Kearney, NE. – The Tri-City Storm return home tonight to the Viaero Center for a matchup against in state rival Lincoln following a thrilling 6-5 shootout win over Sioux City on Saturday night. Tri-City returns home seeking its third consecutive win after completing a weekend sweep of the Musketeers last weekend. Tonight’s game will include an appearance by former University of Nebraska wide receiver Kenny Bell, who will be signing autographs before and during the game. Chicago’s “The Shagadelics” will be providing live entertainment for the second time this season, and the Tri-City Storm will host a special post-game skate with the team following its matchup against the Lincoln Stars. Tickets can be purchased today by calling the Viaero Center Box Office at 308-338-8144, or by visiting www.StormHockey.com. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:05pm.
Tri-City (12-12-2-2) won both games against Sioux City last weekend and now has wins in back to back games entering tonight’s matchup against Lincoln. Tri-City is currently positioned in 4th place in the USHL’s Western Conference standings, and trails 2nd place Fargo by only one point. Only two points currently separate the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th place teams in the conference standings. Friday’s home win over Sioux City saw a season high seven goals and a season high forty-one shots on net. Mark Estapa’s goal with less than two minutes to play in the game was the #3 Play on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays on Friday night. Saturday’s game ended with a shootout win for Tri-City after Sioux City scored with less than a second to play to force overtime. Matthew Knies recorded three goals and three assists on the weekend and was a +6 in plus/minus rating. Through the first 28 games of the regular season, scoring leaders for Tri-City include; Colby Ambrosio (14), Benji Eckerle (12), Matthew Knies (7), Nick Portz (7). Following tonight’s game against the Stars, Tri-City will travel to Urbandale, IA for back to back games against the Des Moines Buccaneers this weekend.
Lincoln (13-10-1-2) enters tonight’s road game against Tri-City as the 3rd place team in the conference standings. The Stars are also looking for three consecutive wins in tonight’s game after completing a two-game road sweep of the Fargo Force last weekend. With netminder Jacob Mucitelli serving a six-game suspension for abuse of officials, Ryan McInchak is the expected starter in tonight’s game. McInchak was in net for both of the Stars wins last weekend and has a record of 7-6-0-1 in the 2019-2020 regular season. His Goals Against Average (GAA) is 3.25 and his current save percentage is .877%. Tonight’s game is the third meeting between the Stars and the Storm in this season’s eight game season series. The Stars began the month with a loss against the Storm by the final score of 6-3 on December 1st. After tonight’s road game in Kearney, Lincoln will return home to host Omaha at the Ice Box on Friday.