KEARNEY, NE. – The Tri-City Storm clinched the fifth Western Conference Regular Season Championship in the organization’s twenty-two year history on Sunday afternoon in an 8-6 victory over the Sioux City Musketeers. Storm forward Jeremy Wilmer broke former Storm forward, and 2019 Stanley Cup Champion, Jaden Schwartz’s single-season organizational points record during the game. Wilmer notched his record-breaking 84th point of the regular season on a 2nd period goal scored by Cole O’Hara. The 2021-2022 Tri-City Storm team set a new organizational record for most goals scored in a single season during the victory. This year’s Storm team has netted 236 goals, more than any previous team in the organization’s history. Cole O’Hara, Mitchell Miller, Mason Wheeler, Ilya Nikolaev, Jeremy Wilmer, Kieran Cebrian, Josh Eernisse, and Lleyton Roed all scored goals in Sunday’s game for Tri-City. Arsenii Sergeev notched his league-leading 28th win of the season in goal for the Storm.
Sioux City outshot Tri-City 7-6 in the 1st period and the game entered the 2nd period in a scoreless tie. Sunday’s 2nd period included seven combined goals, and eighty-two penalty minutes between the Western Conference’s top two teams. Cole O’Hara opened the scoring with his 24th goal of the season forty-four seconds into the 2nd period. Jeremy Wilmer recorded an assist on the play and became the organization’s new single-season points record holder with his 84th point of the year. Mitchell Miller scored his team-leading 37th goal of the season at 9:14 of the 2nd period to give the Storm a two-goal lead. Jeremy Wilmer recorded an assist on the powerplay goal and became the organization’s new single-season powerplay assists record holder with his 26th powerplay assist of the year. Ilya Nikolaev also recorded an assist on the scoring play. Mason Wheeler scored his fourth goal of the season at 11:02 of Sunday’s 2nd period to give Tri-City a 3-0 lead in the game. Wheeler’s goal was assisted by Tanner Adams and Jeremy Wilmer. Ilya Nikolaev scored a powerplay goal with less than five minutes to play in the period to increase the Storm’s advantage to four goals. The goal was his 22nd of the season and was scored on the powerplay. Cole O’Hara and Vinny Borgesi recorded an assist on the scoring play. Jeremy Wilmer scored his 22nd goal of the year at 16:27 of the period to give Tri-City a 5-0 lead. The goal was netted on the powerplay and was assisted by Cole O’Hara. Kieran Cebrian notched his ninth goal of the season eight seconds later to give the Storm a 6-0 lead. Cebrian’s goal was assisted by Josh Eernisse. The final goal of Sunday’s 2nd period was scored seconds later by Sioux City’s Dylan James. Tri-City outshot Sioux City 16-11 in the period and carried a five-goal lead into the 3rd period.
An assortment of penalties were included with Sunday’s high-scoring 2nd period. Andrew Strathmann was given a double-minor penalty for roughing and a ten-minute misconduct penalty at 5:09 of the period following an altercation with Sioux City’s Owen Fowler. Fowler is the league’s penalty minutes leader with 196 penalty minutes tallied to this point in the 2021-2022 regular season. Lleyton Roed and the Musketeers’ Sam Deckhut were each given a five-minute major for fighting, and a ten-minute misconduct penalty following an altercation at 13:54 of the 2nd period. Deckhut was also given a two-minute minor penalty for cross-checking. Dane Dowiak and Sioux City’s Owen Fowler were each penalized at 14:47 of the 2nd period for roughing. Each player was also given a ten-minute misconduct penalty.
