 overall seed despite losing to reining National Champion Denver in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Frozen Faceoff Championship Game by a final score of 4-1 last Saturday night. The program is making its 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and will be seeking its 1st National Championship. The Huskies received an at large big into the tournament and will be making their 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. 2016 Clark Cup Champion Jake Wahlin has notched 5 goals and 6 assists during his sophomore season with St. Cloud State. Wahlin put together a multiple goal performance against Nebraska-Omaha in a 7-4 win for the Huskies on December 1st. Wahlin scored two goals and added an assist in the winning effort. Wahlin skated in 132 with Tri-City from 2014-2016, recording 34 goals and 62 assists. St. Cloud State’s tournament opening game against Air Force is set for tomorrow at 3:00pm on ESPNU.
Notre Dame (25-9-2) is the #2 overall seed in this year’s tournament and the top seed in the East Regional in Bridgeport, CT. The program appeared in last year’s Frozen Four and will be seeking its 1st National Championship. The Fighting Irish defeated Ohio State 3-2 in overtime to win the Big Ten tournament and have received an automatic bid into this year’s NCAA Tournament field. Former Storm players Tory Dello and Bobby Nardella will skate for Notre Dame in the event. Dello won a Clark Cup Championship with the Storm in 2016 and is currently in his junior season with the Fighting Irish. The defenseman scored his lone goal of the season in a 5-2 Notre Dame win over Minnesota on November 25th. Dello played three games with the Storm during the 2012-2013 season before playing three full seasons from 2013- 2016. He finished his Tri-City career with 9 goals and 32 assists in 152 games played. Fellow defenseman and former Storm teammate Bobby Nardella is 5th on the team in points with 5 goals and 18 assists on the season. Nardella skated in 63 games with the Storm during the 2015-2016 season, recording 12 goals and 39 assists. Notre Dame will open the tournament tomorrow at 2:00pm in a matchup against Michigan Tech on ESPN2.
Ohio State (24-9-5) is the #3 overall seed in this year’s tournament and the #1 seed in the Midwest Regional held in Allentown, PA. The program appeared in the 1998 Frozen Four and is seeking its 1st National Championship. The Buckeyes received an at large big to the tournament after finishing runner up in the Big Ten tournament to Notre Dame. Gordi Myer is currently in his sophomore season at Ohio State, and has scored 1 goal and added 11 assists to the Buckeye offense this season. Myer’s lone goal this season came last weekend in the Buckeye’s Big Ten tournament Semifinal matchup against rival Michigan. Myer scored the game’s opening goal, and Ohio State would go on to defeat the Wolverines 3-2 in overtime. Before being acquired by Green Bay during the 2014-2015 season, Myer skated in 32 career games with the Tri-City Storm. Ohio State will face off against Princeton Saturday at 2:30pm on ESPNU.
Providence (23-11-4) enters this year’s tournament as the #2 seed in the East Regional. The Friars are making their 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and previously won the 2015 National Championship. Providence received an at large bid into the tournament after being shut out by Boston 2-0 in the Championship Game of the Hockey East Tournament last Saturday. Former Tri-City Storm forward Brandon Duhaime is in his sophomore season with the Friars and his currently 4th on the team with 26 points this season. Duhaime has netted 7 goals and recorded 19 assists this year for the Providence offense. He is a member of the 2016 Tri-City Storm Clark Cup Championship team and was selected later that summer by the Minnesota Wild in the 4th round of the NHL Draft. Duhaime scored the final goal of the 2015-2016 season into an empty net with less than one minute to go to seal the Championship for Tri-City in Game 3 of the 2016 Clark Cup Final. After being acquired by Tri-City during the 2015-2016 season, Duhaime played in 29 games with the Storm. He netted 9 goals and registered 9 assists in his 18 regular season and 11 playoff games with Tri-City. Duhaime has two game winning goals this season and scored in overtime during the Friar’s conference tournament to advance Providence into the Championship game against Boston. Duhaime scored his 4th goal of the Hockey East Tournament and 7th goal of the season last Friday to give the Friars a 3-2 OT win over Northeastern. Providence will face off against Clarkson tomorrow at 5:30pm on ESPNU.
