KEARNEY, NE. – More than 4,000 fans packed into the Viaero Center on Saturday night to watch the league-leading Tri-City Storm post a two-game weekend sweep of the Sioux Falls Stampede. The Storm downed the Stampede by a final score of 4-1 in front of the largest crowd to attend a game at the Viaero Center since the team captured its first Clark Cup Championship in a 4-1 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints on May 20th, 2016, in front of a crowd of 4,088. Dane Dowiak recorded the second multi-goal game of his USHL career in Saturday’s home win. Cole O’Hara and Josh Eernisse also scored goals in the win. Goaltender Sebastian Wraneschitz recorded his fifth victory of the season in net.
Cole O’Hara scored his team-leading 20th goal of the 2021-2022 regular season at 5:18 of the 1st period to give the Storm a 1-0 lead in the game. O’Hara’s goal was assisted by Jeremy Wilmer and Ilya Nikolaev. Dane Dowiak notched his first goal of the game and seventh goal of the season with less than four minutes to play in the period to put Tri-City ahead by two goals. Dowiak’s goal was scored on the powerplay at 16:46 of the 1st period and was assisted by Ilya Nikolaev. Tri-City outshot Sioux Falls 8-5 in the 1st period and carried a 2-0 lead into Saturday’s 2nd period.
Josh Eernisse scored his fifth goal of the year at 4:08 of the 2nd period to push the Storm’s lead to 3-0. The goal was assisted by Dane Dowiak and Kieran Cebrian. Will McDonough netted the Stampede’s only goal of the game less than one minute later to bring the score to 3-1. Jack Reimann and Ryan Healey each notched an assist on the scoring play. Tri-City was outshot 8-7 in the 2nd period, but the team entered Saturday’s 3rd period with a 3-1 lead.
The final goal of Saturday’s game was scored into an empty net by Dane Dowiak. Dowiak’s goal was his second of the game and ninth of the season. Mitchell Miller recorded the lone assist on the play. Sioux Falls outshot Tri-City 10-9 in the 3rd period but was outshot 24-23 overall in the game.
Sebastian Wraneschitz turned away 22 of Sioux Falls’ 23 shots on net to record the victory in net and improve his personal record to 5-1-0-0 this season. Noah Grannan recorded the loss in goal for the Stampede after making 20 saves on 23 Storm shots. Tri-City improved to 32-7-2-0 on the season in the 4-1 home victory.
The Storm will return home to the Viaero Center for back-to-back games next weekend after playing a road game against the Des Moines Buccaneers on Friday. Tickets to Saturday and Sunday’s games can be purchased online at www.StormHockey.com or by calling the Viaero Center Box Office during Box Office Hours at 308-338-8144.
Tri-City hits the ice again on Friday, March 4th, in a road game against the Des Moines Buccaneers. Puck drop is set for 7:00pm CT. For the latest information regarding the Storm skate to www.StormHockey.com. #StormAhead