Kearney, NE. – The Tri-City Storm tied Saturday’s game against the Sioux Falls Stampede with fourteen seconds left to play to force overtime but eventually fell by a final score of 5-4. Matthew Knies (2), Mason Wheeler, and Caden Villegas scored Tri-City’s goals in the overtime loss. The Storm return to action tomorrow afternoon in another battle against the Stampede at the Viaero Center. Puck drop for tomorrow’s game is scheduled for 4:05pm.
Cole Sillinger scored on the opening shot of the night to give Sioux Falls a 1-0 road lead over the Storm. The goal was scored twenty seconds into the 1st period. Nate Schweitzer scored at 2:58 of the 1st period to increase the Stampede’s lead to two goals. Just over one minute later, Tri-City cut into the Stampede’s lead with a goal from Mason Wheeler. The scoring play from Wheeler was his first career goal in the USHL. The goal was scored at 4:00 of the 1st period and was assisted by Ben Schoen. Tri-City outshot Sioux Falls 11-10 in the 1st period, but trailed 2-1 entering the 2nd period.
Caden Villegas netted the only goal of the 2nd period to tie the game at 2-2. Villegas’ goal was his 6th of the season and was scored at 1:05 of the 2nd period. Each team recorded 11 shots on net during the 2nd period and the game entered the 3rd period in a 2-2 tie.
The 3rd period of Saturday night’s game featured four goals and two lead changes. Sixteen seconds into the 3rd period, Matthew Knies netted his fifth goal of the season and first goal of the game to give the Storm a 3-2 lead. The goal was scored on the power-play was assisted by Rhett Pitlick. Arlo Merritt tied the game at 3-3 at 11:12 of the 3rd period. Shortly after, Cole Sillinger scored his second goal of the game to give the Stampede a 4-3 lead. Matthew Knies scored his sixth goal of the season and second goal of the night with fourteen seconds left to play to tie the game at 4-4. Mark Estapa recorded an assist on the game-tying goal. Sioux Falls outshot Tri-City 14-8 in the 3rd period and the game entered overtime.
Luke Toporowski scored an overtime game-winning goal for the Sioux Falls Stampede with under one minute to play in overtime to give Sioux Falls a 5-4 overtime victory over the Storm. The Stampede outshot the Storm 38-31 in the game.
Connor Hopkins recorded the overtime loss in net for Tri-City after making 33 saves on 38 shots. Trent Burnham picked up the win for Sioux Falls after a 27 save on 31 shot performance in goal. Tri-City fell to 17-10-1-1 in the loss.
The Storm return to action on Sunday, February 21st 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.