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Storm alumni to compete for NCAA Championship

By Kendall Grayson, 03/24/22, 8:30AM PDT

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Thirty-one former Tri-City Storm players set to compete in tournament

KEARNEY, NE. – Thirty-one former Tri-City Storm players are set to compete for the 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey National Championship title when the tournament gets underway today. The sixteen-team tournament begins this morning and will conclude on April 9th at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. A complete list of Storm alumni in this year’s NCAA Tournament can be found below. Game times, TV schedule, regional information, player/staff biographies, and more information is also listed below. Official Tournament Bracket #StormAhead

 

American International Yellow Jackets

#44 Austen Long (Forward, Junior)

Denver Pioneers

#34 Carter Mazur (Forward, Freshman)

Harvard Crimson

#14 Jace Foskey (Defenseman, Junior)

#33 Kyle Aucoin (Defenseman, Freshman)

#96 Wyllum Deveaux (Forward, Junior)

Michigan Wolverines

#6 Jack Summers (Defenseman, Senior)

#20 Keaton Pehrson (Defenseman, Junior)

#94 Mark Estapa (Forward, Freshman)

Bill Muckalt (Associate Head Coach)

Michigan Tech Huskies

#7 Nick Nardella (Forward, Sophomore)

#10 Jake Crespi (Forward, Junior)

#21 Blais Richartz (Forward, Sophomore)

Minnesota Golden Gophers

#6 Mike Koster (Defenseman, Sophomore)

#77 Rhett Pitlick (Forward, Freshman)

#89 Matthew Knies (Forward, Freshman)

Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs

#12 Ben Almquist (Forward, Junior)

#22 Kyler Kleven (Forward, Freshman)

 

Minnesota State Mavericks

#3 Jack McNeely (Defenseman, Senior)

#13 Brendan Furry (Forward, Junior)

#22 Steven Bellini (Defenseman, Freshman)

#27 Tony Malinowski (Defenseman, Sophomore)

North Dakota Fighting Hawks

#9 Brendan Budy (Forward, Junior)

#20 Nick Portz (Forward, Freshman)

#35 Harrison Feeney (Goaltender, Junior)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

#11 Hunter Strand (Forward, Freshman)

Northeastern Huskies

N/A

Quinnipiac Bobcats

#11 Wyatt Bongiovanni (Forward, Senior)

#17 Joey Cipollone (Forward, Junior)

St. Cloud State Huskies

#19 Sam Hentges (Forward, Senior)

#22 Joe Molenaar (Forward, Sophomore)

UMass Minutemen

N/A

UMass-Lowell River Hawks

#6 Isac Jonsson (Defenseman, Freshman)

Western Michigan Broncos

#3 Michael Joyaux (Defenseman, Senior)

#7 Ronnie Attard (Defenseman, Junior)

 

Midwest Regional (Allentown, Pennsylvania)

 

Tri-City Storm Alumni

 

Michigan Wolverines

#6 Jack Summers (Defenseman, Senior)

#20 Keaton Pehrson (Defenseman, Junior)

#94 Mark Estapa (Forward, Freshman)

Bill Muckalt (Associate Head Coach)

 

Quinnipiac Bobcats

#11 Wyatt Bongiovanni (Forward, Senior)

#17 Joey Cipollone (Forward, Junior)

 

Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs

#12 Ben Almquist (Forward, Junior)

#22 Kyler Kleven (Forward, Freshman)

 

American International Yellow Jackets

#44 Austen Long (Forward, Junior)

 

Matchups and TV Information

 

American International Yellow Jackets (22-12-3) vs. Michigan Wolverines (29-9-1)

Friday, March 25th 2:00pm CT (ESPNU)

 

Quinnipiac (31-6-3) vs. St. Cloud St. (14-10-2)

Friday, March 25th 7:00pm CT (ESPNews)

 

Regional Seeding

 

  1. Michigan
  2. Quinnipiac
  3. St. Cloud St.
  4. American International

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast Regional (Worcester, Massachusetts)

 

 

Tri-City Storm Alumni

 

Western Michigan Broncos

#3 Michael Joyaux (Defenseman, Senior)

#7 Ronnie Attard (Defenseman, Junior)

 

Minnesota Golden Gophers

#6 Mike Koster (Defenseman, Sophomore)

#77 Rhett Pitlick (Forward, Freshman)

#89 Matthew Knies (Forward, Freshman)

 

UMass Minutemen

N/A

 

Northeastern Huskies

N/A

 

Matchups and TV Information

 

Northeastern (25-12-1) vs. Western Michigan (25-11-1)

Friday, March 25th 11:00am CT (ESPNU)

 

UMass (22-12-2) vs. Minnesota (24-12-0)

Friday, March 25th 5:00pm CT (ESPNews)

 

Regional Seeding

 

  1. Western Michigan Broncos
  2. Minnesota Gophers
  3. UMass Minutemen
  4. Northeastern Huskies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Regional (Albany, New York)

 

 

Tri-City Storm Alumni

 

Minnesota State Mavericks

#3 Jack McNeely (Defenseman, Senior)

#13 Brendan Furry (Forward, Junior)

#22 Steven Bellini (Defenseman, Freshman)

#27 Tony Malinowski (Defenseman, Sophomore)

 

North Dakota Fighting Hawks

#9 Brendan Budy (Forward, Junior)

#20 Nick Portz (Forward, Freshman)

#35 Harrison Feeney (Goaltender, Junior)

 

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

#11 Hunter Strand (Forward, Freshman)

 

Harvard Crimson

#14 Jace Foskey (Defenseman, Junior)

#33 Kyle Aucoin (Defenseman, Freshman)

#96 Wyllum Deveaux (Forward, Junior)

 

 

Matchups and TV Information

 

Harvard (21-10-3) vs. Minnesota State (35-5-0)

