CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. – Storm forward Joel L’Esperance had a performance for the record booksSaturday night in Cedar Rapids, becoming the first Tri-City Storm player to ever score four goals in a single game.
Since the franchise joined the USHL in 2000, 20 players have put up hat tricks, notching three goals, but L’Esperance is the only one to find the back of the net four times.
The Brighton, Mich. native leads the team with 13 goals and 20 total points on the season.
With the performance, L’Esperance ensured the end of a five-game losing streak as Tri-City defeated the RoughRiders 6-3.
L’Esperance started things off by scoring on the game’s first shift 21 seconds in. He added another tally in the second period, finding a rebound in front to beat Cedar Rapids goaltender Chris Birdsall.
In the third period the first line center scored twice, first on the power play for the game-winning goal1:09 into the frame, and then just over four minutes later, beating Birdsall five-hole to cement himself in the Storm record books.
L’Esperance’s linemate Garrett Gamez had an impressive night of his own, picking up four assists and helping to set up three of his center’s goals. Gamez fell short of the single-game assist record however, as Bille Luger had six in on Jan. 27, 2001.
It will be a second three-game week in a row 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.