Lincoln, NE. – The Tri-City Storm split a weekend series with the Lincoln Stars after dropping Saturday’s road game at the Ice Box by a final score of 2-1. Cole O’Hara scored the Storm’s only goal of the game in the 1st period. Tri-City returns to action on Friday in a home game against the Omaha Lancers. Tickets to the game may be purchased online or by calling the Viaero Center Box Office at 308-338-8144. Puck drop for Friday’s game is scheduled for 7:05pm.
Cole O’Hara scored the only goal of the 1st period to give the Storm a 1-0 lead. The goal was scored at 5:17 of the 1st period. O’Hara’s goal was his third of the season. Tri-City entered tonight’s game with an 8-0-0-0 record when leading after the 1st period. Tri-City outshot Lincoln 16-4 in the 1st period and carried a one-goal lead into the 2nd period.
Lincoln’s Dominic James scored the only goal of the 2nd period to tie the game at 1-1. James’ goal was netted at 3:31 of the 2nd period and was assisted by Dalton Norris and Zach Urdahl. The goal was scored with one second remaining on the Stars’ power-play. Each team posted 5 shots on net in the 2nd period and the game entered the 3rd period in a 1-1 tie. Entering tonight’s game, Tri-City held a 1-1-0-1 record when tied after the 2nd period this season.
With one minute and thirty seconds left to play in the 3rd period, Lincoln’s Cole Craft scored his fifth goal of the season to give the Stars a 2-1 lead. The goal was assisted by Clay Hanus and Dalton Norris. Tri-City lifted Todd Scott for an extra attacker but failed to tie the game and fell to 11-8-0-1 on the season. Tri-City had a potential game-winning goal reviewed with over two minutes to play in the game, but the goal was waved off and Lincoln took the lead seconds later. Todd Scott recorded the loss in net for Tri-City after making 12 saves on 14 shots. Tri-City outshot Lincoln 28-14 in the game.
The Storm return to action next weekend in a three-game series against the Omaha Lancers. Friday and Sunday’s game will be played at the Viaero Center and Saturday’s game will be played at Ralston Arena. The Storm’s “Pack It In Purple” game last night sold out and fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance for upcoming home games. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Viaero Center Box Office at 308-338-8144 or by visiting www.StormHockey.com. Puck drop for Friday’s rivalry game against Omaha is set for 7:05pm.
The Storm return to action on Friday, January 29th in a home game against the Omaha Lancers. For the latest information regarding the Tri-City Storm, including tickets to the next home game, visit www.StormHockey.com.
Lincoln, NE. – The Tri-City Storm seek a weekend sweep of the Lincoln Stars tonight at the Ice Box following last night’s 5-0 shutout victory over the Stars at the Viaero Center. Hunter Strand scored the 29th Hat Trick in team history and Todd Scott turned away all 17 Lincoln shots in the victory. Gavin Brindley and Cole McWard also scored in the win. Tonight’s game is part of the Stars’ “Tigers, Mullets, and Stars” promotional night. The Storm will wear corresponding specialty sweaters that will be available for purchase via online auction through Dash Auctions at http://bit.ly/TriCityStormAuctions. Puck drop for tonight’s rivalry game is scheduled for 7:05pm.
Tri-City (11-7-0-1) shut out an opponent for the first time this season in last night’s 5-0 home win over the Stars on “Pack It In Purple” night presented by the United Way of the Kearney Area. Last night’s game was played in front of a sold-out crowd (Capacity limitations and social distancing guidelines in place) and was the Storm’s fifth win on home ice this season. Tonight’s game is the 20th game of the Storm’s 2020-2021 regular season. Tri-City currently holds a four-point lead over Sioux City for 4th place in the Western Conference standings. The Storm trail 1st place Fargo by seven points but have four games in hand over the Force. Tri-City’s power-play climbed to 10th best in the USHL in last night’s win. The power-play converted during the 1st period of last night’s game and has now scored at least one goal in seven of the Storm’s last eight games. Tri-City’s power-play enters tonight’s game with a conversion rate of 18.1%. Tri-City’s penalty kill finished last night’s game seven for seven and leads the league with a success rate of 94.4% this season. The Storm’s top-ranked penalty kill has scored four shorthanded goals and has only allowed four power-play goals this year in seventy-one times being shorthanded. The Storm improved to 3-2-0-1 in six head-to-head matchups against the Stars in last night’s win.