Thursday, March 24th 11:00m CT (ESPNU)

 

Notre Dame (27-11-0) vs. North Dakota (24-13-1)

Thursday, March 24th 5:00pm CT (ESPNU)

 

Regional Seeding

 

  1. Minnesota State Mavericks
  2. North Dakota Fighting Hawks
  3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  4. Harvard Crimson

 

 

 

 

West Regional (Loveland, Colorado)

 

 

Tri-City Storm Alumni

 

Denver Pioneers

#34 Carter Mazur (Forward, Freshman)

 

Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs

#12 Ben Almquist (Forward, Junior)

#22 Kyler Kleven (Forward, Freshman)

 

Michigan Tech Huskies

#7 Nick Nardella (Forward, Sophomore)

#10 Jake Crespi (Forward, Junior)

#21 Blais Richartz (Forward, Sophomore)

 

UMass-Lowell River Hawks

#6 Isac Jonsson (Defenseman, Freshman)

 

Matchups and TV Information

 

UMass-Lowell (21-10-3) vs. Denver Pioneers (27-9-1)

Thursday, March 24th 8:00m CT (ESPNU)

 

Michigan Tech (21-12-3) vs. Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (21-15-4)

Thursday, March 24th 2:00pm CT (ESPNU)

 

Regional Seeding

 

  1. Denver Pioneers
  2. Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs
  3. Michigan Tech Huskies
  4. UMass-Lowell River Hawks

Team and Alumni Information

 

American International College Yellow Jackets (Springfield, Massachusetts)

The AIC Yellow Jackets (22-12-3) return to this year’s NCAA tournament after making its second ever appearance in last year’s event. This is AIC’s third tournament appearance in its history after the school qualified for the first time in 2019. The Yellow Jackets were eliminated by the North Dakota Fighting Hawks by a final score of 5-1 in the team’s opening game of last year’s Midwest Regional. AIC earned an auto-bid into this year’s tournament as the Champions of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament. The Yellow Jackets defeated the Air Force Falcons by a final score of 7-0 on Saturday, March 19th, 2022, to secure a tournament bid. AIC will face the Michigan Wolverines on Friday at the Midwest Regional at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The game will begin at 2:00pm CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. AIC upset St. Cloud State in the 2019 NCAA Tournament to record its first tournament win in program history.

 

Austen Long, 24, of Blaine, Minnesota, is currently in his junior season with the Yellow Jackets. Long skated in two games with the Storm during the 2014-2015 regular season and appeared in twenty-eight games during the 2015-2016 season. Long netted three goals in his Tri-City career. He scored his first career USHL goal on April 11th, 2015, in the Storm’s 5-2 road defeat of the Des Moines Buccaneers. Long also skated for the Chicago Steel, Lincoln Stars, and Omaha Lancers during his USHL career. He won the 2017 Clark Cup as a member of the Chicago Steel. Long skated in one hundred and seventy games, scored twenty-two goals, and recorded twenty-six assists in his USHL career. He scored his first collegiate goal against Mercyhurst on January 31st, 2020. Long has appeared in twenty-four games this season for the Yellow Jackets and has scored three goals. He has also provided the AIC offense with four assists for seven total points.

 

Denver Pioneers (Denver, Colorado)

The Denver Pioneers (27-9-1) return to this year’s NCAA tournament for the first time since 2019 after receiving an at-large bid to participate. This is Denver’s thirty-first tournament appearance in the school’s history. The Pioneers captured the NCAA National Championship in 1958, 1960, 1961, 1968, 1969, 2004, 2005, and 2017. Denver was eliminated by the UMass Minutemen by a final score of 4-3 (OT) in the National Semifinal Round of the 2019 Frozen Four. Tonight’s game will be the school’s first appearance in the tournament since dropping that contest. The Pioneers will face the UMass-Lowell River Hawks tonight at the West Regional at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado. The game will begin at 8:00pm CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

 

Carter Mazur, 19, of Jackson, Michigan, is currently in his freshman season with the Pioneers. He appeared in ninety-five games with the Storm from 2019-2021. He scored twenty-six goals and notched thirty-one assists during his Tri-City career. Mazur made his USHL debut during the 2018-2019 regular season as an affiliate list call-up. Mazur played his first game with Tri-City on November 10th, 2018, in the Storm’s 4-2 home win over the Sioux Falls Stampede. He netted his first career USHL goal on November 8th, 2019, in Tri-City’s 5-2 home win over the Des Moines Buccaneers. Mazer was selected to and participated in the 2021 BioSteel All-American Game. Mazur was selected as one of Tri-City’s Captains for the 2020-2021 season. He was also selected to and participated in the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship for the United States of America. Mazur was named the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s (NCHC) Rookie of the Year for the 2021-2022 season on March 17th, 2022. Mazur was selected 70th overall in the 3rd round of the 2021 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings.

 

Harvard Crimson (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

The Harvard Crimson (21-10-3) return to this year’s NCAA tournament for the first time since 2019 after receiving an automatic bid to participate. Harvard locked up its spot in the tournament by defeating the Quinnipiac Bobcats 3-2 (OT) in the Championship Game of the ECAC’s Tournament on March 19th, 2022. This is Harvard’s twenty-sixth tournament appearance in the school’s history. The Crimson won the 1989 NCAA National Championship. Harvard was eliminated by the UMass Minutemen by a final score of 4-0 in the team’s opening game of the West Regional in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Today’s game will be the school’s first appearance in the tournament since dropping that contest. The Crimson will face the Minnesota State Mavericks today at the East Regional at MVP Arena in Albany, New York. The game will begin at 11:00am CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

 

Jace Foskey, 21, of Southlake, Texas, is currently in his junior season with the Crimson. He appeared in eighty-four games with the Storm from 2016-2018. He scored three goals and recorded thirteen assists in his Tri-City career. Foskey completed his USHL career during the 2018-2019 season with the Madison Capitols. He made his USHL debut for the Storm on September 23rd, 2016, in Tri-City’s 3-1 road victory over the Lincoln Stars. Foskey netted his first career USHL goal on December 31st, 2016, in the Storm’s 3-2 home loss to the Lincoln Stars. He has appeared in twenty-two career games for Harvard and has notched three assists. Foskey has played in three games for the Crimson during the 2021-2022 season.

