Kearney, NE. – The Tri-City Storm defeated the Lincoln Stars by a final score of 4-1 Friday night at the Viaero Center. Ben Schoen, Caden Villegas, Kyler Kovich, and Cole O’Hara all scored in the victory. Connor Hopkins made 28 saves on 29 shots to record the victory in goal for the Storm. Tri-City returns to action tomorrow night in another home game at the Viaero Center. Tickets to Tri-City’s battle tomorrow night against the Sioux Falls Stampede can be purchased by calling the Viaero Center Box Office at 308-338-8144 or by visiting www.StormHockey.com Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm.
Ben Schoen scored in his first game since being acquired in a transaction earlier this week with the Youngstown Phantoms to give the Storm a 1-0 lead in the 1st period. Schoen netted his ninth goal of the season, and first goal with the Storm, at 5:38 of the 1st period to give Tri-City the lead. Schoen’s goal was assisted by Guillaume Richard. The assist for Richard was his ninth assist of the season. With less than five minutes to play in the 1st period, Caden Villegas scored his fifth goal of the year to give Tri-City a 2-0 lead. Villegas’ goal was scored at 15:36 of the period and was assisted by Nicholas Donato. Donato’s assist was his fourth of the season. Tri-City outshot Lincoln 17-10 in the 1st period and carried a 2-0 lead into the 2nd period.
Dalton Norris cut into the Storm’s lead with his first goal of the season at 6:19 of the 2nd period. Norris’ goal for the Stars was assisted by Aidan Thompson. With less than five minutes to play in the 2nd period, Kyler Kovich scored his second goal of the season to give the Storm another two-goal lead in the game. Kovich’s goal was scored at 15:15 of the 2nd period and was assisted by Hunter Strand and Nicholas Donato. Strand recorded his team-leading fifteenth assist of the season on the play. Donato’s assist was his second of the game and fifth of the year. The Stars outshot the Storm 11-10 in the 2nd period, but Tri-City entered the 3rd period with a 27-21 shots on goal advantage and a two-goal lead in the game.
The only goal of the 3rd period was scored on the power-play by Cole O’Hara. O’Hara’s goal was scored at 14:08 of the period and was assisted by Gavin Brindley and Matthew Knies. The goal by O’Hara was his seventh scoring play of the year. Brindley recorded his eighth assist of the season and Knies notched his tenth assist of the season on the goal. Tri-City outshot Lincoln 9-8 in the 3rd period and 36-29 in the game. The Storm improved to 17-10-0-1 on the season in the victory.
Connor Hopkins improved to 6-3-0-0 after making 28 saves on 29 Stars shots. Caden Villegas was named the 1st Star of the Game, Ben Schoen was named the 2nd Star of the Game, and Nicholas Donato recorded 3rd Star honors. Tri-City is 8-3-0-0 when playing at the Viaero Center this year and has seven games remaining on the current homestand.
The Storm return to action on Saturday, February 20th in a home game against the Sioux Falls Stampede. For the latest information regarding the Tri-City Storm, including tickets to the next home game, visit www.StormHockey.com.