Posted 21 days ago ago by David Fine
Storm hopes bears fly vs. Force
Kearney, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm (16-25-5-2, 39 pts., 7th Western) and Fargo Force (28-15-3-1, 60 pts., 4th Western) meet on Tri-City’s annual Teddy Bear Toss game, presented by Slumberland, Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Fans are encouraged to bring stuffed teddy bears from home and throw them on the ice after the Storm’s first goal. All bears will be donated to local charities.
Saturday’s game is the fourth and final game of the season series and concludes the Storm’s season-long four-game homestand. Last night, the Force doubled the Storm, 4-2, despite a pair of third-period goals from Tri-City. Brian Hawkinson and Josiah Slavin scored.
Tri-City is wrapping up a stretch of 12 consecutive contests against conference opponents. Next weekend, the Storm will break the run with a pair of games against Madison.
The Storm has points in six of its last seven games against the Force. Fargo has points in six straight games (4-0-1-1).
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Viaero Wireless Pregame Show at 6:45 p.m.
Radio: The Breeze 94.5 FM | Listen Live |
Mobile: Free audio on your mobile device with the Tri-City Storm Mobile App (iPhone App Store // Google Play)
Streaming Video: Pay-to-watch on http://USHL.HockeyTV.com
Social: @TriCityStorm for in-game updates and broadcaster @RealDavidFine
Upcoming Schedule (Download here).
Sat., March 4 vs. Fargo, 7:05 p.m. (Teddy Bear Toss)
Fri. March 10 at Madison, 7:05 p.m.
Sat., March 11 at Madison, 7:05 p.m.
Fri., March 17 vs. Muskegon, 7:05 p.m. (St. Patrick’s Day, $1 Coors, $5 Kids Friday)
Sat., March 18 vs. Muskegon, 7:05 p.m. (Sammy’s Superheroes Night, Cape giveaway to 1,000 kids, special jerseys)
The Flying Hawaiian
Storm forward Brian Hawkinson scored his third career goal in his 94th game Friday. Normally a defensive-minded forward, the resident of Kailua, Hawaii is committed to Miami University.
Hawkinson last scored in November against Lincoln. His only other caeer tally came on the final game of last regular season against Omaha.
The 19-year-old has five points this season (2g, 3a), one more than he had in 55 games last season.
Hawkinson was born in Arizona and moved to Aurora, Colorado at a young age. This summer, the Hawkinsons moved to Hawaii. His brother, Brad, played for the Lincoln Stars and is finishing up his redshirt senior season at Denver.
Clark Cup Coaches
Bill Muckalt and Cary Eades are the last two head coaches to win the Clark Cup. Muckalt won it with the Storm last season and Eades claimed it in 2015 while coaching the Sioux Falls Stampede. Eades left the Stampede for the Force in the 2015 offseason.
They are two of five active head coaches to win the Clark Cup as head men, joining Cedar Rapids’ Mark Carlson (2005), Waterloo’s P.K. O’Handley (2004) and Sioux Falls’ Scott Owens (1999 with Des Moines). Muckalt is one of five head coaches in the Tier-I history of the league to deliver a championship in his first season, joining Jeff Blashill, Jim Montgomery, Derek LaLonde and Jeff Brown.
Two current head men won the Clark Cup as players, Green Bay’s Pat Mikesch (Des Moines, 1991-92) and Lincoln’s Chris Hartsburg (Omaha, 1997-98).
Have you heard about the movie?
The Viaero Center seeks “extras” that will serve as the crowd for scenes in the film “Ice” on Wednesday, March 8 at 5:00 p.m. Actor Patrick O’Brien Demsey, who played Mike Eruzione in the hockey movie “Miracle”, will be available for autographs after the session. All ages are welcome.
Teddy Bear Toss origins
The Teddy Bear Toss has origins in junior hockey. The WHL's Kamloops Blazers held the first on December 5, 1993 and Future NHL defensemen and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Brad Lukowich scored the goal that sparked the throwing.
Last season, the Storm's Carson Meyer scored the Teddy Bear Toss goal 37 seconds into the first, prompting a massive bear throw.
Season Series Recap
The Force have taken the last two games of the season series.
The Storm beat the Force, 5-3, in the season series opener on October 28. Fargo won the next night in a shootout, 3-2. Paul Washe, now on Fargo, scored two goals against his future team and tallied one against the Storm Friday.
Wyatt Bongiovanni leads Tri-City with two points (1g, 1a). Eric Dop has 56 saves (5GA) in two starts against Fargo and is 0-1-0-1.
The league’s leading goal scorer Jack Adams (27g) has three tallies, four points and a shootout game-winning goal against the Storm. Goalie Matthew Murray is 2-1-0-0 against the Storm, allowing seven goals on 56 shots. Ryan Bischel relieved Murray in Fargo’s season series loss and had 18 saves on 20 shots.
Scouting the Force
Fargo has statistically been one of the league’s most-consistent teams, ranked in the top five of the following categories: goals for/game, goals against/game, power play percentage, penalty kill percentage, shots for/game and shots against/game.
The Force’s numbers mirror Tri-City’s stats during the Storm’s run to the 2016 Clark Cup; Tri-City was ranked in the top seven of the same categories during last regular season.
Fargo has the most road victories (16) of any Western Conference club and are 16-6-2-0 away from Scheels Arena. The Force is 12-9-1-1 at home.
Tri-City visits Madison for a pair of games at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 11.
Spend your St. Patrick’s Day with the Storm as its hosts the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Friday, March 17 with $1 Coors Lights and a $5 Kids Friday.
The Storm is home on Friday, March 18 for “Sammy’s Superheroes Night”, presented by First National Bank, against the Lumberjacks at 7:05 p.m. The Storm will giveaway capes to the first 1,000 kids and Tri-City will wear one-night only specialty jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game to benefit pediatric cancer research. This is the second year the Storm has partnered with Sammy’ Superheroes and children affected by cancer will “buddy up” with Storm players and receive an all-access tour before the game.
Listen to all games on The Breeze 94.5 FM. Coverage starts with the Viaero Wireless Pregame Show at 6:45 p.m.
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