 

Kyle Aucoin, 19, of Hinsdale, Illinois, is currently in his freshman season with Harvard. He appeared in seventy-four games with the Storm from 2018-2021. He scored four goals and notched twelve assists in his Tri-City career. Aucoin completed his USHL career during the 2020-2021 season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks. He made his USHL debut for the Storm on December 13th, 2018, in the Storm’s 5-3 victory over the Lincoln Stars at the Viaero Center. He netted his first career USHL goal on October 10th, 2019, in the Storm’s 4-1 home win over the Sioux Falls Stampede. Aucoin has skated in twenty-nine career games for the Crimson and has recorded two assists. He was selected 156th overall in the 6th Round of the 2020 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings.

 

Wyllum Deveaux, 21, of Sackville, Nova Scotia, is currently in his junior season with the Crimson. He appeared in sixty-eight games with Tri-City from 2016-2018. He scored five goals and notched nineteen assists in his Storm career. Deveaux completed his USHL career during the 2017-2018 season with the Des Moines Buccaneers. He made his USHL debut with the Storm on September 23rd, 2016, in the team’s 3-1 road victory over the Lincoln Stars. He scored his first career USHL goal in Tri-City’s next game on September 24th, 2016, in the team’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Sioux Falls Stampede. Deveaux has appeared in sixty-five games during his Harvard career and has scored four goals. He has also recorded two assists for the Crimson’s offense. Deveaux has skated in twenty-five games this season for Harvard and has netted one goal and notched one assist.

 

Michigan Wolverines (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

The Michigan Wolverines (29-9-1) are seeking their first National Championship since 1998 at this year’s NCAA tournament. The nine-time National Champions have advanced to six Frozen Fours since the 1998 National Championship, but have failed to claim the title during those appearances. The 2021 NCAA tournament was set to be the Wolverines’ thirty-eighth trip to the NCAA tournament. Michigan was removed from the tournament before beginning play due to positive COVID-19 test results within the team. Michigan received an automatic bid into the tournament this year after capturing the BIG 10 Tournament Championship by a final score of 4-3 in a matchup against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday, March 19th, 2022. The Wolverines will face off against the AIC Yellow Jackets tomorrow in the team’s opening game of the Midwest Regional at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The game will begin at 2:00pm CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. This will be Michigan’s first appearance in the tournament since 2018 following its removal from the 2021 edition of the event.

 

Jack Summers, 22, of Livonia, Michigan, is currently in his senior season with the Wolverines. Summers made his debut with the Storm during the 2016-2017 season and completed his USHL career with eighty-four games played. He scored his first career USHL goal on January 6th, 2017, in Tri-City’s 9-1 home win over the Des Moines Buccaneers at the Viaero Center. Summers scored one additional goal in his Storm career during the 2017-2018 season and finished his career with fourteen assists. He notched his first career collegiate goal on March 2nd, 2019, in Michigan’s 4-3 overtime loss to Wisconsin in the team’s final game of the regular season. He scored four goals and recorded six assists in thirty-six games played in the 2019-2020 season. Summers also blocked forty-nine shots and finished his sophomore season with a plus/minus rating of +7. He was also honored as an Academic All-Big Ten player. He received another Academic All-Big Ten honor during the 2020-2021 season and netted the game-winning goal in Michigan’s 5-2 win over Minnesota on March 5th, 2021. Summers has skated in twenty-six games this season for Michigan and has recorded two assists.

 

Keaton Pehrson, 22, of Lakeville, Minnesota, is in his junior season with Michigan. He scored his first career USHL goal with the Storm on January 28th, 2018, in Tri-City’s 3-2 shootout victory on the road against the Omaha Lancers. Pehrson finished the 2017-2018 season with five goals and four assists. He netted a career-high eight goals and notched twenty-two assists during Tri-City’s 2018-2019 Anderson Cup Championship season. Pehrson appeared in all sixty-two regular season games and all six playoff games for the Storm that year. In total, Pehrson skated in one hundred and twenty career games with the Storm. He scored thirteen goals and recorded twenty-six assists. He scored his first career collegiate goal on February 7th,  2021 in Michigan’s 5-3 victory over Wisconsin. Pehrson has appeared in twenty-four games during the 2021-2022 season for the Wolverines. He has notched four assists this season.

 

Mark Estapa, 20, of St. Clair, Michigan, is currently in his freshman season with the Wolverines. He appeared in ninety-one games with Tri-City from 2019-2021. He scored thirteen goals and notched twenty-three assists in his Storm career. Estapa made his USHL debut with the Storm on November 9th, 2018, in the team’s 1-0 road victory over the Omaha Lancers. He scored his first career USHL goal on December 27th, 2019, in the team’s 7-4 home win over the Sioux City Musketeers at the Viaero Center. The goal was featured on ESPN Sportscenter’s “Top 10 Plays” of the day. Estapa has appeared in thirty-one games during his freshman season with Michigan and has netted two goals. He has also recorded seven assists for the Wolverine’s offense.

