Tri-City Storm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tri-City Storm
City Kearney, Nebraska
League USHL
Division West
Founded 1979
Home arena Viaero Event Center

Purple, Black and Silver

Owner(s) Kirk W. Brooks
Head coach Bill Muckalt
Media Grand Island Independent , KHGI-TV, KSNB-TV, Kearney Hub
Franchise history
1979–1984 Bloomington Jr. Stars
1985–1986 Minneapolis Stars
1986–1995 St. Paul Vulcans
1995–2000 Twin Cities Vulcans
2000–present Tri-City Storm
Regular season titles 1
Division Championships 1
Playoff championships 1

The Tri-City Storm is a Tier 1 junior ice hockey team playing in the West Division of the United States Hockey League (USHL).


The Storm have been Kearney, Nebraska's franchise in the USHL since 2000. The 2003-04 regular season was the best in the team's 13-year history, as Tri-City went 43-12-5, finishing in first place and winning the Anderson Cup with 91 points.


May 15, 1999 - The USHL voted 100 percent to allow then Omaha Lancers' owner, Ted Baer, to place a new team in Kearney. In June, Jim Hillman was named the team's first head coach.


Sept. 30, 2000 - The Tri-City Storm win their first game in franchise history.

Nov. 18, 2000 - Following eight months of construction, the $10.5 million, 5,000-seat Tri-City Arena opens when the Tri-City Storm plays its first home game against Des Moines.

The Storm were named USHL Organization of the Year in their first year of operation.


The Storm narrowly missed the playoffs. Konrad Reeder and Patrick Borgestad represented the team in the USHL All-Star game.


Dec. 20, 2002 - In the midst of a 10-game losing streak, Storm coach and GM Jim Hillman steps down.

Jan. 19, 2003 - Former Topeka coach Bliss Littler becomes the teams' new head coach and GM.

The Storm rallied to make the playoffs with a seven-game win streak down the stretch.


The team won the league's Anderson Cup, finishing with a record of 43-12-5 and 91 points.

The USHL named Tri-City Organization of the Year for the second time.


The Storm celebrated their fifth-year anniversary, making a deep run in the playoffs and reaching the Clark Cup semifinals for the second consecutive season.


Tri-City beat out Sioux City for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, finishing with a 28-23-9 record. However, they dropped their opening round playoff series three games to two.


May 3, 2006 - Ted Baer sells the Tri-City Storm to Joel Wiens, ending seven years of ownership.

The Storm finished the regular season with 78 points, good for second place in the Western Conference. They then won an exciting seven-game series against conference foe Sioux City, but were knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual Clark Cup champions, the Sioux Falls Stampede.


Tri-City misses the playoffs for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

After the season, head coach and GM Bliss Littler resigns to accept the head coaching position with the Omaha Lancers.


Owner Joel Wiens promotes assistant coach Tom Rudrud to head coach.

The Storm suffered a major setback on the ice, winning just 11 out of 60 games.

In April 2009, Wiens sold the arena and team to Las Vegas businessman Kirk Brooks.

Brooks later announced that Drew Schoneck would replace Tom Rudrud as head coach.


Led by standout forward Jaden Schwartz, the Storm finished in fourth place in the Western Conference with a 29-25-6 record.


Things took a turn for the worse as the Storm dropped to the basement of the Western Conference standings.


After a slow start, owner Kirk Brooks relieved head coach Drew Schoneck of his duties and promoted assistant coach Josh Hauge.

Hauge's group rallied late in the season and despite the poor start, the Storm were able to clinch a playoff spot, finishing in sixth in the Western Conference. Tri-City was defeated by the Waterloo Black Hawks in the first round of the postseason.


In Hauge's first full season behind the bench, injuries plagued Tri-City and the team was unable to reach their high expectations. Captain Brian Ward had a strong season offensively, scoring 54 points in just 42 games. Michael Vecchione led the team with 26 goals.


Owner Kirk Brooks relieved Josh Hauge of his duties and hired Jim Hulton.