Minnesota State (29-9-1) will make its 5th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament this year as the #2 seed in the West Regional. The Mavericks won the 1980 NCAA DII National Championship but have not made it to the Frozen Four since becoming a Division I program prior to the 1996-1997 season. Minnesota State was the #1 overall seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament but was upset by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) by a final score of 2-1 in the opening round of the tournament. The Mavericks received an at large big into this year’s tournament after winning the regular season title in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Former Tri-City Storm players Jack McNeely and Walker Duehr are on this year’s roster for the Mavericks. Both McNeely and Duehr are members of the 2016 Tri-City Storm Clark Cup Championship team. McNeely is still in search of his first collegiate goal during his freshman season at Minnesota State. He has skated in 23 games for the Mavericks this season and has provided 6 assists to the offense. McNeely skated in 91 games with Tri-City across three seasons. The defenseman registered no goals and 11 assists in his time with the Storm before being acquired by Muskegon during the 2016-2017 season. Former Storm teammate and fellow freshman Walker Duehr has scored two goals and added 1 assist in 8 games with Minnesota State this season. Duehr skated in 49 games during the 2015-2016 regular and post season and scored 11 goals for the Storm offense. Duehr also provided 16 assists in his time with Tri-City. Minnesota State begins tournament play against Minnesota Duluth tomorrow at 6:30pm on ESPN3.
Michigan (20-14-3) will make its 37th appearance in the NCAA Tournament after receiving an at large bid into this year’s tournament. The Wolverines are the #2 seed in the Northeast Regional after falling to rival Ohio State 3-2 in Overtime in the Semifinals of the Big Ten Conference Tournament on March 10th. Former Storm teammates Cutler Martin and Hayden Lavigne will try to bring Michigan its 10th National Championship in this year’s NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines last won the National Championship in 1998 after defeating Boston College 3-2 in overtime in the National Championship Game. Martin has skated in 16 games with the Wolverines during his senior season. Martin has netted 1 goal and provided 1 assist for Michigan this season. The former Storm defenseman skated in 88 games for Tri-City and scored 5 goals in his career. He also registered 17 assists during his time with the Storm. Lavigne has been the starting goaltender during his sophomore season for Michigan this season and has appeared in 30 games. He has a record of 16-10-3 with a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 2.78 this season. Lavigne appeared in 27 career games with Tri-City during the 2013-2014 season and had a record of 5-13. Michigan will face off against Northeastern on Saturday at 3:30pm on ESPNews.
Denver (20-9-8) enters this year’s tournament after winning the 2017 National Championship. The Pioneers are the #2 seed in the Midwest Regional and will be seeking their 9th National Championship in this year’s tournament. Denver received an automatic bid into the tournament after winning the NCHC Frozen Faceoff Tournament Championship last Saturday. The Pioneers defeated St. Cloud State 4-1 in the Championship Game to advance into this year’s NCAA Tournament. Former Tri-City Storm goaltender and 2016 Clark Cup Champion Dayton Rasmussen has served as the backup goaltender during his freshman season at Denver. Rasmussen has appeared in 4 games this season and has an overall record of 1-1-1. Rasmussen recorded his 1st collegiate win in goal in Denver’s 5-1 win over Lake Superior State on October 21st. He stopped 15/16 Lake Superior State shots to pick up the win in net. Rasmussen appeared in 43 career games with Tri-City from 2015-2017 and registered a 16-15-5-3 record in his time with the Storm. Denver is set to defend its National Championship against Penn State in an opening round game Saturday at 6pm on ESPN3.
