Storm Alumni: February

tcstormKEARNEY, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm are recognizing forwards Mario Puskarich and Mark Van Guilder, along with goaltender Adam Wilcox as their alumni of the month for February.

Puskarich has been having a big season in his freshman year at the University of Vermont, averaging a point per game through 28 contests. His 14 goals and 14 assists make him the second leading scorer on the Catamounts, and put him fifth in all of Division I among freshman.

The Fort Walton Beach, Fla. native has also been scoring at clutch times, and has four game-winning goals this season. In addition, Puskarich has five goals on the power play, and his 14 tallies have him tied for 32nd overall among the nation’s goal scoring leaders.

The forward suited up for the Storm 31 times in two seasons from 2009-11. He then went on to have two big years with the Langley Rivermen in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), putting up 41 goals and 49 assists in 55 games last season.

Van Guilder, who played two seasons with the Storm from 2002-04, has continued to impress in his sixth year of professional hockey, serving as an assistant captain with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League (AHL). Van Guilder has nine goals and nine assists in 50 games as one of the team’s centers.

A native of Roseville, Minn., Van Guilder is one of the longest tenured players in the Admirals organization, and has made a big impact off the ice in the Milwaukee community.

In 119 games with Tri-City, the forward scored 28 goals and 30 assists. Van Guilder was also a member of the Storm’s Anderson Cup winning team in 2003-04. Tri-City will be recognizing the team in a 10-year anniversary tribute during their season finale at the Viaero Event Center on April 5.

Wilcox, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, has been recognized as one of the best netminders in the country. After securing the starting job as a freshman and leading the team to the NCAA tournament last season, the South St. Paul, Minn. native has continued his high level of play this year.

Through 29 games, Wilcox has a record of 20-4-5 with a goals against average of 1.97 and a save percentage of .931. His goals against is sixth-best in the country, while his save percentage is 11th and his winning percentage is fourth.

The Golden Gophers are ranked No. 2 in this week’s poll and should be a lock to qualify for the NCAA tournament again this spring.

The goaltender played 34 games with Tri-City during the 2011-12 season and led the team to the playoffs, amassing 16 wins and a save percentage of .916.

The Storm face Lincoln in a home-and-home series this weekend. Friday’s game is in Lincoln at the IceBox and starts at7:05 p.m. The two teams will then head to Kearney on Saturday night for another 7:05 opening face-off.

Saturday’s game will see the Storm host their annual ‘Pack It In Purple’ promotion, where the team will don specialty jerseys to be auctioned off after the game with proceeds benefitting the United Way.