Lincoln (6-10-1-0) fell to 4-6-0-0 in its last ten games after last night’s shut out loss to the Storm. The loss marked only the second time this season that the Stars have been held off the scoreboard in a game. Lincoln dropped a 4-0 decision to the Fargo Force at Scheels Arena on December 3rd. Lincoln has now lost three of its last four games. The Stars had six different players score goals in Tuesday’s road win over Sioux City (James Stefan, Noah Laba, Nikolai Mayorov, Dominic James, Cole Craft, Jack Horbach). The last time Lincoln matched up against Tri-City at the Ice Box the Stars prevailed in a 3-2 shootout win on January 6th. The victory was one of three the Stars have recorded against the Storm this season. The Stars have been outscored by a 41-67 margin through seventeen games played this season.
Tonight’s game is set to begin at 7:05pm CT and will be streamed live on HockeyTV, and Storm Radio. For tickets to Storm home games at the Viaero Center, call 308-338-8144 or visit www.StormHockey.com
Kearney, NE. – The Tri-City Storm posted a 5-0 shutout win over the Lincoln Stars Friday night at the Viaero Center on “Pack It In Purple” night. Todd Scott stopped all 17 Lincoln shots on goal to record the victory in net. Hunter Strand recorded the 29th Hat Trick in team history by scoring three goals. Gavin Brindley and Cole McWard also netted goals in the win. Tri-City returns to action tomorrow night in a road game against Lincoln.
Hunter Strand gave Tri-City a 1-0 lead at 7:39 of the 1st period on a goal assisted by Isac Jonsson. The goal was Strand’s sixth of the season and was scored on the power-play. At 9:18 of the 1st period, Gavin Brindley scored his fifth goal of the season to increase Tri-City’s lead to two goals. The goal was assisted by Rhett Pitlick and Guillaume Richard. The assist for Pitlick was his first point as a member of the Tri-City Storm. Tri-City outshot Lincoln 16-4 in the 1st period and carried a 2-0 lead into the 2nd period.
Hunter Strand scored the only goal of the 2nd period to give Tri-City a 3-0 lead. The goal was scored shorthanded at 11:50 of the period. Carter Mazur recorded the assist on the scoring play. The goal was Strand’s second of the game and seventh of the season. Tri-City outshot Lincoln 11-3 in the 2nd period and carried a 3-0 lead into the 3rd period.
Cole McWard netted his fourth goal of the season at 1:08 of the 3rd period to give the Storm a four-goal lead. McWard’s goal was assisted by Rhett Pitlick and Gavin Brindley. At 9:39 of the 3rd period, Hunter Strand scored his third goal of the game and eighth goal of the season to give the Storm a 5-0 lead. Strand’s goal was assisted by Mark Estapa and Cole McWard. Tri-City was outshot 10-9 in the 3rd period but outshot the Stars by an overall margin of 36-17 in the game and recorded a 5-0 win on home ice. Todd Scott was named the 3rd Star of the game, Gavin Brindley was named the 2nd Star of the game, and Hunter Strand collected 1st Star honors.
Tri-City improved to 11-7-0-1 in the victory. Tri-City is also now 5-3-0-0 when playing on home ice, 8-0-0-0 when leading after the 1st period, and 10-0-0-0 when leading after the 2nd period this season. The Storm now holds a 3-2-0-1 record in head-to-head matchups against Lincoln this year. Following tomorrow’s road game, Tri-City returns to the Viaero Center for its next home game on Friday, January 29th in a matchup against the Omaha Lancers.
The Storm return to action on Saturday, January 23rd in a road game against the Lincoln Stars. For the latest information regarding the Tri-City Storm, including tickets to the next home game, visit www.StormHockey.com.
Kearney, NE. – The Tri-City Storm return home to the Viaero Center tonight to host its annual “Pack It In Purple” game presented by the United Way of the Kearney Area. Tonight’s matchup will feature a rivalry showdown against the Lincoln Stars. A limited number of tickets are still available for the game. Tonight’s game is also a $5 Kids Friday. Tickets may be purchased online at www.StormHockey.com or by calling the Viaero Center Box Office at 308-338-8144. Puck drop for tonight’s “Pack It In Purple” game is scheduled for 7:05pm.
