KEARNEY, Neb. – Each month during the season the Tri-City Storm will be selecting a group of former players to recognize for their contributions on the ice at the next level. For the first month, the selections are Cole Gunner, Dan Kolomatis and Scott Diebold, all three of whom have had great starts for their schools in the collegiate ranks.
Playing for the Air Force Falcons of the Atlantic Hockey Association, junior forward Cole Gunner has been a big part of his team’s early success. Gunner has scored five goals and three assists in his first eight games. His point total is third-best in Atlantic Hockey and the five goals rank second in the conference.
Two of Gunner’s five goals have been game-winners, which is also tops in his conference. The Richfield, Minn. native was named Atlantic Hockey player of the month on Oct. 31 for his performance. The Falcons have gotten off to a 5-3-0 start, including a 3-1-0 record in conference and a 4-0-0 record at home.
During his time with the Storm, Gunner had seven goals and four assists in 16 games, coming over midway through the 2010-11 season in a trade with Chicago.
Kolomatis, who is a junior defenseman at Merrimack College, has seen his offensive game blossom early on this season, scoring two goals and five assists. He is currently third in scoring among defenseman in the Hockey East.
After a five-point weekend in two games against Mercyhurst, the Basking Ridge, N.J. native was named the Hockey East Player of the Week on Oct. 21.
With the Storm in 2010-11, Kolomatis appeared in 41 games and scored two goals and 10 assists.
Diebold, who is with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been one of the top goaltenders in the NCAA this fall. The netminder currently ranks fourth nationally with a .946 save percentage and fifth in the country with a goals against average of 1.58.
The Buffalo, N.Y. native has four wins for RPI, who has a record of 5-2-1 and is ranked No. 10 in the latest USCHO.com poll.
The goaltender played 35 games in between the pipes for the Storm during the 2010-11 season and had 10 wins with a GAA of 2.75 and a save percentage of .913.
The Storm have just one contest this weekend, as they battle the Omaha Lancers on Friday night at the Viaero Event Center. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.