Tri-City's Chris Wilkie scored 35 goals, tying Rastislav Spirko (2003–04) for the Storm's single-season record. The Storm finished second in the Western Conference and sweeps the Omaha Lancers, 3-games-to-0, in the first round. Sioux Falls, led by USHL Rookie of the Year Kieffer Bellows, beat the Storm, 3-games-to-1, in the Western Conference Finals. The Herd won games 2, 3, 4 and goes on to defeat the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the Clark Cup Finals. Some Storm fans allege the series turned before Game 2 is even played; with the Storm leading the best-of-five, 1-game-to-0, an ice maintenance worker accidentally drills a hole in a pipe on the day of game 2, causing water to burst on the ice. Game 2 was postponed from Saturday, April 25, 2015 to Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The five-day break allowed Sioux Falls to recover from a loss the night before (Friday, April 24) and rattle off three straight wins. Before its series against the Storm, Sioux Falls had just completed a grueling, five-game series against the Sioux City Musketeers on Tuesday, April 21, while the Storm had off since Saturday, April 18 after sweeping Omaha.


Head coach and general manager Jim Hulton was relieved of his duties in the 2015 offseason and replaced by Bill Muckalt. The former five-year NHL veteran Muckalt came to the Storm following a four-year stint as Assistant Coach at Michigan Tech. The team started 3-0-0-0, its best start since 2003-04, when the Storm won its first four games. The Storm went on a team-record 13-game point streak from February 6 - March 19 and Tri-City won the Western Conference Regular Season Title for the first time since 2003-04. The Storm finished with 73 points, 28-15-10-7. Twenty of the Storm's 60 games went to overtime, and the Storm lost 17 of them (10 in overtime), the Tier I USHL record for most losses past regulation. The Storm took a club-low 726 penalty minutes, fewest in the USHL that season. Goaltender Jake Kielly set the Storm's single-season record for best save percentage (.919) and went on a 19-game point streak during the middle of the season. Mattias Goransson finished the regular season with 34 assists, the Storm defensemen record. Carson Meyer had 32 goals, the fifth-best Storm single season. Third-year defenseman Tory Dello was Captain and Mattias Goransson, Jake Wahlin and Dan Labosky were assistants. The Storm won the Clark Cup for the first time in franchise history. Wade Allison was named Clark Cup MVP and the Philadelphia Flyers selected him in the second round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

'2016 Clark Cup Playoffs The Storm swept the Sioux Falls Stampede, 3-0, in the Western Conference Semifinals, handling both games on home ice and defeating the Stampede, 4-1, at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Game 3. The Storm outscored the Stampede, 12-3, in the opening round. In the Western Conference Final, the Storm knocked Waterloo out for the first time. The series went a full five games; the teams split the first four games and the Storm won Game 5 on May 10, 2016, 5-3. Down, 2-1, after the first, the Storm regained the lead with three straight goals. Wade Allison scored early in the second and Brandon Duhaime gave the Storm the lead for good with a short-handed goal in which he deked between a Waterloo defender's legs. Jake Wahlin put the Storm up two, 4-2, and Tri-City added an empty-net goal to knock the Black Hawks out later in the game.

Tri-City trailed, 1-0, entering the third period of Game 1 of the Clark Cup Final just three days later on Friday, May 13 at Dubuque. Wade Allison, Dan Labosky and Alex Limoges were all on ice for four third-period goals and the Storm came back to win, 5-1. Dubuque scored the opening goal of Game 2 the next night, but Allison-Labosky-Limoges factored in again. In a span of 46 minutes from the third period of Game 1 to the second period of Game 2, the line was on ice for seven of eight goals. Tri-City defeated Dubuque, 4-2, in Game 2. In front of a sold-out home crowd on May 20, 2016, the Storm swept Dubuque out of the final, 3-0, with a 4-1 win in Game 3. Limoges scored the first two goals, including the game-winning tally. Allison also scored in the third period to put the Storm ahead by two. Brandon Duhaime added an empty-net goal to put the game out of reach. 4,088 fans watched the Storm's victory.

