Storm defenseman Kevin Kerr scored his first USHL goal, while Tri-City goalie Hayden Lavigne played well in relief of starter Jacob Johansson, making 23 saves in 47 minutes of play.
Indiana scored twice in the first period and had a 2-0 lead in the first intermission. The Ice goals were scored by forwards Jason Salvaggio and Dwyer Tschantz and the second tally chased Johansson from the net.
Immediately after Tschantz scored, Storm head coach Jim Hulton pulled his starting goaltender in favor of Lavigne who started the night as the backup. Lavigne played well as a replacement and allowed just one puck to get by him.
That goal was scored by Brian Pinho just 1:30 into the middle period. After 40 minutes, Indiana had control of the game, sporting a 3-0 lead.
In the final period Tri-City got some momentum, controlling the play for most of the frame and outshooting the Ice 8-6.
Kerr found the back of the net at 11:25 with assists from forwards Chris Wilkie and Ryan McMurphy. The defenseman waited until his 36th game of the season to score his first goal, but it got his team back into the game.
Tri-City had a chance to get closer later when Indiana forward Aidan Muir was whistled for interference with less than four minutes remaining in the game, but the Storm failed to capitalize on the man-advantage opportunity.
Ultimately it was Indiana goaltender Hayden Stewart that stood strong, stopping 20 shots to earn the victory.
The two teams will be back at it again on Saturday night to finish their weekend series. The puck will drop at 7:05 p.m. EST.
Tri-City will return home to the Viaero Event Center to face Lincoln on Feb. 22 at 7:05 p.m.
Notes: The Storm scratched forwards Joey DiBenedetto and Nolan Aibel, along with defensemen Cutler Martin, Sean Lang and Daniel Fritz.…
Indiana – Jason Salvaggio (unassisted) 10:51
Indiana – Dwyer Tschantz (Scott Conway) 11:27
Indiana – Brian Pinho (Jacob Pritchard) 1:30
Tri-City – Kevin Kerr (Chris Wilkie, Ryan McMurphy) 11:25
Indiana – Aidan Muir (empty net) (unassisted) 19:42
Indiana – Joe Sullivan – (Roughing), 2 min, 18:18
Indiana – Timothy Shoup – (Checking From Behind), 2 min, 16:38
Tri-City – Fredric Larsson – (Tripping), 2 min, 7:18
Tri-City – Jalen Schulz – (Hooking), 2 min, 13:04
Indiana – Aidan Muir – (Interference), 2 min, 16:23
Indiana – 0/2
Tri-City: 4, 9, 8 = Total: 21
Indiana: 11, 15, 6 = Total: 32
Tri-City – Jacob Johansson – 5/7, Hayden Lavigne – 23/24
Indiana – Hayden Stewart – 20/21