KEARNEY, Neb. – At 30 years young, former Storm forward Mark Van Guilder made his National Hockey League debuton Sunday night with the Nashville Predators and helped the team to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals.
Van Guilder, who donned a Storm sweater for two seasons from 2002-04, became the ninth Tri-City player to make it all the way to the NHL.
Wearing No. 29, Van Guilder earned eight minutes and 27 seconds of ice time in his Preds opener.
The Roseville, Minn. native also becomes the sixth player from the Storm’s 2003-04 Anderson Cup winning team to suit up with an NHL squad.
Tri-City will honor the 10-year anniversary of that Anderson Cup championship team on Saturday night in the regular season finale with Lincoln.
Van Guilder is in his sixth season of professional hockey after playing four years at Notre Dame following his junior hockey career with Tri-City.
The center played in 387 professional games with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals and Hamilton Bulldogs, as well as the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones before getting the call to Nashville.
During two full seasons in Kearney in which he played 119 regular season games, Van Guilder had 28 goals and 30 assists, totaling 58 points. He also had three goals and two assists in 11 postseason contests during the 2004 Clark Cup Playoffs.
Tri-City will head to Des Moines and drop the puck with the Buccaneers at 7:05 p.m. on Friday night before returning home to close the season in Kearney at the Viaero Event Center.
The Storm will look for a win over the Lincoln Stars in their final home game of the season at 7:05 p.m. on Saturdaynight.