Forward Garrett Gamez had a goal and an assist, while Storm goaltender Jacob Johansson stopped 34 shots and picked up his 14th win of the season.
After a scoreless first period in which Tri-City outshot Lincoln 11-9, the Storm broke through in the first half of the middle frame.
Poganski got his first of the night at 4:54 of the second, taking a turnaround shot that beat Lincoln netminder Michael Bitzer.
Gamez, who picked up an assist on the goal, scored less than five minutes later when he found a loose puck in front of the net and wristed it home to give Tri-City a 2-0 lead.
Just 14 seconds later, Poganski made it 3-0, driving to the net and putting a rebound past Bitzer. The St. Cloud, Minn. native also had an assist on the Gamez tally and finished the game with three points.
Although the Storm were in control of the game, John Simonson got Lincoln on the board in the final two minutes of the period and made it 3-1 as the two teams headed to the third.
The Stars converted on an early power play at 2:20 of the final frame to make it 3-2 when Lincoln forward Brandon Smith took a wrister that deflected off of Johansson’s glove and in. But the Storm goalie didn’t allow another puck to get by him, giving Tri-City the wall they needed behind them for the remainder of the game.
While killing a penalty to defenseman Fredric Larsson, the Storm picked up the breathing room they needed when Chase Berger found Eastman for Tri-City’s eighth shorthanded goal of the season to make it 4-2.
Bitzer finished with 23 saves, as Lincoln outshot the Storm 36-27.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night at the Viaero Event Center in Kearney to close a home-and-home series. The game gets underway at 7:05 p.m.
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.
Notes: The Storm scratched forwards Joey DiBenedetto and Nolan Aibel, along with defensemen Cutler Martin, Sean Lang and Tory Dello…
Tri-City – Austin Poganski (Garrett Gamez) 4:54
Tri-City – Garrett Gamez (Austin Poganski) 9:36
Tri-City – Austin Poganski (Conner Valesano) 9:50
Lincoln – John Simonson (Max Humitz, Ludvig Hoff) 18:15
Lincoln – Brandon Smith (power play) (Zach Frye, Jared Kolquist) 2:20
Tri-City – Kyle Eastman (shorthanded) (Chase Berger) 12:18
Lincoln – Ludvig Hoff – (Holding), 2 min, 4:31
Tri-City – Cody Milan – (Hooking), 2 min, 8:59
Tri-City – Fredric Larsson – (Charging), 2 min, 11:49
Tri-City – Fredric Larsson – (Fighting), 5 min, 11:49
Lincoln – Zach Frye – (Fighting), 5 min, 11:49
Tri-City – Jalen Schulz – (Hooking), 2 min, 14:29
Lincoln – Tom Marchin – (Fighting), 5 min, 16:49
Tri-City – Drew Mayer – (Fighting), 5 min, 16:49
Lincoln – Connor Frantti – (Roughing), 2 min, 19:23
Tri-City – Chris Wilkie – (Tripping), 2 min, 1:42
Tri-City – Fredric Larsson – (Tripping), 2 min, 10:39
Lincoln – Zack Pittman – (High Sticking), 2 min, 16:49
Lincoln – 1/5
Tri-City: 11, 11, 5 = Total: 27
Lincoln: 9, 14, 13 = Total: 36
Tri-City – Jacob Johansson – 34/36
Lincoln – Michael Bitzer – 23/27