KEARNEY, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm (4-5-2) took care of business Friday night at the Viaero Event Center, shutting out the Lincoln Stars (2-4-4) 3-0. Thomas Aldworth, Chase Berger and Tory Dello all scored goals in the Storm’s second win over Lincoln this season.
Storm goaltender Jacob Johansson made 33 saves in the winning effort, recording his second shutout of the 2013-14 season.
Both teams kept each other off the board in the opening period and the game was scoreless heading into the first intermission.
In the second period, the Storm took control of the game. Tri-City dominated possession, keeping the puck in the Lincoln end and giving Bitzer all he could handle in the first half of the frame.
A crafty pass in front of the net by Kyle Eastman to an open Thomas Aldworth put the Storm up 1-0 four minutes into the period. It was the second goal of the season for the Keller, Tex. native. With the assist, Eastman picked up his first point of the year.
Johansson was forced to come up big after his team was whistled for covering up a loose puck in the crease and a penalty shot was awarded to the Stars. Lincoln forward John Simonson was given the chance, but Johansson held his ground, making a blocker save and keeping the score 1-0.
Later in the frame, with Tri-City killing a penalty, Dan Labosky won a race to a loose puck in the Lincoln end and found a streaking Chase Berger, who was open on the rush. Berger then sent a screamer under Bitzer and into the net for a shorthanded goal.
For Berger, who hails from St. Louis, it was his third goal on the young season and it vaulted Tri-City to a 2-0 after 40 minutes of play.
In the final period Lincoln was in full attack mode against Johansson as they attempted a comeback. The Stockholm, Sweden native proved to be up to the task, recording his second shutout of the season in front of a loud crowd in Kearney.
An open net goal that took a funky bounce sealed the win for the Storm and gave Tory Dello his first career USHL goal.
Tri-City will take to the road and wrap up their three-game week against the Sioux City Musketeers on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. The Storm will return home on Nov. 8 to face Omaha. Puck drop is at 7:30.
Notes: The Storm scratched forwards Austin Poganski, Joey DiBenedetto, Chase McMurphy and Drew Mayer. Forward Ross Olsson was also scratched, serving a four-game suspension.…
Tri-City – Thomas Aldworth (Kyle Eastman, Tory Dello) 4:35
Tri-City – Chase Berger (shorthanded) (Dan Labosky) 17:47
Tri-City – Tory Dello (empty net) (Joel L’Esperance, Christian Horn) 17:41
Tri-City – Jalen Schulz – (Tripping), 2 min, 1:17
Tri-City – Cutler Martin – (Holding), 2 min, 10:46
Lincoln – Zack Pittman – (Holding), 2 min, 13:24
Tri-City – Cutler Martin – (Head Contact), 2 min, 19:57
Lincoln – Connor Chambers – (Elbowing), 2 min, 5:36
Lincoln – Connor Frantti – (Fighting), 5 min, 12:39
Tri-City – Steven Haydon – (Fighting), 5 min, 12:39
Tri-City – Sean Lang – (Slashing), 2 min, 17:36
Tri-City – Kyle Eastman – (Head Contact), 2 min, 5:48
Lincoln – Luke Voltin – (Hooking), 2 min, 9:32
Tri-City – Kyle Eastman – (Cross Checking), 2 min, 15:24
Lincoln – 0/6
Tri-City – 0/3
Lincoln: 10, 10, 13 = Total: 33
Tri-City: 8, 9, 8 = Total: 25
Lincoln – Michael Bitzer – 22/24
Tri-City – Jacob Johansson – 33/33