GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT MARK END TO 2012-13 SEASON
Thursday, April 25, 2013
KEARNEY, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm wrapped up the 2012-13 regular season with an overall record of 22-35-7, failing to qualify for the United States Hockey League playoffs.
The conclusion of the 64-game regular season schedule also put a cap on Storm head coach Josh Hauge’s first full season behind the bench. Hauge’s season will be remembered for the ever-changing lineup he was forced to put on the ice due to constant injuries.
“Our guys fought through a lot of adversity and stayed positive while finishing it out,” Hauge said. “It was definitely difficult at times with the amount of guys out, but I felt like we competed until the very end.”
Hauge said that his roster included a very talented group of players and expected the departing veterans to go on to do big things in college hockey.
“I think down the road you’ll see great things from these guys,” Hauge said. “The highlight of the season for me was spending time with our group of players.”
The Storm were led by a group of veterans that excelled offensively. In his third season in Kearney, captain Brian Ward scored 54 points in just 42 games with 22 goals and 32 assists.
“What Brian Ward did individually this season was pretty special,” Hauge said.
In addition to Ward’s achievements, forward Trevor Moore also racked up the offensive accomplishments, leading the team with 63 points.
Assistant captain Michael Vecchione was an example of a player who grew as the season progressed and was at his best down the stretch, finishing the campaign on a four-game goal scoring streak.
“I think the way Michael Vecchione has developed as a person and as a hockey player is something our staff is pretty proud of,” Hauge said. “I think he’s ready to make a direct impact and be a pretty dominant player next year in college.”
Hauge also noted that defensemen Eli May, Cutler Martin and forward Joel L’Esperance made big strides in their development.
Tri-City is preparing for the two annual USHL Entry Drafts, which will take place on May 6 and 7. Draft Phase 1 (formerly the Futures Draft) will include eligible players with a 1997 birth year. Phase 2 will include multiple birth years from 1993-1996.