Tri-City (10-7-0-1) returns home to the Viaero Center following three consecutive road games last week against the Fargo Force. With a 5-2 win on Thursday, and a 5-2 win on Saturday, Tri-City won the three-game series. The Storm dropped the middle game of the series by a final score of 3-2. In Saturday’s road win over Fargo, the Storm improved to 7-0-0-0 when leading after the 1st period and 9-0-0-0 when leading after the 2nd period this season. The Storm got goals in the game from Carter Mazur (2), Gavin Brindley, Adam Klapka and Mark Estapa. Todd Scott made 26 saves on 28 Force shots to record the win in goal for the Storm. Tri-City enters tonight’s game against Lincoln in 4th place in the USHL’s Western Conference standings. After eighteen completed games, Tri-City is now one-third of the way through its fifty-four-game regular season schedule. Scoring leaders for the Storm to this point in the regular season include; Carter Mazur (9), Rhett Pitlick (7)*, Hunter Strand (5), Mark Estapa (5), Gavin Brindley (4), and Adam Klapka (4). Pitlick was acquired by the Storm through a transaction with the Muskegon Lumberjacks earlier this week and is expected to make his debut with the team tonight. He has scored seven goals and recorded seven assists in seventeen games this season with Muskegon. The Storm also added defenseman Conner Hutchison to the active roster earlier this week from the University of Vermont (NCAA).
Lincoln (6-9-1-0) gave up its three-goal lead against the Sioux City Musketeers Tuesday night at the Tyson Events Center, but battled back to record the victory by a final score of 6-3. James Stefan, Noah Laba, Nikolai Mayorov, Dominic James, Cole Craft, and Jack Horbach all scored for Lincoln in the win. Ryan Ouellette made 34 saves on 37 shots to record the victory in goal for the Stars. Half of Lincoln’s wins this season have come in head-to-head matchups against the Storm. Lincoln has recorded wins over Tri-City on December 26th (5-2), December 31st (3-1), and most recently on January 6th (3-2 SO). Following tonight’s road game against the Storm, Lincoln returns home to the Ice Box tomorrow night for another rivalry game against Tri-City. Lincoln enters tonight’s game in last place in the Western Conference standings with 13 points. Tonight’s game is the sixth of ten matchups this season between the Stars and the Storm.
Tonight’s game is set to begin at 7:05pm CT and will be streamed live on HockeyTV, and Storm Radio. For tickets to Storm home games at the Viaero Center, call 308-338-8144 or visit www.StormHockey.com
Kearney, NE. – The Tri-City Storm has announced multiple roster changes ahead of this weekend’s home & home series against the Lincoln Stars. Tri-City has acquired forward Rhett Pitlick from the Muskegon Lumberjacks in exchange for forward Nick Portz. Tri-City has also added defenseman Conner Hutchison to the active roster from the University of Vermont Catamounts (NCAA). Additionally, defenseman Max Smolinski has joined the Johnstown Tomahawks (NAHL) for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season. Smolinski will remain on the Storm’s affiliate list. Tri-City returns to action on Friday in the Storm’s annual “Pack It In Purple” Game presented by the United Way of the Kearney Area.
Rhett Pitlick, 19, of Chaska, Minnesota has appeared in sixty-nine career games in the USHL for the Omaha Lancers and Muskegon Lumberjacks. Prior to the transaction, Pitlick scored seven goals and recorded seven assists in seventeen games played this season for the Lumberjacks. His forty-two regular season points during the 2019-2020 regular season were the second most of any Lumberjack player. Pitlick has scored twenty-five goals and recorded thirty-six assists to this point in USHL career. He was drafted 102nd overall in the 7th Round of the 2017 USHL Phase I Draft by the Bloomington Thunder. Pitlick made his USHL debut on March 1st, 2019 for the Omaha Lancers. He also scored his first career USHL goal in the same game, a 2-1 home win for the Lancers against the Lincoln Stars. Pitlick skated for Team USA at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Before his time in the USHL, Pitlick played for the Chaska High School Hawks in Chaska, Minnesota. He previously announced a commitment to play college hockey at the University of Minnesota. Pitlick was selected 131st overall in the 5th Round of the 2019 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Storm. Being traded is not always the easiest thing but I am looking forward to a new start and new opportunities. I have had friends who were apart of this organization who have loved it here, so being apart of this organization is something that I am excited about. I’m trying to be the best version of myself which in turn hopefully helps this organization be more successful.” Forward Rhett Pitlick
Conner Hutchison, 20, of Hicksville, New York joins the Storm after appearing in six games this season for the University of Vermont Catamounts. Hutchison skated for the Penticton Vees (BCHL) during the 2019-2020 and 2018-2019 seasons. In total, Hutchison appeared in eighty games with the Vees. He scored eight goals and recorded forty-four assists. Hutchison was drafted 71st overall in the 5th Round of the 2016 USHL Phase I Draft by the Fargo Force and made his USHL debut with the Chicago Steel on April 13th, 2018 in Chicago’s 7-5 home win over the Central Illinois Flying Aces. He recorded his first career USHL point in the same game, assisting on a 2nd period goal for the Steel. Prior to his time in the BCHL, Hutchison skated in multiple seasons for the Selects Hockey Academy in South Kent, Connecticut. Conner’s brother, Nick, appeared in thirty-seven games for the Storm during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons.