 

Bill Muckalt, 47, of Surrey, British Columbia, is in his fifth season as Michigan’s Associate Head Coach. He was hired to the position in the summer of 2017. As the Head Coach of the Tri-City Storm, Muckalt helped the organization capture its first Clark Cup Championship in 2016. Muckalt was Tri-City’s Head Coach for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons. He finished his career with a record of 49-46-16-9 in 120 regular season games as Tri-City’s Head Coach. His 2015-2016 team amassed a streak of thirteen consecutive games without a regulation loss. The thirteen-game point streak for the Storm lasted from February 12th , 2016 to March 19th , 2016 and remains the longest streak in organization history of recording at least one point in the standings in each game. This year’s Storm team tied the record on February 11th, 2022, after recording at least one point in the standings for thirteen consecutive games. Muckalt followed former Storm Head Coach Jim Hulton and preceded current Head Coach Anthony Noreen.

 

Michigan Tech Huskies (Houghton, Michigan)

The Michigan Tech Huskies (21-12-3) return to this year’s NCAA tournament for the first time since 2018. This is Michigan Tech’s fourteenth tournament appearance in its history. The Huskies were eliminated by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a final score of 4-3 (OT) in the team’s opening game of the 2018 East Regional. The Huskies earned an at-large bid into this year’s tournament. Michigan Tech will face the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs this afternoon in the Midwest Regional at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado. The game will begin at 2:00pm CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Michigan Tech won the NCAA National Championship in 1962, 1965, and 1975.

 

Nick Nardella, 23, of Rosemount, Illinois, is currently in his sophomore season with the Huskies. He appeared in thirty-nine games with Tri-City during the 2016-2017 regular season. He scored two goals and notched five assists in his Storm career. He completed his USHL career with the Green Bay Gamblers following his time with Tri-City. Nardella made his USHL debut with the Storm on October 14th, 2016, in the team’s 6-0 home victory over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. He scored his first career USHL goal on January 6th, 2017, in the Storm’s 9-1 home win over the Des Moines Buccaneers at the Viaero Center. Nardella has skated in fifty career games with Michigan Tech and has scored three goals. He has also provided the Huskies offense with fourteen assists. Nardella has skated in twenty-eight games this season for Michigan Tech. He has netted one goal and notched seven assists.

 

Jake Crespi, 23, of Brighton, Michigan, is currently in his junior season with the Huskies. He appeared in sixty-nine career games with Tri-City from 2017-2019. He scored sixteen goals and notched eleven assists in his Storm career. Crespi made his USHL debut with the Storm on October 6th, 2017,  in the team’s 2-1 road victory over the Omaha Lancers. He scored his first career USHL goal on November 24th, 2017, in the Storm’s 3-2 (OT) road win over the Sioux City Musketeers at the Viaero Center. Crespi has skated in sixty-seven career games with Michigan Tech and has scored six goals. He has also provided the Huskies offense with six assists. Crespi has appeared in twenty-one games this season for Michigan Tech. He has scored one goal and notched one assist.

 

Blais Richartz, 21, of Menomonie, Wisconsin, is currently in his sophomore season with the Huskies. He appeared in ninety career games with Tri-City from 2017-2019. He scored fifteen goals and notched fifteen assists in his Storm career. Richartz completed his USHL career with the Omaha Lancers and Lincoln Stars following his time with Tri-City. He made his USHL debut with the Storm on February 24th, 2017, in the team’s 4-0 home victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede. He scored his first career USHL goal in the same game. Richartz has skated in twenty career games with Michigan Tech and has one goal. He has also provided the Huskies offense with three assists. Richartz has appeared in three games for Michigan Tech during the 2021-2022 season.

 

Minnesota Golden Gophers (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

The Minnesota Golden Gophers (24-12-0) will be in pursuit of a sixth National Championship in this year’s NCAA tournament. Since last winning the title in 2003, Minnesota has advanced to the Frozen Four three times (2005, 2013, 2014). The Golden Gophers received an at-large bid into the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Minnesota will begin the NCAA tournament tomorrow at 5:00pm CT in a matchup against the UMass Minutemen. The game will be played in the West Regional at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado, and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Minnesota returns to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2017. The Gophers were upset by Notre Dame in the opening game of the 2017 tournament. Minnesota defeated the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks by a final score of 7-2 in the team’s opening game of last year’s tournament. The Golden Gophers had not won an NCAA tournament game since the program defeated North Dakota 2-1 at the Frozen Four to advance to the 2014 National Championship game against Union College. Minnesota fell in the 2021 West Regional Final in a 4-0 shutout loss to the Minnesota State Mavericks.

 

Mike Koster, 20, of Chaska, Minnesota, is currently in his sophomore season with the Golden Gophers. He appeared in seventy-three games for Tri-City from 2018-2020. He netted seven goals and recorded twenty-seven assists. Koster made his debut with the Storm during the 2017-2018 season and netted his first career USHL goal on March 18th, 2018, in Tri-City’s 5-2 road victory over the Chicago Steel. Koster was a member of Tri-City’s 2018-2019 Anderson Cup Championship team. He has scored three goals and recorded nine assists last season with the Golden Gophers. Koster scored his first career collegiate goal on December 9th, 2020, in Minnesota’s 4-0 road victory over Michigan. He was named to the Big Ten’s All-Tournament team following the 2021 Big Ten tournament. He has skated in thirty-three games during the 2021-2022 season and has scored three goals. Koster has also provided the Golden Gophers’ offense with eleven assists this season. Koster was selected 146th overall in the 5th Round of the 2019 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

 

Rhett Pitlick, 21, of Plymouth, Minnesota, is currently in his freshman season with the Golden Gophers. He appeared in twenty-six games with the Storm during the 2020-2021 season. He scored six goals and recorded fourteen assists. Pitlick completed his USHL career with Tri-City after beginning it with the Omaha Lancers and Muskegon Lumberjacks. He made his USHL debut with the Omaha Lancers on March 1st, 2019, in the team’s 2-1 home victory over the Lincoln Stars. He scored his first career USHL goal in the same game. Pitlick has skated in twenty-seven career games with Minnesota and has scored five goals. He has also provided the Golden Gophers’ offense with twelve assists this season. Pitlick was selected 131st overall in the 5th Round of the 2019 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens.

