With the resumption of the minor hockey season in North America, all eyes are once again on the rising stars of the sport. Among these young players are the prospects of the Tri-City Storm, a junior ice hockey team based in Kearney, Nebraska. The Storm competes in the United States Hockey League (USHL), the top junior league in the United States, and has consistently been one of the best teams in the league since its inception in 2000.
Over the years, the Storm has had its fair share of intense and significant matchups with various opponents. However, none have been quite as memorable and fiercely contested as their rivalries with a few select teams. In this article, we take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most important and defining matchups in the history of the Tri-City Storm.
Tri-City Storm vs. Fargo Force
The rivalry between the Tri-City Storm and the Fargo Force dates back to the early years of the USHL, when the Force joined the league in 2008. Since then, both teams have consistently been among the top contenders, battling it out for the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Storm and the Force have faced each other a total of 58 times, with the Storm holding a slight edge in the head-to-head record, winning 31 games compared to the Force’s 27. However, it is the closely contested nature of these matchups that has made this rivalry so intense. Almost every game between these two teams has been a nail-biter, with each side constantly pushing to come out on top.
One of the most memorable matchups between these two teams took place during the 2012–13 season when the Storm and the Force met in the Clark Cup Finals, the championship series of the USHL. The series went down to the wire, with both teams winning two games each. In the decisive game five, the Storm emerged victorious in front of their home fans, winning the championship and solidifying their dominance over their fierce rival.
Tri-City Storm vs. Lincoln Stars
The rivalry between the Tri-City Storm and the Lincoln Stars is one of the oldest and most storied in the USHL. These two teams have been facing each other since the early 2000s, and their matchups have always been highly anticipated by fans and players alike.
The Storm and the Stars have played a total of 123 times, with the Stars holding a slight edge in the head-to-head record, winning 64 games compared to the Storm’s 59. The intensity of this rivalry was at its peak during the 2011–12 season, when the Storm and the Stars met a total of 14 times, including a memorable playoff series that went the distance.
The 2011–12 season also saw the Storm and the Stars face off in the Clark Cup Finals, making it the first time in USHL history that two teams from the same state competed for the championship. After a thrilling series, the Storm emerged as the victors, winning their second Clark Cup in franchise history.
Tri-City Storm vs. Omaha Lancers
The rivalry between the Tri-City Storm and the Omaha Lancers is another classic matchup in the USHL. The two teams have been facing off against each other since the Storm’s inaugural season in 2000, with the rivalry only growing stronger with each passing year.
The Storm and the Lancers have played a total of 229 times, making it the most-played rivalry in the history of the USHL. The Storm holds the edge in the head-to-head record, winning 116 games compared to the Lancers’ 112. However, it is not just the sheer number of games that have made this rivalry so intense but also the quality of hockey on display when these two teams square off.
One of the most memorable matchups between these two teams took place during the 2014–15 season when the Storm and the Lancers met in the Western Conference Finals. The series went the distance, with the Storm winning a thrilling game five in overtime to advance to the Clark Cup Finals.
The Tri-City Storm has a history of fierce and intense rivalries in the USHL, but none have had quite the same impact as their matchups with the Fargo Force, the Lincoln Stars, and the Omaha Lancers. These matchups have often been defining moments in the team’s history, showcasing the talent and competitiveness of the young players on display.
As the Storm continues to strive for success in the USHL, it is safe to say that these rivalries will continue to produce thrilling and memorable matchups in the future. The passion and intensity displayed in these games truly embody the spirit of the game of hockey and are a testament to the dedication and hard work of these young players.