KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Tri-City Storm defeated Team USA by a final score of 4-2 Friday night at the Viaero Center. Tri-City got goals in the game from Cole McWard, Nick Portz, Davis Burnside, and Benji Eckerle. Joe Sharib made 13 saves on 15 shots to record his 1st Career USHL win in net for the Storm. Tri-City returns to action tomorrow night in a rematch against Team USA.
Cole McWard netted his 3rd goal of the year at 8:46 of the 1st period to give Tri-City a 1-0 lead over Team USA. Tri-City outshot Team USA 9-6 in the 1st period and the team carried a one goal lead into the 2nd period. In the 2nd period, Team USA tied the game at 1-1 in the opening three minutes/ Eamon Powell scored his 1st goal of the year at 2:46 of the 2nd period to erase Tri-City’s lead. Team USA outshot Tri-City 7-4 in the 2nd period and the game entered the 3rd period in a 1-1 tie.
In the 3rd period, Tri-City took the lead just over three minutes in on Nick Portz’s 3rd goal of the season. The goal was assisted by Matthew Knies and Benji Eckerle. After taking its second lead of the night, Tri-City increased its lead to two goals minutes later a goal scored by Davis Burnside. Burnside’s 2nd goal of the year was scored at the 6:37 mark of the period and was assisted by Mike Koster and Cole McWard. With less than three minutes to play in the game, Team USA netted a goal to cut Tri-City’s lead down to one. Jacob Truscott scored his first goal of the year at 17:29 of the 3rd period to set up a thrilling finish at the Viaero Center. With an extra attacker on the ice and the net empty, Team USA gave up a goal to Tri-City’s Benji Eckerle with under two minutes to play. Eckerle’s goal was his 8th of the year and was assisted by Nick Portz. Tri-City defeated Team USA 4-2 to record its eighth win of the year.
Nick Portz was named the 1st Star of the Game, with teammates Cole McWard and Davis Burnside picking up 2nd Star and 3rd Star honors. The Storm jumped the Lincoln Stars in the Western Conference standings and enter tomorrow’s rematch against Team USA as the 3rd place team in the Western Conference.