 

Matthew Knies, 19, of Phoenix, Arizona, is currently in his freshman season at Minnesota. He appeared in ninety games with the Storm from 2018-2021. He skated in two games as an affiliate list call-up during Tri-City’s 2018-2019 Anderson Cup Championship season. Knies made his USHL debut on November 23rd, 2018, in the Storm’s 3-0 shutout victory over the Omaha Lancers at the Viaero Center. Knies was selected to and participated in the 2021 BioSteel All-American Game. He scored thirty-one goals and notched fifty-six assists during his Storm career. He competed in the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship prior to its cancellation in December of 2021. He also became one of the first two Olympians in Tri-City’s history when he represented the United States of America at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. He has appeared in thirty games this season for the Golden Gophers. Knies has netted twelve goals and recorded seventeen assists. Knies was selected 57th overall in the 2nd round of the 2021 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was the Storm’s highest-drafted player at the 2021 NHL Draft.

 

Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (Duluth, Minnesota)

The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (21-15-4) return to the tournament for the fifteenth time in this year’s edition of the event. Minnesota Duluth received an automatic bid into the tournament after capturing the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s (NCHC) Tournament Championship. Minnesota Duluth posted a 3-0 shutout over the Western Michigan Broncos on March 19th, 2022, to lock up a spot in the event. Minnesota Duluth will begin the NCAA tournament today at 3:00pm CT in a matchup against the Michigan Tech Huskies in the West Regional at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The Bulldogs had a streak of three consecutive Frozen Four appearances snapped in last year’s tournament. Minnesota Duluth won the 2011, 2018, and 2019 NCAA National Championships.

 

Ben Almquist, 22, of Victoria, Minnesota, is currently in his junior season with the Bulldogs. Almquist skated in eleven games with the Storm during the 2017-2018 season. In addition to his eleven regular season games, Almquist also appeared in both of Tri-City’s games in the 2018 Clark Cup Playoffs. He recorded an assist in Tri-City’s 3-2 home loss against the Sioux City Musketeers on April 13th, 2018. This was the only point recorded in his Storm career. After his time with Tri-City, Almquist appeared in twenty-six games with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders during the 2018-2019 season. He scored his first career USHL goal on September 27th, 2018, in Cedar Rapids’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Fargo Force at the 2018 USHL Fall Classic. Almquist appeared in thirty-seven games in his USHL career. He scored four goals and notched two assists. He scored his first collegiate goal on January 24th, 2021, in a 3-1 home victory over Western Michigan. Almquist has skated in forty-two career games with Minnesota Duluth. He has scored three goals and recorded four assists. He has skated in eighteen games this season for the Bulldogs. Almquist has netted two goals and recorded three assists during the 2021-2022 season.

 

Kyler Kleven, 21, of Moorhead, Minnesota, is currently in his freshman season with the Bulldogs. He appeared in two career games with Tri-City during the 2019-2020 season. He made his USHL debut with the Storm on December 13th, 2019, in the team’s 2-1 road loss to the Chicago Steel. Kleven completed his USHL career with the Waterloo Black Hawks following his time with Tri-City. He scored his first career USHL for the Waterloo Black Hawks in the team’s 5-2 road loss to the Omaha Lancers on December 18th, 2020. Kleven has skated in twenty-five games this season for the Bulldogs. He has recorded one goal to this point in his freshman season with Minnesota Duluth.

 

Minnesota State Mavericks (Mankato, Minnesota)

The Minnesota State Mavericks (35-5-0) have the most former Storm players on any team in this year’s tournament with four on the active roster. The Mavericks also led all teams in the 2021 NCAA Tournament with four former Storm players on the roster. Minnesota State will make its eighth appearance in the NCAA tournament when the team hits the ice against the Harvard Crimson today at 11:00am CT. The game will be played at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York, and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. This is Minnesota States’ fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Mavericks received an automatic bid into the tournament after capturing the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s (CCHA) Tournament Championship on March 19th, 2022. Minnesota State defeated the Bemidji State Beavers by a final score of 2-1 (OT) to win the event. Minnesota State has never advanced to the Frozen Four. Of the more than three hundred Tri-City players who have gone on to play hockey collegiately, Minnesota State boasts more Storm alumni than any other NCAA program.

 

Jack McNeely, 25, of Lakeville, Minnesota, is in his senior season with the Mavericks and serves as one of the team’s Alternate Captains. McNeely wore the “C” as a Captain of the Tri-City Storm during the 2016-2017 season. He appeared in four games with Tri-City during the 2014-2015 season, fifty-nine games during the 2015-2016 season, and seventeen games during the 2016-2017 season. McNeely was a member of Tri-City’s 2015-2016 Clark Cup Championship team. He also appeared in thirty-eight games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks during the 2016-2017 season following his time with Tri-City. McNeely skated in one hundred and eighteen career USHL games. He scored one goal and recorded nineteen assists. His first career USHL goal was scored on December 30th, 2016, in Muskegon’s 3-1 home win over the United States National Team Development Program (NTDP/Team USA). McNeely has appeared in one hundred and seventy career NCAA games. He has scored eight goals and notched forty-three assists in his five-year career. He scored his first career collegiate goal on November 16th, 2018, in Minnesota’s State’s 7-1 victory over Ferris State. McNeely has appeared in forty games with the Mavericks this season. He has scored two goals and recorded fourteen assists.