Sunday’s 3rd period featured seven combined goals and forty-eight combined penalty minutes. The Musketeers scored four straight goals to begin the 3rd period to close to within one goal of the Storm’s lead. The first goal of Sunday’s final period was scored by Sioux City’s Luke Antonacci. The scoring play was his sixth of the season and was assisted by Bennett Schimek and Dylan James. The goal was netted at 4:30 of the 3rd period and brought the game to a 6-2 score. Garrett Brown scored his third goal of the year at 6:47 of the period to cut into the Storm’s lead. Brown’s goal was assisted by Tabor Heaslip and Nick Pierre. The goal was netted on the powerplay. Dylan James scored his second goal of the game, and 27th goal of the year, at 7:42 of the 3rd period to bring the Musketeers within two goals of the Storm’s lead. The goal was assisted by Bennett Schimek and Luke Antonacci. Sioux City’s final goal of a run of five unanswered goals was scored at 10:36 of Sunday’s 3rd period by Tabor Heaslip. The goal was his 11th of the year and was assisted by Charlie Schoen. Josh Eernisse scored his league-leading fifth shorthanded goal of the season at 11:44 of the 3rd period to give the Storm a 7-5 lead. The scoring play was Eernisse’s eighth goal of the year and was assisted by Kieran Cebrian. Lleyton Roed gave Tri-City another shorthanded goal on the same Sioux City powerplay to increase the Storm’s lead to three goals. Roed’s goal was his 22nd of the year and was assisted by Ilya Nikolaev. The goal was notched at 13:22 of the 3rd period and was Tri-City’s final scoring play of the game. Bennett Schimek scored his 10th goal of the season at 16:05 of Sunday’s 3rd period to bring the game to an 8-6 score. The goal was assisted by Tomi Leppanen. Sioux City elected to pull goaltender Kristoffer Eberly in the game’s final minutes in an attempt to tie the game. Tri-City skated away with a two-goal victory to clinch the fifth regular season conference title in the organization’s history. The Musketeers outshot the Storm 13-8 in Sunday’s 3rd period and 31-30 overall in the game.
Arsenii Sergeev stopped 25 of Sioux City’s 31 shots on goal during the contest to record the victory in goal for the Storm. He improved to 28-6-1-1 on the season in goal for Tri-City. Kristoffer Eberly picked up the loss in goal for Sioux City after stopping 22 of Tri-City’s 30 shots on net during the game. Eberly recorded his first loss of the season in net, and dropped to 3-1-0-0 on the season in goal for Sioux City.
Sunday’s game featured twenty-nine penalties for a combined one hundred and thirty-nine penalty minutes. Tri-City reached a new season-high for most penalty minutes recorded in a single game with seventy-eight collected in Sunday’s matchup. Sioux City also set a new team mark for most penalty minutes recorded in a single game during the regular season during Sunday’s game. The Musketeers notched fifty-seven penalty minutes in the game.
Cole O’Hara was named the 1st Star of the Game, with teammates Jeremy Wilmer and Josh Eernisse collecting 2nd and 3rd Star honors, respectively. Sunday’s game was played in front of a crowd of 1,914 at the Viaero Center.
Tri-City improved to 43-10-3-1 in the 2021-2022 regular season following Sunday’s 8-6 home win over Sioux City. The Storm is now 40-10-2-1 against Western Conference competition, and holds a 23-3-0-1 record in games played at the Viaero Center this season. The Storm captured the regular season series against the Musketeers by winning six of nine games played. Tri-City is now one point away from clinching the third Anderson Cup Championship in organizational history.
Tri-City has two home games remaining during the regular season on Tuesday, April 19th, and Friday, April 22nd. The Storm will host the Fargo Force on April 19th, and will play its final home game of the 2021-2022 regular season against the Lincoln Stars on April 22nd. The Tri-City Storm’s Playoff Ticket Package for the 2022 Clark Cup Playoffs is now on sale. Purchasing a Playoff Ticket Package for the 2022 Clark Cup Playoffs will guarantee fans the opportunity to sit in the same seat for each of the Storm’s home games during the postseason. Tickets to the Storm’s final two home games of the regular season, and the team’s playoff ticket package 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, April 15th, in a road game against the Omaha Lancers. Puck drop is set for 7:05pm CT. For the latest information regarding the Storm skate to www.StormHockey.com. #StormAhead