Preview: Storm Battle Steel in Final Game Before Holiday Break
Geneva, IL. - The Tri-City Storm prepare to battle the Chicago Steel tonight at the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, IL after dropping last night's game by a final score of 2-1 in a shootout. In the loss, Joe Berg scored his 3rd goal of the season for Tri-City. Tonight's game against the Steel is the Storm's final game before the upcoming holiday break. After tonight's game, Tri-City will not play again until it hosts the Sioux City Musketeers on December 27th for "First Responders/Teddy Bear Toss Night". Puck drop for tonight's rematch against Chicago is scheduled for 7:05pm.
Tri-City (10-11-2-2) dropped only its second game in a shootout last night by a final score of 2-1. Andrius Kulbis-Marino scored to put Tri-City ahead in the shootout, but two goals by Chicago gave the Steel a 2-1 win. In the loss, Tri-City climbed one spot in the USHL's Western Conference standings to 5th place. A win tonight over Chicago, and with help on the league scoreboard, Tri-City could rise as high as 3rd place in the conference standings entering the holiday break. The Storm is now 4-4-1-1- in its last ten games and will seek to stop Chicago's four game winning streak tonight. The game will be the last meeting in the regular season between the two teams. Through the first twenty-five games of the regular season, scoring leaders for Tri-City include; Colby Ambrosio (13), Benji Eckerle (10), Nick Portz (5), Matthew Knies (4), Nick Capone (4), Cole McWard (4), and Felix Carenfelt (4). Tonight's game will be the final game Tri-City will play without Matthew Knies, Mike Koster, Mitchell Miller, and Coach Anthony Noreen. Knies, Koster, Miller, and Noreen are currently representing the USA at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. USA will battle Canada East in the first Semifinal game of the tournament today at 3pm CT.
Chicago (18-4-1-0) looks to stay hot and extend its winning streak tonight against Tri-City. John Spetz scored Chicago's only goal of regulation time last night, and Mackie Samoskevich and Mathieu De St. Phalle both netted shootout goals in the win. Chicago has won nine of its last ten games, and another win tonight over Tri-City will give the Steel sole possession of 1st place in the Eastern Conference standings heading into the holiday break. With 301 penalty minutes on the year, Chicago is currently one of the three least penalized teams in the USHL. The Steel's power play was held off the scoreboard last night, but it remains the league's most prolific power play at 26.6% this year. The Steel's 29 power play goals are the most of any team this season, and Chicago has also netted six shorthanded goals this year on the penalty kill. Ian Shane's goaltending was a highlight of last night's win, as he stopped 26 of Tri-City's 27 shots to record his 6th win of the year in net. Shane's personal record this season now stands at 6-1-1-0.
Tonight's game is set to begin at 7:05pm CT, and will be streamed live on HockeyTV, and Storm Radio. To purchase tickets to Storm home games at the Viaero Center, visit www.StormHockey.com or call 308-338-8144.
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