 

Brendan Furry, 23, of Toledo, Ohio, is currently in his junior season with the Mavericks. Furry skated in thirty-six games with Tri-City during the Storm’s 2018-2019 Anderson Cup Championship season. He scored thirteen goals and recorded twenty-six assists. Furry also provided the Tri-City offense with four goals in six games played during the 2019 Clark Cup Playoffs. Prior to joining the Storm during the 2018-2019 regular season, Furry served as the Captain for the Omaha Lancers. Furry skated in one hundred and eleven USHL games in his career. He scored thirty-eight goals and notched fifty-nine assists. He netted his first two career goals in Omaha’s 5-1 road victory over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on October 14th, 2017. He scored his first career collegiate goal on January 24th, 2021, in Minnesota State’s 4-1 win over Ferris State. Furry also scored a goal in four consecutive games for the Mavericks from February 19th, 2021, to February 27th, 2021. He has skated in forty games during the 2021-2022 season for Minnesota Mankato. He has scored eleven goals and notched thirty assists.

 

Steven Bellini, 21, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is currently in his freshman season with the Mavericks. He appeared in twenty-nine career games with Tri-City during the 2021-2022 season. He recorded four assists in his Storm career. . Bellini made his USHL debut with the Storm on November 7th, 2020, in the team’s 5-1 road victory over the Sioux City Musketeers. He notched his first career point in the USHL on December 15th, 2020, in Tri-City’s 4-2 road loss to the Des Moines Buccaneers. He appeared in all three of the Storm’s postseason games during the 2021 Clark Cup Playoffs. Bellini has skated in six games during the 2021-2022 season with Minnesota State.

 

Tony Malinowski, 22, of Clarkston, Michigan, is a junior at Minnesota State this season. Malinowski skated in six games with the Tri-City Storm during the 2017-2018 regular season. He recorded his only point with the team on an assist in the Storm’s Home Opener at the Viaero Center for the 2017-2018 season. His assist was notched on October 13th, 2017, in Tri-City’s 3-1 win over the Sioux City Musketeers. Malinowski also skated for the Des Moines Buccaneers during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons. He appeared in eighty-eight career USHL games, scoring two goals and recording fifteen assists. His first career USHL goal was scored on April 13th, 2018, in Des Moines’ 6-3 road loss to the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. His first career collegiate goal was scored on March 6th, 2021, in Minnesota State’s 3-2 win over Michigan Tech. He has skated in fifteen games this season for the Mavericks. Malinowski has recorded one assist for the Minnesota State offense this year.

 

North Dakota Fighting Hawks (Grand Forks, North Dakota)

The North Dakota Fighting Hawks (24-13-1) make its thirty-fourth appearance in the NCAA tournament in this year’s event. The Fighting Hawks returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2021 after missing the two previous events. North Dakota received an at-large bid into this year’s tournament. The eight-time national champions begin this year’s tournament today in a matchup against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The game is scheduled to begin at 5:00pm CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The game is part of the East Regional and will be contested at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York. The Fighting Hawks have been to twenty-two Frozen Fours, and won NCAA National Championships in 1959, 1963, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1997, 2000, and 2016.

 

Brendan Budy, 21, of Langley, British Columbia, is currently in his junior season with the Fighting Hawks. He spent his freshman season at the University of Denver. Budy skated in thirty-one career games with the Tri-City Storm during the team’s 2018-2019 Anderson Cup Championship season. Budy appeared in six games with the Storm during the 2019 Clark Cup Playoffs. He scored his first career USHL goal on January 12th, 2019, in Tri-City’s 5-2 home win over the Waterloo Black Hawks at the Viaero Center. Budy scored eleven goals and recorded twenty assists in his Storm career. Budy appeared in six games with Denver during his freshman season before transferring to North Dakota. He netted his first career collegiate goal on December 12th, 2020, in North Dakota’s 5-3 loss to St. Cloud State. Budy has skated in twenty-two games this season for the Fighting Hawks and has scored one goal.

 

Nick Portz, 21, of St. Cloud, Minnesota, is currently in his freshman season with the Fighting Hawks. He appeared in ninety career games with Tri-City from 2019-2021. He scored thirty goals and notched forty-five assists in his Storm career. Portz completed his USHL career with the Muskegon Lumberjacks following his time with Tri-City. He made his USHL debut with the Storm on October 18th, 2019, in the team’s 8-2 road loss to the Sioux City Musketeers. He scored his first career USHL goal on October 20th, 2019th, in Tri-City’s 4-2 home victory over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Portz has skated in thirty-eight games this season for the Fighting Hawks. He has scored two goals and notched five assists.

 

Harrison Feeney, 24, of Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, is currently in his junior season with North Dakota. Feeney appeared in two career games with the Tri-City Storm during the 2016-2017 season. His only career win in net with Tri-City came on April 7th, 2017, in the Storm’s 4-1 road victory over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. He also spent time in the USHL with the Bloomington Thunder and the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Feeney appeared in nine USHL games in his career, and recorded his lone victory during the 2016-2017 season with the Storm. Feeney did not appear in any games during his freshman season with the Fighting Hawks. Feeney has made one appearance in goal during the 2021-2022 season with North Dakota.

 

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (South Bend, Indiana)

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (25-12-1) are seeking their first National Championship in this year’s NCAA tournament. Notre Dame has reached four Frozen Fours but has never captured the title. The Fighting Irish finished Runner Up in the event in 2008 and 2018. The 2021 NCAA tournament was set to be the Fighting Irish’s twelfth trip to the NCAA tournament. Notre Dame was removed from the tournament before beginning play due to positive COVID-19 test results within the team. Notre Dame received an at-large bid into the tournament this year. The Fighting Irish will face off against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks today in the team’s opening game of the East Regional at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York. The game will begin at 5:00pm CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. This will be Notre Dame’s first appearance in the tournament since 2019 following its removal from the 2021 edition of the event.