At 9:47 p.m. on May 20, 2016, the final horn sounded, securing a 4-1 Tri-City victory and sending the sell-out crowd at the Viaero Center into pandemonium.

Led by Jake Kielly in net, Bill Muckalt’s leadership and a hot offense, the Storm had the best goal differential in the postseason (+22). Tri-City was first in offense (3.8 goals/game) and boasted the stingiest defense (1.8 goals allowed/ game) in the postseason.

The line of Dan Labosky, Alex Limoges and Wade Allison was on ice for 11 of 13 Storm goals in the Final. Allison won Clark Cup Most Valuable Player, leading all players with nine goals. Labosky had a Storm postseason record 14 assists and 19 points, recording nine points in the Final against Dubuque. Labosky finished his career with a Tri-City playoff record 16 assists and 23 points. The Wisconsin commit had three assists in Game 3 of the Final, tying his own single-game record set against Sioux Falls in the first round.

Jake Kielly set the Tier-I USHL postseason record with a .950 save percentage. Kielly allowed more than two goals in a game just once. The Clarkson-bound netminder had a 1.64 goals against average, the fourth-best in the Tier-I history of the league.

During the playoffs, the Storm broke/tied the following team records Broken – Dan Labosky: postseason points, career – 23 Broken – Dan Labosky: postseason assists, career – 16 Broken – Dan Labosky: assists in a single postseason – 14 Broken – Dan Labosky: points in single postseason – 19. Broken – Dan Labosky: assists, postseason game – 3 (April 15, 2016 vs. SF | May 20, 2016 vs. DUB) Broken – Jake Kielly: postseason shutouts, career – 3 Broken – Jake Kielly: career minutes (657), career saves (340) and career games played (11) Broken – Jake Kielly: career goals against average (1.64) and save percentage (.950). Broken – Wade Allison: points in a postseason period – 4 (May 13, 2016 at DUB). Broken – Wade Allison: goals in a postseason round – 5, Clark Cup Final.

Tied – Dan Labosky: points in a postseason game – 4, May 14, 2016. Tied with Bill Thomas, March 31, 2004. Tied – Wade Allison: points in a postseason game – 4, May 13, 2016 Tied with Bill Thomas, March 31, 2004. Tied – Wade Allison: goals in single postseason – 9. Tied with Bill Thomas (2004 postseason) Tied – Wade Allison: postseason goals, career – 9. Tied with Bill Thomas (2004 postseason)

Kielly stopped 340 of 358 shots for a .950 save percentage (best in Tier-I postseason history). His three postseason shutouts ranked second behind Omaha’s Drew Palmisano (4 shutouts, 2008). Kielly had the fourth-best Tier-I goals against average, 1.64. The 19-year-old from Eden Prairie, Minnesota had 30 or more saves in seven of 11 games. Kielly allowed two or fewer goals in nine of 11 contests.

The Storm won the first game of each series, in large part due to Kielly. The goalie had shutouts in Game 1 of the opening round and the first game of the Conference Finals. The 6-foot-3, 190-lb goalie shut out the Black Hawks with 41 saves In Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals to give the Storm a 2-1 series edge. From January 1 to the end of the season, Kielly went 24-4-0-2 with a 2.03 goals against average, a .930 save percentage and six shutouts.

Storm Head Coach and General Manager Bill Muckalt became the fifth Head Coach in the Tier-I history of the league to deliver a championship in his first season.


