CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. – Led by forward Joel L’Esperance who scored four times, the Tri-City Storm (6-15-2) defeated the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (13-7-1) 6-3 in a wild, back and forth game at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Saturday night.
Forward Garrett Gamez recorded four assists, while Christian Horn notched a goal and an assist and goalie Jacob Johansson made 29 saves to pick up the win.
L’Esperance got right to it, scoring 21 seconds into the game and giving the Storm a 1-0 lead on the first shift of the game. The forward took a pass from Horn and deflected it into the top right corner of the net, setting the tone for what would be a big night.
Tri-City extended their lead to 2-0 when Horn moved in on a two-on-one and beat Cedar Rapids goalie Chris Birdsall with a wrist shot.
L’Esperance made it 3-0 in the opening minutes of the second period, scoring his second of the game on assists from Gamez and defenseman Tory Dello.
Tri-City was in control of the game until the RoughRiders broke through at 8:01 of the second on a goal by captain Dylan Gareau.
Cedar Rapids ended up notching three goals in under three minutes to tie the game at 3-3 and even things up halfway through the game.
Things got physical in the latter part of the middle period and Christian Horn dropped the gloves with Clark Kuster for his first USHL fighting major. Garrett Cecere also got tangled up with Jason Kalinowski and both players were given double minors for roughing.
In the final seconds of the second, Corey Petrash hit Storm defenseman Nolan Gluchowski and was whistled for a major charging penalty, ejecting him from the game.
Tri-City began the third with a five minute power play and retook the lead. L’Esperance completed the hat trick, beating Birdsall over the left shoulder. Assists were given to both Cecere and Gamez on the goal.
The Storm never looked back from there, as L’Esperance picked up his fourth tally of the game minutes later and Ryan McMurphy sealed the win with an empty netter in the final minute.
It will be another three game week for Tri-City as they head to Omaha to face the Lancers on Wednesday at 7:05 before returning home for a weekend series with the Youngstown Phantoms on Dec. 13 and 14.
Notes: The Storm scratched forwards Thomas Aldworth, Joey DiBenedetto and Ross Olsson, along with defenseman Sean Lang.…
Tri-City – Joel L’Esperance (Christian Horn, Garrett Gamez) 0:21
Tri-City – Christian Horn (Garrett Gamez) 14:37
Tri-City – Joel L’Esperance (Garrett Gamez, Tory Dello) 2:54
Cedar Rapids – Dylan Gareau (Andrew Poturalski) 8:01
Cedar Rapids – Corey Petrash (Ivan Provorov, Carlos Fornaris) 8:13
Cedar Rapids – Dylan Gareau (power play) (Judd Peterson, Charlie Curti) 10:28
Tri-City – Joel L’Esperance (power play) (Nolan Gluchowski) 1:09
Tri-City – Joel L’Esperance (Garrett Cecere, Garrett Gamez) 5:42
Tri-City – Ryan McMurphy (empty net) (unassisted) 19:14
Cedar Rapids – Jason Kalinowski – (Checking From Behind), 2 min, 4:51
Tri-City – Kyle Eastman – (High Sticking), 2 min, 10:48
Tri-City – Drew Mayer – (Holding), 2 min, 15:59
Tri-City – Christian Horn – (Cross Checking), 2 min, 10:05
Tri-City – Christian Horn – (Fighting), 5 min, 10:05
Cedar Rapids – Clark Kuster – (Fighting), 5 min, 10:05
Tri-City – Garrett Cecere – (Roughing), 4 min, 13:43
Cedar Rapids – Jason Kalinowski – (Roughing), 4 min, 13:43
Tri-City – Chris Wilkie – (Unsportsmanlike Conduct), 2 min, 14:02
Cedar Rapids – Andrew Oglevie – (Unsportsmanlike Conduct), 2 min, 14:02
Tri-City – Dan Labosky – (Tripping), 2 min, 18:01
Cedar Rapids – Corey Petrash – (Charging), 5 min, 20:00
Cedar Rapids – Corey Petrash – (Charging) (Game Ejection), 10 min, 20:00
Tri-City – Garrett Cecere – (Tripping), 2 min, 2:35
Tri-City – Drew Mayer – (Tripping), 2 min, 14:21
Tri-City – 1/3
Cedar Rapids – 1/5
Tri-City: 9, 10, 9 = Total: 28
Cedar Rapids: 8, 11, 13 = Total: 32
Tri-City – Jacob Johansson – 29/32
Cedar Rapids – Chris Birdsall – 22/27