KEARNEY, NE. – Tri-City Storm President of Hockey Operations/Head Coach Anthony Noreen and multiple Storm players are set to represent Team USA at the upcoming Hlinka-Gretzky Cup in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Noreen will lead the USA team in the annual Under-18 tournament when the event officially gets underway on Sunday, July 31st. Storm players Tanner Adams, Charlie Kinsman, Ryan Smith, and Storm draft pick A.J. Lacroix will skate for Team USA in the event. Team USA will face Slovakia tomorrow morning (12:00pm CT) in a pre-tournament matchup prior to the official start of the event. All of Team USA’s tournament games will be broadcast live on NHL Network.
The Hlinka Gretzky Cup is an annual international event highlighting many of the top Under-18 players in the world. The event was founded in 1991, and is named after Ivan Hlinka and Wayne Gretzky. Canada, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland will compete in Group A of this year’s tournament. Team USA is joined in Group B by Czechia, Finland, and Germany. Each of Team USA’s games will take place at Peavey Mart Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.
Team USA is slated to face Germany at 4:00pm CT on Sunday, July 31st in the team’s opening game of the tournament. Finland will serve as Team USA’s opponent in the team’s second game of the event at 2:00pm on Monday, August 1st. Team USA will face Czechia in the team’s final preliminary round game of the tournament at 12:00pm on Wednesday, August 3rd. Semifinal Game #1 will be held at 4:00pm CT on Friday, August 5th. The second Semifinal game will follow at approximately 7:30pm CT. The 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup will conclude on Saturday, August 6th with the Third Place Game taking place at 1:00pm CT and the Championship Game at 3:00pm CT.
Team USA will be seeking its second tournament Championship at this year’s event after previously winning the annual tournament in 2003. More information on Team USA at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup can be found at https://teamusa.usahockey.com/2022hlinkagretzkycup.
Tanner Adams, 16, of Northport, New York, completed his rookie season in the USHL with the Storm during the 2021-2022 season after signing a tender agreement with Tri-City on May 22nd, 2021. Adams made his USHL debut with the Storm on September 23rd, 2021, in the team’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Dubuque Fighting Saints at the 2021 DICKS Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. He scored his first career USHL goal on October 22nd, 2021, in the Storm’s 6-4 road loss to the Sioux City Musketeers. Adams finished the 2021-2022 regular season with twelve goals and twenty assists. He was one of three Tri-City players to play in all sixty-two games during the regular season. He was the Storm’s leading rookie scorer last season, and was a member of the organization’s 2021-2022 Anderson Cup Championship team. Prior to joining the Storm for the 2021-2022 season, Adams appeared in twenty-nine games during the 2020-2021 season for Mount St. Charles Academy’s 15U (AAA, Woonsocket, Rhode Island) team. He scored nineteen goals and notched twenty-nine assists for forty-eight total points. Adams was on Team USA’s winning team at the 2021 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament in Visp, Switzerland. He previously announced a commitment to play collegiate hockey in the future for Providence College. Adams will wear #9 during the event.
Charlie Kinsman, 17, of Orchard Park, New York, appeared in two games during the 2021-2022 regular season with the Storm as an affiliate list call-up. He made his USHL debut with the team on April 16th, 2022, in Tri-City’s 8-2 road loss to the Sioux Falls Stampede. Kinsman skated for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres (AAA, Buffalo, New York) organization prior to joining the Storm this season. He scored five goals and notched seventeen assists during the 2021-2022 season. Kinsman also skated for the Jr. Sabres during the 2020-2021 and 2019-2020 seasons. He was on Team USA’s winning team at the 2021 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament in Visp, Switzerland. He previously announced a commitment to play collegiate hockey in the future for the University of Vermont. Kinsman will wear #4 during the event.
Ryan Smith, 16, of North Tonawanda, New York, was drafted 49th overall in the 4th round of the 2021 USHL Phase I Draft. He made his USHL debut with the team as an affiliate list call-up on April 23rd, 2022, in Tri-City’s 3-2 overtime victory on the road against the Lincoln Stars. Smith skated for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres (AAA, Buffalo, New York) organization prior to joining the Storm this season. He scored fifteen goals and notched nine assists during the 2021-2022 regular season. Smith also skated for the Jr. Sabres during the 2020-2021 and 2019-2020 seasons. He previously announced a commitment to play collegiate hockey in the future for the University of Massachusetts. Smith will wear #12 during the event.
A.J. Lacroix, 17, of Livingston, New Jersey, was drafted by the Storm 45th overall in the 3rd round of the 2022 USHL Phase II Draft. He skated in fifty-three games during the 2021-2022 regular season for the Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL, Chilliwack, British Columbia). Lacroix also appeared in eleven games during the Chiefs’ run in the 2022 BCHL Playoffs. Lacroix scored twenty-one goals and recorded nineteen assists in the regular season this year. He scored one goal and notched four assists during the postseason. Lacroix previously skated for the Delta Hockey Academy (Delta, British Columbia), and West Van Academy (Vancouver, British Columbia). He scored twenty-six goals and notched thirty-four assists in thirty games played for West Van Academy’s Bantam Prep team during the 2019-2020 regular season. Lacroix will wear #13 during the event.
“There is no greater honor in sports than representing your country on the world stage. I am extremely grateful to John Vanbiesbrouck, Marc Boxer, and the rest of USA Hockey for the opportunity. We have assembled a team that has character, speed, and will play hard. We put a major emphasis on players who have a backup game, and are not one-dimensional. We will lean on our depth and hopefully improve on the ice and grow closer as a team over the next two weeks. Tanner Adams should have a ton of confidence coming into this event after the season he had in the USHL. He is a guy who will be leaned on in every facet of our game as well as leadership-wise. Charlie Kinsman was a major contributor on the Five-Nations Team last year that won a gold medal. He should be able to use that experience, as well as his development over the past year to be an impact player at this event. Ryan Smith had an outstanding tryout camp in Buffalo in late June. He showed speed, skill, compete, and an ability to impact the game on both sides of the ice. He is a guy who can bring a spark to this team throughout the event. A.J. Lacroix got better and better as the Buffalo camp went. He has a big-time shot, plays heavy/mature, and is a real student of the game. This team will count on him to be a major contributor.” – President of Hockey Operations/Head Coach Anthony Noreen