FRISCO, TX – The Tri-City Storm opens play in the 2022 USHL Frosty Cup tonight in a battle against the Lincoln Stars as the first place team in the USHL’s standings. Tri-City has won eight consecutive games for the second time this season and seeks to tie a season-high streak of nine consecutive wins in tonight’s battle against in-state rival Lincoln. The matchup will be played at the Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas. Puck drop is set for 7:30pm CT.
Tri-City (26-5-1-0) has won all three previous games played against Lincoln this season and hits the ice tonight following a 7-4 victory over the Des Moines Buccaneers at the Viaero Center on Sunday. Cole O’Hara netted three goals to record the 34th hat trick in organization history in the win. John Druskinis scored his first goal as a member of the Storm, and Jeremy Wilmer, Gavin Brindley, and Lleyton Roed also netted goals in the game. Sebastian Wraneschitz made 17 saves on 21 shots to record his second victory of the season in goal for the Storm. Tri-City holds a 25-9-0-1 record against the Stars in head-to-head matchups over the last five seasons. The Storm won last year’s ten-game season series with a record of 6-3-0-1. Tri-City has outscored Lincoln by a margin of 17-5 in the three previous meetings this season. The Storm improved to 18-0-1-0 when leading after the 1st period and 20-0-1-0 when leading after the 2nd period in Sunday’s home win over the Buccaneers. Tri-City’s powerplay is ranked 3rd in the league entering tonight’s game (25.0%). The Storm’s penalty kill is also currently third-best in the league (86.6%). Scoring leaders for Tri-City through 32 games played include Cole O’Hara (17), Lleyton Roed (15), Jeremy Wilmer (14), Mitchell Miller (13), Gavin Brindley (12), and Ilya Nikolaev (9). Following tonight’s opening game of the Frosty Cup, Tri-City will return to action tomorrow night in another battle against Lincoln in the second and final game of the event. The Storm currently holds a 13 point lead over the Sioux City Musketeers for first place in the Western Conference standings and a 7 point lead over the Chicago Steel in the overall league standings.
Lincoln (18-11-1-1) enters tonight’s matchup with Tri-City on a four-game winning streak. The Stars’ most recent loss came on January 8th in a 5-2 home defeat to the Sioux Falls Stampede. Lincoln posted back-to-back home wins last weekend over the Waterloo Black Hawks and Des Moines Buccaneers. The Stars currently hold fourth place positioning in the USHL’s Western Conference standings. Lincoln has not defeated Tri-City in the regular season in over 365 days. The Stars’ last regular season win against the Storm was on January 23rd, 2021, by a final score of 2-1. Lincoln’s powerplay is ranked 9th in the league entering tonight’s game (18.8%). The Stars’ penalty kill is currently fifth-best in the USHL (83.1%). Scoring leaders for the Stars include Dalton Norris (13), Lucas Wahlin (9), Griffin Jurecki (9), Aidan Thompson (8), Luke Johnson (8), Gleb Veremyev (6), and Antonio Fernandez (6). Goaltenders Cameron Whitehead and Kaidan Mbereko have each split time in goal this season for the Stars. Mbereko has posted an 8-7-0-1 record in 17 appearances in goal this year. Whitehead is 9-3-1-0 in 14 appearances in net this season. Lincoln has outscored its opponents by a 99-92 margin this season and has won six of the last ten games played. Following this week’s series against Tri-City, Lincoln will return to action next weekend with three games in three days against the Sioux City Musketeers and Omaha Lancers.