Urbandale, IA. – The Tri-City Storm hit the road today to begin a weekend series against the Des Moines Buccaneers. Earlier this week, Tri-City defeated in state rival Lincoln by a final score of 6-3. Nick Portz scored two goals, and the Storm also got goals from Nick Capone, Sam Rhodes, Davis Burnside, and Cole McWard in the win. Tri-City’s 51 shots on goal on Tuesday set a new season high for most shots on net in a single game. Tonight’s game is the third game in a four game season series between Storm and Buccaneers. In November, each team won a game at the Viaero Center in Kearney in the first two games of the series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm.
Tri-City (13-12-2-2) has recorded points in six of its last ten games and has now won three consecutive games for the second time this season following a 6-3 win over Lincoln on Tuesday. The Storm has now won ten of the last twelve regular season meetings against the Stars. Entering this weekend’s games, two points separates 2nd place Fargo and 6th place Des Moines in the Western Conference standings. Tri-City has climbed to 3rd place in the standings following Tuesday’s win and the team could end the weekend as high as 2nd place going into next weekend’s home series against the 1st place Waterloo Black Hawks. A road win tonight over Des Moines would give Tri-City a fourth consecutive win on the season, matching a season high for longest winning streak. The Storm scored its 26th and 27th power play goals of the year in Tuesday’s win. Only the Chicago Steel (35) have scored more power play goals than the Storm this season. Tri-City has also been awarded the most power plays of any team in the USHL this season (158). Following tomorrow’s road game against Des Moines, Tri-City will return home to host the Waterloo Black Hawks in back to back games at the Viaero Center next weekend.
Des Moines (13-12-1-2) protects home ice tonight against Tri-City following a 4-1 road win over the Sioux Falls Stampede on Tuesday. The win was the first post-holiday break victory for the team after it dropped back to back games against Waterloo on December 27th & 28th. The Bucs have won four of its last ten games and have been outscored this season by a 93-98 margin. Des Moines’ power play is currently ranked 12th in the USHL at 15.7%. The penalty kill is ranked 8th in the league at 80.9%. The Buccaneers are 9-8-0-1 this season against Western Conference competition including a win against the Storm by a final score of 8-4 at the Viaero Center on November 9th. Through the first twenty-eight games of the regular season scoring leaders for Des Moines include; Joey Strada (16), Kristof Papp (13), Mason Nevers (11), Matt Choupani (10), Alex Laferriere (10), and Michael Mancinelli (9). Tonight’s game is the beginning of a three game homestand for the Buccaneers who will host Cedar Rapids on January 10th.