Tri-City Storm, a junior ice hockey team based in Kearney, Nebraska, has had its fair share of ups and downs in its 20-year history. The team, which plays in the United States Hockey League (USHL), has seen some extraordinary moments that have left fans in awe and talking about for years to come. From winning unexpected championships to pulling off historic upsets, the Tri-City Storm has created some memorable moments in its journey so far.
Since its establishment in 2000, the Tri-City Storm has been a force to be reckoned with in the USHL. The team has won three Clark Cups, which is awarded annually to the champion of the USHL playoffs, in the years 2003, 2015, and 2019. However, it’s not just the championship wins that have cemented the Storm’s place in the history of the league, but also some of the unexpected wins and upsets that have taken place along the way.
One of the most memorable moments in Tri-City Storm history came in 2014 when the team faced off against the heavily favored Indiana Ice in the Western Conference semifinals. The Storm, who had lost the first game of the series, came back to win the next three games in a row, ultimately defeating the Ice in an overtime thriller in Game 4. It was a huge upset that left fans and experts alike stunned. The Storm went on to win the Clark Cup that year, adding to the significance of the upset.
Another historic moment in Tri-City Storm history came in 2018 when the team faced off against the Fargo Force in the Clark Cup finals. The series went all the way to Game 5, with both teams trading wins back and forth. In the final game, the Storm found themselves down 1-0 in the final minute of play, with the Force on the brink of winning the championship. However, the Storm rallied and scored a game-tying goal with only 1.8 seconds remaining. In overtime, the Storm secured the win and the Clark Cup, solidifying their place in the history books as one of the league’s greatest teams.
The following year, the Storm once again proved their resilience and determination as they faced off against the Sioux Falls Stampede in the Clark Cup finals. After losing the first two games of the series, the Storm won the next three in a row to bring home their third Clark Cup in franchise history. It was a historic feat, as the team became only the second in USHL history to come back from being down 2-0 in a series to win the championship.
But it’s not just pivotal moments in the playoffs that have made Tri-City Storm history. The team has also had some notable regular season upsets that have taken fans by surprise. In the 2005-2006 season, the Storm took on the powerhouse Sioux City Musketeers, who had an impressive record of 41-16-3. However, the Storm managed to pull off a massive upset, defeating the Musketeers 8-3. It was a stunning performance that left fans and experts alike in shock.
In the 2017-2018 season, the Tri-City Storm made headlines once again when they took on the defending champions and league-leading Sioux City Musketeers. The Storm, who were struggling with a 16-26-4 record at the time, managed to defeat the Musketeers 5-0. It was a game that showcased the resilience and determination of the Storm, as they beat one of the top teams in the league.
Over the years, Tri-City Storm has also seen some incredible individual performances from its players. In the 2004-2005 season, forward Marty Gurnoe scored 60 goals, making him the second player in USHL history to reach the 60-goal mark in a single season. Gurnoe was a dominant force on the ice, earning him a spot on the USHL First All-Star Team.
In more recent years, the Storm has seen standout performances from players like Kevin Hancock, Adam Goodsir, and Ronnie Attard. In the 2018-2019 season, Hancock, who was named the USHL Player of the Year, finished the season with a league-leading 57 goals and 50 assists, making him only the third player in league history to reach the 100-point mark in a single season. Goodsir, who was named USHL Defenseman of the Year, finished the season with 25 goals and 59 assists, making him the first defenseman in USHL history to reach the 80-point mark in a single season. Attard, who was named USHL Defenseman of the Year in the 2019-2020 season, recorded 65 points, including 30 goals, making him the first defenseman in Tri-City Storm history to reach the 30-goal mark in a single season.
The Tri-City Storm has had a remarkable journey in its 20-year history in the USHL. The team has not only won championships but has also left a lasting impression with its memorable upsets and standout performances from its players. As the Storm continues to make history, fans can’t help but wonder what the future holds for this storied franchise.