Kearney, NE. – The Tri-City Storm returns home to the Viaero Center tonight following two road games last weekend against the Lincoln Stars. Tonight’s home game is the team’s annual “Pack It In Purple Game” presented by the United Way and it will feature throwback jerseys that pay tribute to Tri-City’s inaugural season. The Storm’s $5 Kids Friday ticket promotion will also be in effect. Following the game, a jersey auction will be held on the Viaero Center concourse to auction off the game-worn jerseys. Proceeds from the post-game auction will benefit the United Way of the Kearney Area. Drink specials will be available throughout the weekend, and will include $1 Soda Pop Cans, $2 Busch Light Cans (12oz, while supplies last), and $3 Bud Light Cans (16oz). Additionally, limited edition “Pack It In Purple” t-shirts will be available in the Storm Store. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling the Viaero Center Box Office at 308-338-8144 or by visiting www.StormHockey.com. Puck drops at 7:05pm.
Tri-City (23-16-5-2) has recorded points in the USHL’s Western Conference standings in five of its last six games, and eight of its last ten games. Matthew Knies, Chase McLane, Nick Portz, Joey Cipollone, and Davis Burnside scored in the Storm’s most recent game, a 5-2 road win over the Lincoln Stars last Saturday night. Todd Scott turned away 28 of Lincoln’s 30 shots to record the win in net for the Storm. The win gave Tri-City its 23rd victory of the season and pulled the team within one point of 3rd place Fargo in the conference standings. The Storm improved to 10-4-0-1 when leading after the 1st period, and 18-2-1-0 when leading after the 2nd period this season. Tonight’s matchup is the first of the two game season series between the Storm and the Eastern Conference’s Muskegon Lumberjacks. Tri-City is 4-4-0-0 against Muskegon over the past five regular seasons. Last year’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Lumberjacks on January 19th was Tri-City’s first home win over Muskegon since November 7th, 2014. Tri-City has never won a home game in regulation time over Muskegon. Since Muskegon joined the USHL in 2010, all three of the Storm’s wins over the Lumberjacks at the Viaero Center have been in overtime, or a shootout.
Muskegon (20-22-5-0) is currently in the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings following a 3-1 home loss to the Fargo Force last Saturday. The Lumberjacks have posted three wins in its last ten games and have compiled a 5-7-1-0 record against Western Conference competition this season. Muskegon’s power play ranks last in the USHL at 13.3%, and the Lumberjacks power play is ranked 13th in the league this season at 76.1%. Scoring leaders for Muskegon through the first forty-seven games of the regular season include Danil Guschcin (22), Cameron Berg (18), Rhett Pitlick (16), Alex Gaffney (14), and Christophe Fillion (13). Following tonight’s road game at the Viaero Center, the Lumberjacks will matchup against the Storm again tomorrow to complete the second and final game in the two game season series.