KEARNEY – The Tri-City Storm host the Lincoln Stars tonight at the Viaero Center to open the 2019-2020 preseason. Tonight’s game is free to attend and will allow fans the opportunity to see the Storm on the ice for the first time this season. Prior to tonight’s game, the Viaero Center will hold a free watch party for this afternoon’s Nebraska vs. Colorado rivalry game. Doors open at 1:30pm, kickoff is scheduled for 2:30pm. Tonight’s game is the first game of a six-game exhibition schedule for this year’s Storm team. Next weekend, Tri-City will travel to Ralston, NE for a three-game weekend against Des Moines, Lincoln, and Omaha in the 2019 I80 Showcase preseason event. Individual game tickets, including tickets to the Storm’s homer opener at the Viaero Center against Omaha on October 4th will go on sale Monday at 9:00am.
Tri-City (0-0) finished the 2018-2019 preseason with the best record of any USHL team (4-0-2-0) and went on to put together a forty-five-win regular season that culminated with the 2nd Anderson Cup Championship in organization history. The Lincoln Stars (4-1-0-0) compiled the 2nd best record in last year’s preseason, but ultimately missed the playoffs with a last place finish in the Western conference standings. Tri-City split two preseason games with the Stars last season and took eight of nine games against its in-state rival during the regular season. The Tri-City Storm became the first organization in league history to win Defenseman of the Year (Ronnie Attard), Rookie of the Year (Zac Jones), Goaltender of the Year (Isaiah Saville), Player of the Year (Ronnie Attard), and Coach of the Year (Anthony Noreen) honors in the same season. The Storm were eliminated from the 2019 Clark Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference Final by the eventual Clark Cup Champion Sioux Falls Stampede.
Lincoln (0-0) travels to Kearney tonight to begin a four-game preseason schedule that will include games against Tri-City, Sioux Falls, and Sioux City. Though the Stars travel to Kearney four times during the regular season, the team will not play another game at the Viaero Center until the two teams face off on December 31st. The Stars will look for a bounce back season following a last place finish in the USHL league standings in 2018-2019. Lincoln won only one of its final ten games in the regular season last year.