Led by second-year Head Coach/General Manager Bill Muckalt, the Storm finished 2016-17 with a 21-31-6-2 record, good for 50 points and 8th in the Western Conference. The Storm started the season with points in three straight games (2-0-0-1) and were 7-5-1-2 at the quarter pole. From December 1 through the end of the season, Tri-City went 14-26-5-0. A number of midseason trades aimed at building for the future took place in January and February. On February 6, the Storm moved Assistant Captain Joey Matthews, second-leading scorer Charlie Kelleher and Odeen Tufto to Sioux City for draft picks and a player to be named later. The same day, the Storm executed two separate trades with Waterloo, moving Captain Alex Limoges (for F Caleb Rule, a draft pick and a player to be named later) and starting goaltender Dayton Rasmussen for D Tyler Borsch). After the trades, the Storm went 6-12-1-0.

Linus Weissbach led the team in goals (19), assists (28) and points (47) in his only USHL season. Weissbach committed to Wisconsin midway through the year. Eric Dop emerged as the Storm's go-to in February after midseason trades. He is committed to Bowling Green State University. Dop made 13 straight starts from February 24 - April 2, the third-longest streak in team history (5-7-1-0, 2.74 GAA, .913 sv%, 1 SO).

Tri-City sent a league-high five players to the 2017 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and forward Paul Washe was named Team West MVP (two goals) in Sioux Falls. Washe became the second straight Storm player to win Team West MVP (Wade Allison, 2016).

Three Storm players (Alex Limoges, Paul Washe, Dayton Rasmussen) won the Gold Medal with the US Junior Select Team at the 2016 World Jr A. Challenge in Bonnyville, Alberta.


Notable former players who have continue to play professionally include Jaden Schwartz, Jarod Palmer, Scott Parse, Christian Hanson, Jack Hillen and Bill Thomas.

Thomas and Konrad Reeder are tied for the most goals in team history, each scoring 60 during their careers in Kearney. Mario Lamoureux, who played four seasons for the Storm, has the all-time assists record with 85.

Schwartz, who played for the Storm during the 2009-10 season, owns most of the team's single season records including assists (50), points (83), power play goals (16), power play assists (22), power play points (38), shorthanded points (8), multi-point games (24), consecutive multi-point games (6) and total shots on goal (242).

Season-by-season record[edit]

United States Hockey League

Season GP W L OTL PTS GF Finish
2000–01 56 27 21 8 62 191 5th – West
2001–02 61 27 30 4 58 182 9th – Overall
2002–03 60 27 28 5 59 183 5th – West
2003–04 60 43 12 5 91 225 1st – West
2004–05 60 33 21 6 72 189 4th – West
2005–06 60 28 23 9 65 166 4th – West
2006–07 60 36 18 6 78 203 2nd – West
2007–08 60 24 34 2 50 153 5th – West
2008–09 60 11 48 1 23 140 6th – West
2009–10 60 29 25 6 64 172 4th – West
2010–11 60 19 30 11 49 137 8th – West
2011–12 56 25 31 0 50 157 6th – West
2012-13 64 22 35 7 51 189 8th of 8, West
14th of 16 league
did not qualify for playoffs
2013-14 60 21 35 4 46 153 7th of 8, West
14th of 16 league
did not qualify for playoffs


As of April 10, 2016.[1]