 

Hunter Strand, 19, of Anchorage, Alaska, is currently in his freshman season with the Fighting Irish. He appeared in fifty-one career games with Tri-City during the 2020-2021 season. Strand also skated in all three of the Storm’s games during the 2021 Clark Cup Playoffs. He scored twenty goals and notched twenty-nine assists in his Storm career. Strand skated for the Under-17 and Under-18 editions of the United States National Team Development Program (NTDP/Team USA) prior to his time with the Storm. He made his Tri-City debut on November 7th, 2020, in the team’s 5-1 road victory over the Sioux City Musketeers. He scored his first two goals for the Storm in the same game. Strand was named to and participated in the 2021 BioSteel All-American Game. He was Tri-City’s leading scorer last season with forty-nine total points in fifty-one games played. Strand has skated in thirty-eight games during his freshman season for Notre Dame. He has scored eight goals and recorded seven assists for the team.

 

Northeastern Huskies (Boston, Massachusetts)

The Northeastern Huskies (25-12-1) return to this year’s NCAA tournament for the first time since 2019. This is Northeastern’s eighth tournament appearance in its history. The Huskies received an at-large bid to this year’s event. The Huskies will face the Western Michigan Broncos tomorrow in the Northeast Regional at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. The game will begin at 11:00am CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Northeastern’s lone Frozen Four appearance came in the 1982 NCAA Tournament.

 

Northeastern is one of two teams competing in this year’s sixteen-team tournament field without a former Tri-City Storm player on the roster.

 

Quinnipiac Bobcats (Hamden, Connecticut)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats (31-6-3) return to the NCAA tournament for the eighth time in program history following a unique appearance in the 2021 NCAA tournament. Quinnipiac received a “Replacement Auto-bid” as the ECAC’s automatic qualifier into the tournament last year. The Bobcats suffered an overtime loss to St. Lawrence in the ECAC Hockey tournament championship game on March 20th, 2021. After St. Lawrence was unable to accept its automatic bid into the tournament because of COVID-19 concerns, Quinnipiac replaced St. Lawrence in the tournament. Quinnipiac received an at-large bid into the 2022 edition of the NCAA Tournament. The Bobcats will face the St. Cloud St. Huskies tomorrow night in the opening round of the tournament. The game will take place at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania in the Midwest Regional. The matchup between the Bobcats and the Huskies is scheduled for 7:00pm CT on Friday and will be broadcast live on ESPNews.

 

Wyatt Bongiovanni, 22, of Birmingham, Michigan, is currently in his senior season with the Bobcats. He skated in fifty-nine games with the Storm during the 2016-2017 season. He scored twelve goals and recorded eighteen assists. Bongiovanni also skated for the Des Moines Buccaneers and Muskegon Lumberjacks in his USHL career. In total, he appeared in one hundred and fifty-two career USHL games. He netted thirty-two goals and recorded forty-seven assists. Bongiovanni scored his first career USHL goal on September 25th, 2015, for the Des Moines Buccaneers in the team’s 3-2 road loss to the Lincoln Stars. Bongiovanni collected multiple honors during his freshman season including ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team, ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team, and an AHCA All-American Scholar. He was twice named the ECAC’s Rookie of the Week and was the ECAC’s Rookie of the Month for February 2019. He scored his first career goal on October 13th in Quinnipiac’s 3-2 victory over the Vermont Catamounts. He was named to the ECAC’s All-Academic Team for the 2019-2020 season. Bongiovanni has appeared in one hundred and twenty-one NCAA career games for Quinnipiac. He has scored forty-nine goals and recorded forty assists.

 

Joey Cipollone, 22, of Purchase, New York, is currently in his junior season after making his collegiate hockey debut with the Vermont Catamounts as a freshman. Cipollone appeared in sixty regular season games with the Storm during the 2017-2018 season and also skated in fifteen games with Tri-City during the 2019-2020 regular season. Cipollone appeared in seventy-five career USHL games, all of them with the Storm. He scored ten career goals and recorded nine career assists. Cipollone scored his first career USHL goal on October 20th, 2017, in Tri-City’s 4-1 home win over the Omaha Lancers at the Viaero Center. He scored nine goals and recorded seven assists during his freshman season at Vermont. He netted his first career collegiate goal against Quinnipiac on October 13th, 2018, in the Catamounts 3-2 loss. He led Vermont in scoring his freshman season. Cipollone has appeared in thirty-nine games this season for the Bobcats. He has netted ten goals and recorded eight assists.

 

St. Cloud State Huskies (St. Cloud, Minnesota)

The St. Cloud State Huskies (18-14-4) qualified for the NCAA tournament for the sixteenth time in program history after receiving an at-large bid to the 2022 NCAA tournament. St. Cloud State is seeking its third Frozen Four appearance and first National Championship in this year’s tournament. The Huskies advanced to last year’s National Championship Game but fell to the UMass Minutemen by a final score of 5-0. SCSU begins play in this year’s tournament tomorrow night in a matchup against the Quinnipiac Bobcats at 7:00pm CT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNews, and will be played at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

 

Sam Hentges, 22, of New Brighton, Minnesota, is currently in his senior season with St. Cloud State. He appeared in seven games with the Storm during the 2017-2018 regular season. He was acquired by Tri-City from the Des Moines Buccaneers in a transaction on January 10th, 2018. Hentges scored three goals during the weekend of January 19th-20th in Tri-City's road sweep of the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Youngstown Phantoms. In the Storm’s 2-1 (OT) victory over Youngstown, Hentges scored both the game-tying goal in the 2nd period and the game-winning goal in overtime. His playing time with the Storm was cut short due to injury during the final months of the season. Prior to his time with Tri-City, Hentges netted four goals and recorded eight assists in 16 games with the Des Moines Buccaneers. In twenty-three total games during the 2017-2018 season, Hentges scored eight goals and recorded ten assists. Hentges became one of the first two players in organizational history to skate in an Olympic Games when he hit the ice for the United States of America in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China earlier this year. He has skated one hundred and thirteen career collegiate games for the Huskies. Hentges has netted thirty-six goals and notched forty-five assists during his time at St. Cloud State. He has scored eleven goals and recorded nine assists in nineteen games played for the Huskies this season. Hentges was selected 210th overall in the 7th round of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild.

