Kearney, NE. – The Tri-City Storm defeated the Waterloo Black Hawks by a final score of 5-2 on “Teddy Bear Toss” night Saturday at the Viaero Center. Carter Mazur (2), Rhett Pitlick, Cole McWard and Caden Villegas all scored goals in the Storm’s win. Connor Hopkins recorded his eighth victory of the season in net. Tri-City returns to action tomorrow afternoon in a home game against the Sioux City Musketeers. Tomorrow afternoon’s game is the final game of Tri-City’s current eight-game homestand at the Viaero Center. Tickets are still available for tomorrow’s game against Sioux City and can be purchased in advance online at www.StormHockey.com or by calling the Viaero Center Box Office during Box Office hours at 308-338-8144. Puck drop for tomorrow’s game is set for 4:05pm.
Rhett Pitlick gave Tri-City the opening goal of the game at 6:18 of the 1st period. Pitlick’s goal was his tenth of the season and was assisted by Conner Hutchison and Matthew Knies. Hutchison’s assist was his sixth assist of the season and Knies recorded his thirteenth assist of the year on the scoring play. The goal was scored on the power-play. Cole McWard netted another power-play goal at 11:58 of the 1st period to increase Tri-City’s lead to two goals. McWard’s goal was his twelfth of the season and was assisted by Isac Jonsson and Mark Estapa. Jonsson recorded his thirteenth assist of the year on the play. Estapa’s assist was his first of the game and his fourteenth of the year. Tri-City outshot Waterloo 8-7 in the 1st period and carried a two-goal lead into the 2nd period.
Caden Villegas netted his seventh goal of the season at 4:44 of the 2nd period to give Tri-City a 3-0 lead. The goal was assisted by Adam Klapka and Josh Eernisse. Klapka notched his fifth assist of the year on the play. The secondary assist recorded by Josh Eernisse was also his fifth assist of the season. Minutes later, at 7:49 of the 2nd period, Carter Mazur scored his thirteenth goal of the season to give Tri-City a four-goal lead in the game. Mazur’s first goal of the game was assisted by Conner Hutchison and Mark Estapa. Each player recorded their second assists of the game on the scoring play. Hutchison’s assist was his seventh of the year and Estapa’s assist was his fifteenth of the season. At 12:19 of the 2nd period, Carter Mazur scored his second goal of the game and fourteenth goal of the season to give Tri-City a 5-0 lead. Mazur’s goal was assisted by Hunter Strand and Nicholas Donato. Strand’s assist was his twentieth of the year. On the assist, Strand became the first Storm player this season to record thirty points. Donato’s assist was his fifth of the year. After Tri-City scored the opening five goals of the game, Waterloo answered with a goal from Matt Argentina at 14:29 of the 2nd period. Argentina’s goal was his fifth of the season and was assisted by Cooper Wylie and Mason Reiners. Ethan Szmagaj scored his fifth goal of the season at 15:58 of the 2nd period to cut the Storm’s lead to three goals. Dane Montgomery and Cooper Wylie each recorded assists on the play. Tri-City outshot Waterloo 18-17 in the 2nd period and the game entered the 3rd period with the Storm leading 5-2.
No goals were scored in the 3rd period and Tri-City recorded its twentieth victory of the season in a 5-2 home win over the Waterloo Black Hawks. Waterloo outshot Tri-City 11-3 in the 3rd period and 35-29 in the game. Connor Hopkins recorded the win in net after making twenty-two saves on twenty-four saves in just over forty-one minutes of playing time. Hopkins left the game in the 3rd period due to an injury and was replaced in net by Todd Scott. Scott finished the game by making eleven saves on eleven shots. Waterloo’s Emmet Croteau recorded the loss in goal for the Black Hawks after making fourteen saves on seventeen shots in nearly twenty-five minutes of time in net. Croteau was replaced in net by Charlie Glockner after allowing the opening three goals of the game. Glockner finished the game by making ten saves on twelve shots for Waterloo.
The Storm improved to 20-11-2-1 and remained the 3rd place team in the Western Conference standings in the victory. Tri-City is now 18-0-0-0 when leading after the 2nd period this season and is 11-4-2-0 in games played on home ice at the Viaero Center. Tri-City returns to action tomorrow on “Sunday Funday” at the Viaero Center. Tomorrow’s game will feature a Family 4-Pack ticket deal presented by the Nebraska Lottery. The ticket package includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four drinks and two Nebraska Lottery tickets all for $40. Tomorrow’s game is Tri-City's final home game in its current eight-game homestand and the Storm’s last home game until Thursday, March 18th. The Storm will host the Black Hawks again on March 18th.
Tri-City returns to action on Sunday, March 7th in a home game against the Sioux City Musketeers. For the latest information regarding the Tri-City Storm, including tickets to the next home game, visit www.StormHockey.com