# S/P/C Player Pos Ht Wt DoB Hometown Previous team College commitment
1 Minnesota Kielly, JakeJake Kielly G 6' 3" 190 lb 1996-09-10 Eden Prairie, Minnesota Austin (NAHL) Clarkson
2 Minnesota McNeely, JackJack McNeely D 6' 3" 178 lb 1996-12-18 Burnsville, Minnesota Lakeville North High School (USHS–MN) Minnesota State
3 Illinois Dello, ToryTory Dello (C) D 6' 0" 190 lb 1997-02-14 Crystal Lake, Illinois Chicago Mission U16 (Midget AAA) Notre Dame
4 Minnesota Krych, JasonJason Krych D 5' 9" 181 lb 1997-04-12 Champlin, Minnesota Totino-Grace High School (USHS–MN) Minnesota State
5 Massachusetts Marino, JohnJohn Marino D 6' 2" 185 lb 1997-05-21 North Easton, Massachusetts South Shore (USPHL) Harvard
8 Illinois Matthews, JoeyJoey Matthews D 5' 9" 180 lb 1997-06-24 Columbia, Illinois St. Louis Blues AAA U18 (Midget AAA) None
9 New York (state) Rutherford, CollinCollin Rutherford F 5' 7" 160 lb 1997-12-29 Tonawanda, New York Cedar Rapids (USHL) Dartmouth
10 California Dixson, JustinJustin Dixson F 5' 10" 168 lb 1998-05-06 Sunnyvale, California Jr. Ducks 16U (Midget AAA) UMass
11 Michigan Humitz, MaxMax Humitz F 5' 8" 160 lb 1995-07-08 Livonia, Michigan Muskegon (USHL) Lake Superior State
12 South Dakota Duehr, WalkerWalker Duehr F 6' 2" 206 lb 1997-11-23 Sioux Falls, South Dakota Sioux City (USHL) Minnesota State
14 Massachusetts Graham, MonteMonte Graham F 5' 11" 166 lb 1998-04-04 Hanover, Massachusetts Thayer Academy (USHS–MA) Boston College
15 Michigan Washe, PaulPaul Washe F 6' 1" 175 lb 1998-11-27 Clarkston, Michigan Dubuque (USHL) Western Michigan
16 Wisconsin Watson, CarverCarver Watson D 5' 11" 165 lb 1998-03-03 Appleton, Wisconsin Madison (USHL) Michigan Tech
17 Germany Sturm, NicoNico Sturm F 6' 3" 190 lb 1995-05-03 Augsburg, Germany Austin (NAHL) Clarkson
18 Ohio Meyer, CarsonCarson Meyer F 5' 11" 185 lb 1997-08-18 Powell, Ohio Ohio AAA Blue Jackets (Midget AAA) Miami
19 Manitoba Allison, WadeWade Allison F 6' 1" 201 lb 1997-10-14 Myrtle, Manitoba Omaha AAA 16U (Midget AAA) Western Michigan
20 Minnesota Wahlin, JakeJake Wahlin (A) F 5' 9" 170 lb 1996-11-09 White Bear Lake, Minnesota White Bear Lake Area High School (USHS–MN) St. Cloud State
21 Florida Duhaime, BrandonBrandon Duhaime F 6' 0" 198 lb 1997-05-22 Parkland, Florida Chicago (USHL) Providence
22 New York (state) Cipollone, JoeJoe Cipollone F 5' 10" 165 lb 1997-03-29 Purchase, New York Vernon (BCHL) New Hampshire
23 Ontario Peski, AndrewAndrew Peski D 6' 0" 200 lb 1997-03-11 Ottawa, Ontario Brockville (CCHL) North Dakota
24 Minnesota Labosky, DanDan Labosky (A) F 5' 7" 160 lb 1995-05-24 Edina, Minnesota Colorado College (NCHC) Wisconsin
25 Colorado Hawkinson, BrianBrian Hawkinson F 5' 10" 165 lb 1998-01-10 Aurora, Colorado Colorado Thunderbirds U16 (Midget AAA) Miami
26 Virginia Limoges, AlexAlex Limoges F 6' 1" 185 lb 1997-09-16 Winchester, Virginia Selects Hockey Academy U18 (Midget AAA) Cornell
28 Sweden Goransson, MattiasMattias Goransson (A) D 6' 3" 195 lb 1995-03-10 Grums, Sweden Brynäs IF J20 (J20 SuperElit) UMass Lowell
31 Minnesota Rasmussen, DaytonDayton Rasmussen G 6' 2" 190 lb 1998-11-04 Eden Prairie, Minnesota Waterloo (USHL) Denver


  • Head Coach: Bill Muckalt
  • Assistant Coaches: Taylor Nelson, Ben Gordon
  • President of Hockey Operations: Steve Lowe
    • Athletic Trainer: Colt Graf
  • Equipment Manager: Dan Bouska


  1. ^ "Active Roster". Tri-City Storm. Retrieved April 10, 2016. 

External links[edit]