“When I heard I was going to Tri-City, I was so excited! It is a great organization and I have heard nothing but great things from friends of mine who played there. My goal for the second half of the year is to grow as a player while improving my game. Last year, my playoffs were cut short, so while having this opportunity to play for the Storm, I hope to contribute to the team in making a deep run in the playoffs.” Defenseman Conner Hutchison
Nick Portz, 20, of St. Cloud, Minnesota scored fourteen goals in fifty-four regular season games during the 2018-2019 season with the Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL) before being acquired by the Storm in October of 2019. He also provided the Wilderness offense with eighteen assists. In the 2017-2018 season, Portz led St. Cloud High School with twenty-three goals and twenty-six assists in twenty-five games played. He scored twenty-four goals and recorded nineteen assists in twenty-three games in the 2016-2017 season. After joining the Storm during the 2019-2020 season, Portz scored twenty goals and notched twenty-eight assists in fifty-eight games played. With fifteen goals scored last season, Portz entered the 2020-2021 season as the Storm’s top returning scorer. Portz also finished the 2019-2020 season with twenty-three assists. He previously announced a commitment to play college hockey at the University of North Dakota.
Max Smolinski, 17, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan was drafted 60th overall in the 4th Round of the 2019 USHL Phase I draft and made his USHL debut during the 2019-2020 regular season as an affiliate list callup. Prior to joining the Storm, Smolinski skated for the Little Caesars youth program in Detroit, MI. He also previously played for the Honeybaked youth program in Detroit, MI. Smolinski scored eight goals and registered fifteen assists in forty-nine games played for the Little Caesars 16U AAA team during the 2019-2020 season. He netted six goals and recorded thirty-two assists in seventy-two games played for Little Caesars 16U during the 2018-2019 season. Smolinski has appeared in five career games with the Storm.
“Nick Portz was an integral part of this team over the last year and a half. He will be missed by everyone in the organization. I had a chance to coach Rhett Pitlick on the World Junior A Challenge team last year and we feel he is exactly what our team needs right now. His speed and playmaking ability are elite and should really help our forward group. This transaction also opened up a 2000 spot for us to add Conner Hutchison. Conner is a junior experience offensive defenseman who was a teammate with Zac Jones and Shane Pinto at Selects Academy a few years back. Those guys felt Conner would be a great addition to our team and locker room if given the chance” President of Hockey Operations/Head Coach Anthony Noreen
"Max Smolinski is a good young defenseman and this transition to Johnstown (NAHL) will allow Max an opportunity to gain valuable minutes, ice time, and experience in games and a more prominent role in a team line-up this season. Max will be back with us this season if and when necessary and this move should also help set him up for a strong second junior season with us before embarking on his college career. Being close to home for me - I know Johnstown has a great setup and that their Head Coach Mike Letizia will treat Max right moving forward and that is very important to our club."
"Nick Portz has been a valuable member of this club and will certainly be missed - we wish him the best moving forward in Muskegon. That said, we are excited to add Rhett Pitlick to our forward group as he possesses an elite skill set, speed, and is a dynamic playmaker which we feel will help create and generate more offense for our team moving ahead. Rhett has been productive in his previous USHL stops and during his days of high school hockey in Minnesota and we feel the situation he walks into with us will be a very positive and successful one. He brings an element that we could use and we feel he'll be a boost to our club as we head into the second half of our season and playoffs."
"We feel we added a seasoned junior experienced defenseman in Conner Hutchison. He has two years of junior experience (Penticton in the BCHL) under his belt as well as some time and experience at the college level. Conner is an agile defender and has always shown the ability to produce offense from the back end and contribute on the power play. A key piece to this acquisition and decision was also the fact of his success three seasons ago winning a U18 AAA National Championship with Selects Academy in Philadelphia, PA. There he was teammates with former Storm players Zac Jones and Shane Pinto who both rave about him as a player and person. Given we've had some previous success with players from Head Coach Matt Plante when he was with that program, it was an easy decision to add Conner to the puzzle here." General Manager Jason Koehler
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