Northeastern (23-9-5) will make its 6th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament after receiving an at large bid into this year’s tournament. The Huskies are the #3 seed in the Northeast Regional and will be seeking their 1st National Championship in program history. Northeastern was eliminated from the Hockey East Conference Tournament in an overtime loss to Providence in the semifinals. Former Storm defenseman Garret Cecere is currently in his sophomore season at Northeastern. Cecere has appeared in 37 games this season for the Huskies and is still seeking his first goal of the year. He has provided 9 assists to the Huskies offense during the 2017-2018 campaign. Cecere played 88 games for the Storm during the 2012-2013 & 2013-2014 seasons. He scored 4 goals and registered 27 assists. Northeastern is matched up in the tournament’s opening round with Michigan. The game will be played Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm
Clarkson (23-10-6) is the #3 seed in the East Regional after receiving an at large bid into this year’s tournament. The Golden Knights have appeared in 20 prior NCAA Tournaments and have made 7 appearances in the Frozen Four. Clarkson will be seeking its 1st National Championship in program history after being awarded a bid in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. Clarkson fell in overtime in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournament Championship Game to Princeton by a final score of 2-1. Former Storm teammates Nico Sturm and Jake Kielly are both sophomore’s on Clarkson’s roster this season. Sturm and Kielly are members of Tri-City’s 2016 Clark Cup Championship team. Sturm played 62 career games with Tri-City during the 2015-2016 season and scored 17 goals. 3 of those 17 career goals came during the 2016 Clark Cup Playoffs. Sturm also registered 28 assists during his Tri-City career. Sturm is in the midst of a standout sophomore season with Clarkson. He has scored 14 goals in 39 games played and has also added 23 assists to the Golden Knights offense. Sturm his 2nd in points (37) and game winning goals (3) this season. Sturm has also scored both of Clarkson’s shorthanded goals this season. Sturm has registered three multiple goal games during the 2017-2018 Clarkson season, scoring two goals in Golden Knights games against Rensselaer, Harvard, and Quinnipiac. Jake Kielly is the Golden Knights starting goalie and has won 22 games for Clarkson this season. He has notched an overall record of 22-10-6 and has a GAA of 1.84. Kielly was nominated for the 2018 Hobey Baker Award but was not named one of the ten finalists. The Hobey Baker award is awarded each season to the top NCAA Division I player. Kielly appeared in 48 games during his Storm career and finished with an overall record of 30-9-5-3. Kielly stopped 30/31 shots in Game 3 of the 2016 Clark Cup Finals to give the Storm its first league Championship. He was named the game’s 1st Star for his efforts in net. Clarkson will being the 2018 NCAA Tournament in a matchup against Providence. The game will be played tomorrow at 5:30pm and will be televised on ESPNU.
Penn State (18-14-5) received an at large bid into the tournament and is the #3 seed in the Midwest Regional. The Nittany Lions are making an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in back to back years for the first time since the program became an NCAA Division I member prior to the 2012-2013 season. Penn State lost to Notre Dame in this year’s Big Ten Tournament Semifinals by a final score of 3-2. Tri-City has four alumni on this year’s Penn State roster including; Chase Berger, Sam Sternschein, Kevin Kerr, and Alex Limoges. Berger played in 126 games with the Storm during his career and scored 27 goals. He scored 3 goals during the 2015 Clark Cup Playoffs and finished his Tri-City career with 61 points. Berger is currently tied for 5th on the team in points during his junior season with the Nittany Lions. Berger has amassed 27 points this season with 11 goals and 16 assists. He had a two goal game on February 2nd in Penn State’s 5-3 loss to Notre Dame. Sternschein had a brief career with Tri-City, playing in 9 games with the Storm. 