 

Joe Molenaar, 22, of Minnetonka, Minnesota, is in his sophomore season with St. Cloud State. Molenaar skated in fifty-three regular season games during Tri-City’s 2018-2019 Anderson Cup Championship season. He also appeared in all six of the Storm’s games in the 2019 Clark Cup Playoffs. Molenaar scored fifteen goals during the 2018-2019 season and recorded eighteen assists. He also skated in nineteen games with Tri-City during the 2019-2020 regular season. He scored three goals and recorded six assists. Molenaar played in six career games in the USHL with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders following his time with Tri-City. Molenaar played in seventy-eight career USHL games. He scored eighteen goals and recorded twenty-five assists. He scored his first career USHL goal on October 19th, 2018, in Tri-City’s 4-2 road loss to the Des Moines Buccaneers. Molenaar has skated in forty-five career games for the Huskies. He has netted six goals and recorded six assists at the collegiate level. He has skated in thirty-two games during the 2021-2022 season for St. Cloud State Molenaar has scored five goals and notched three assists this season for the Huskies.

 

UMass Minutemen (Amherst, Massachusetts)

The UMass Minutemen (22-12-2) return to the NCAA tournament as the defending Champions of the event. UMass captured its first NCAA National Championship last season in only its third ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. UMass qualified for the 2022 NCAA tournament automatically after capturing the 2022 Hockey East tournament championship. The Minutemen defeated UConn by a final score of 2-1 (OT) to clinch the auto-bid into the field on March 19th, 2022. The title was the second Hockey East championship in the program’s history. UMass reached the National Championship game in 2019 before eventually falling to Minnesota Duluth by a final score of 3-0. The Minutemen begin play at this year’s NCAA tournament in a matchup against the Minnesota Golden Gophers tomorrow evening. The game is scheduled to begin at 5:00pm CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The contest will take place at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts at the Northeast Regional.

 

UMass is one of two teams competing in this year’s sixteen-team tournament field without a former Tri-City Storm player on the roster. Former Storm defenseman, and 2018-2019 USHL Rookie of the Year Zac Jones, was a member of the Minutemen’s 2021 NCAA National Championship winning team.

 

UMass-Lowell River Hawks (Lowell, Massachusetts)

The UMass-Lowell River Hawks (21-10-3) return to this year’s NCAA tournament for the first time since 2017. This is UMass-Lowell’s ninth tournament appearance in its Division I history. The River Hawks received an at-large bid to this year’s event. The River Hawks will face the Denver Pioneers tonight in the West Regional at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado. The game will begin at 8:00pm CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. UMass-Lowell’s lone Frozen Four appearance in its Division I history came in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

 

Isac Jonsson, 21, of Ängelholm, Sweden, is currently in his freshman season with the River Hawks. He appeared in thirty-nine career games with Tri-City during the 2020-2021 season. He also skated in all three of the Storm’s games in the 2021 Clark Cup Playoffs. He scored four goals and notched seventeen assists in his Storm career. Jonsson made his USHL debut with the Storm on November 7th, 2020, in the Storm’s 5-1 road win over the Sioux City Musketeers. He scored his first career USHL goal on February 5th, 2021, in Tri-City’s 5-4 road victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede. Jonsson has skated in thirty-two games during his freshman season with the River Hawks. He has recorded ten assists for the UMass-Lowell offense.

 

Western Michigan Broncos (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

The Western Michigan Broncos (25-11-1) return to this year’s NCAA tournament for the first time since 2017. This is Western Michigan’s seventh tournament appearance. The Broncos received an at-large bid to this year’s event. The Broncos will face the Northeastern Huskies tomorrow in the Northeast Regional at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. The game will begin at 11:00am CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Western Michigan will be seeking its first Frozen Four appearance in school history in this year’s tournament.

Michael Joyaux, 25, of Bloomingdale, Illinois, is currently in his senior season with the Broncos. He appeared in three career games with Tri-City during the 2013-2014 season. Joyaux completed his USHL career with the Chicago Steel, Omaha Lancers, and Youngstown Phantoms, following his time with Tri-City. He made his USHL debut with the Storm on December 28th, 2013, in the team’s 3-1 home win over the Sioux Falls Stampede. He scored his first career USHL goal on September 27th, 2014, in the Chicago Steel’s 8-2 road victory over the Green Bay Gamblers. Joyaux skated in two hundred and thirty-seven career USHL games. He scored thirteen goals and recorded sixty-six assists. Joyaux has appeared in one hundred and eighteen career games for Western Michigan. He has scored sixteen goals and notched fifty-one assists.  

Ronnie Attard, 23, of White Lake, Michigan, is currently in his junior season at Western Michigan. Attard became the first Storm player to be named USHL Player of the Year in the organization’s history on April 25th, 2019. Attard’s record-breaking season also gave him USHL Defenseman of the Year honors, another first for the Tri-City Storm organization. He skated in one hundred and forty-four career games for Tri-City from 2016-2019. He scored forty-one goals and notched forty-three assists during his Storm career. His thirty goals scored during the team’s 2018-2019 Anderson Cup Championship season set a new USHL record for most goals netted during a single season by a defenseman. Attard became the first defenseman in organization history to record a four-goal game when he netted four goals in the Storm’s 7-0 thrashing of the Green Bay Gamblers at the Viaero Center on February 8th, 2019. Attard has appeared in ninety-two games over three seasons for Western Michigan. He has scored twenty-seven goals and notched forty-five assists. Attard was a finalist for the 2021-2022 National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s (NCHC) Player of the Year, and collected the league’s Offensive Defenseman of the Year Award for the second consecutive season. Attard was selected 72nd overall in the 3rd Round of the 2019 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers.