Monday, October 29, 2012

B³ Pregame Report: Tri-City Storm 10/30

The undefeated 8-0-0 Lincoln Stars will play a rare mid-week game this Tuesday evening in Kearney, NE against the Tri-City Storm.  The puck will drop at 7:05pm at the Viaero Event Center in Kearney.

If you can't make it out to Kearney to watch this game live, you can follow the boxscores online via Pointstreaklisten to Stars radio announcer Mike Melbye on 93.7 FM "The Ticket," or watch the game on FASTHockey for a fee.

The Stars are currently 8-0-0 (16 points), and are in second place in the USHL Western Conference.  The first place Waterloo Blackhawks have 18 points, but have played two more games than the Stars.  Lincoln is still one of only two teams in the league who remain undefeated in the regular season.  Click here to view the updated USHL standings.

The Storm currently sport a record of 3-5-1 (7 points), and are tied for last place in the USHL Western Conference.  This will be the third of nine regular season games the Stars and the Storm will play against one another.  Lincoln is 2-0-0 in two games against the Storm so far this season, including a 3-2 OT home win on 10/12/12, and a 4-1 road victory the next night on 10/13/12 in Kearney.

In the battle for the USHL's "Good Life Cup," the Stars hold a 2-0-0 record, as they have yet to face the Omaha Lancers.  Click here to read more about the "Good Life Cup" trophy.  Here are the current "Good Life Cup" standings:

Lincoln:  2-0-0 (both wins against Tri-City)
Tri-City:  2-2-1 (both wins against Omaha)
Omaha:  1-2-0 (lone win against Tri-City)

I'll be honest, I'm not too excited about this newly created "Good Life Cup."  Lincoln and Omaha have established a fierce rivalry over the past 16 years.  Both clubs normally end up near the top of the western conference standings each season.  Many consider the Lancers and the Stars two of the most successful organizations in the USHL right now.  Whereas Lincoln and Omaha have traditionally been the big kids on the block, the Tri-City Storm are the little brother whom people have forgotten.  They have struggled over the years to remain relevant in the USHL, both in winning hockey and in attendance.  In my opinion, this trophy was created for the sole purpose to make the Storm feel like they are part of a rivalry with Lincoln and Omaha.  Nothing more than that.  At the end of the season, after the Andy and Clark Cups are awarded, no one is going to care or remember who won the "Good Life Cup."

This past Friday night, the Storm traveled to Ralston, NE to battle the Omaha Ralston Lancers at the grand opening of their new rink, the Ralston Arena.  In a bit of a shocker, the Storm spoiled the Lancers' grand opening in a big way, blanking Omaha by a score of 3-0.  A sellout crowd of 3,643 watched the Lancers put a whopping 17 shots on goal for the entire game, including two shots on goal in the first period.  It was an anemic offensive showing for the Lancers in front of a disappointed crowd.

The next night, riding high after playing the role of spoiler, the Storm laid an egg in Sioux Falls against the Stampede, losing 5-2.  The Storm were outshot 35-23 this past Saturday evening against the 'Pede, and gave up two powerplay goals as well.  For the most part, the Storm have been an up-and-down team.  They'll have a game or two that they'll play very well, before losing two in a row.  They are 2-2-0 in four games at home this season.

The Stars are coming off a productive weekend on the road which saw them beat the Youngstown Phantoms and the Indiana Ice.  Lincoln is now 5-0-0 at home, and 3-0-0 on the road.  Lincoln's next two games are on the road:  Tuesday in Kearney against the Tri-City Storm, and Friday in Sioux City against the Musketeers.  The Stars will be back at the IceBox this Saturday against the Fargo Force.

As of right now, it doesn't appear that defenseman Mike McKee will be suspended for the Storm game on Tuesday night.  This past Saturday in Indianapolis, McKee picked up a spearing major and misconduct in Lincoln's 4-3 win over the Ice.  According to the USHL's transactions page, McKee hasn't been suspended, but the league is sometimes slow to update that page.  We'll have to wait and see if USHL drops the hammer or not.

I know a lot of Stars fans will be making the trip out to Kearney this Tuesday evening, so I hope to hear from some of those people here on the blog after the game.  I'll be watching on FASTHockey from home.  Safe travels for all Stars fans heading that way.

Two more points up for grabs!

Go Stars.

1 comment:

Alyeska said...

After speaking with someone who has ties with the Storm and their arena, I believe the Good Life Cup is to get attention to the team as a whole. Nebraska doesn't want to lose the team. I 'think' that they hope that the cup will create a rivalry and help out the team. There's rumors that the Storm are struggling and dealing with Coyotes-style issues.
Just my opinion though. I DO like the idea of the cup though, just another cup for Lincoln to win, right?