8 of those 9 games came during the 2015-2016 season in which Sternschein tallied his point with Tri-City. Sternschein scored his only goal with the Storm on opening night of the 2015-2016 season in Tri-City’s 5-1 defeat of the Omaha Lancers at the Viaero Center. Sternschein is having a solid freshman season at Penn State with 5 goals and 5 assists on the year. He had a two goal game against Michigan State on November 24th in Penn State’s 7-2 win over the Spartans. Kerr skated in 125 with Tri-City from the 2012-2013 to the 2014-2015 season. The defenseman netted 9 career goals for the Storm and provided 21 assists to the offense. Kerr has skated in 19 games for Penn State this season and scored his only goal of the 2017-2018 season on December 1st in the Nittany Lions 6-5 shootout win over Ohio State. Alex Limoges is a member of Tri-City’s 2016 Clark Cup Championship team and is currently in his freshman season with Penn State. Limoges scored perhaps the most important goal in Tri-City Storm history on May 20th, 2016. After scoring the opening goal in Game 3 of the 2016 Clark Cup Final, Limoges scored the game’s 2nd goal to put the Storm ahead of Dubuque 2-0. Limoges’ 2nd goal of the game was the game winning goal in the Storm’s 4-1 win over Dubuque. Tri-City hoisted the Clark Cup and celebrated its first league championship in front of a crowd of 4,088 at the Viaero Center. Limoges was named the game’s 2nd Star for his three point night. This season at Penn State, Limoges leads all freshman in scoring with 21 points on the year. He has scored 7 goals and provided 14 assists for the Nittany Lions offense this season. Limoges scored a career high two goals in Penn State’s 5-2 over Minnesota on February 24th. Penn State opens tournament play Saturday at 6pm against Denver on ESPN3.
Boston (21-13-4) received an automatic bid into this year’s tournament after winning the Hockey East Tournament Championship. The Terriers are the #4 seed in the Northeast Region and will be making their 36th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Boston will seek its 6th National Championship in this year’s tournament. Boston clinched a spot in the tournament in a 2-0 shutout of Providence in last Saturday’s Hockey East Tournament Championship Game. Former Storm forward Patrick Curry is in his sophomore season at Boston and has netted 3 goals this year for the Terriers. Curry has appeared in 28 games this season and scored the overtime game winning goal against Boston College in the Terriers 4-3 defeat of the Eagles in their Hockey East Tournament Semifinal matchup. Curry played in 32 games with Tri-City during the 2013-2014 season. He scored 4 career goals with the Storm and also registered 9 assists. Boston faces Cornell Saturday at noon in their opening round game. The matchup will be televised on ESPNews.
Michigan Tech (22-16-5) enters the tournament as the #4 seed in the East Regional. The Huskies received an automatic bid into the tournament after capturing the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s (WCH) Conference Tournament Championship. Michigan Tech shutout Norther Michigan by a final score of 2-0 in last Saturday’s Tournament Championship Game to clinch a spot in this season’s NCAA Tournament. The Huskies have now appeared in back to back NCAA Tournaments and will be seeking their 4th National Championship in the event. Former Storm forward Joel L’Esperance his currently in his senior season with the Huskies and has scored 11 goals on the year. He has also added 15 assists to the Michigan Tech offense. L’Esperance is 4th on the team in points with 26 on the season. He has notched two game winning goals on the year and scored the 2nd goal in last Saturday’s WCHA Tournament Championship Game. L’Esperance skated in 86 games during his career with Tri-City and scored 31 goals. He also provided 22 assists to the Storm offense. Michigan Tech will open tournament play in a matchup against Notre Dame tomorrow afternoon. The game is scheduled for 2pm and will be televised on ESPN2.
Tri-City has no former players on Air Force, Cornell, Minnesota Duluth, or Princeton who will also be competing in this year’s tournament. In addition to the 19 alumni in the tournament, Tri-City has 12 players currently on the team who have committed to play for schools who made this year’s NCAA Tournament. Penn State has the most Storm alumni of any team in the tournament with four former Tri-City players on the roster. The first round matchup between Penn State and Denver will feature 5 former Storm players. The 2018 National Championship Game will be held on April 7th at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.