Team Culture and Philosophy
One of the most distinguishing factors of the Tri-City Storm is their team culture and philosophy. Under the guidance of Head Coach and General Manager Anthony Noreen, the Storm have built a team based on solid core values: hard work, perseverance, and accountability. Noreen emphasizes the importance of developing players not just on the ice but also off the ice as individuals. This has resulted in a group of players who are not only talented but also highly disciplined and dedicated to the game.
The Storm also prioritizes team chemistry, as evident from their team motto of three in the circle. This refers to the three players forming a triangle on the ice, symbolizing their interconnectedness and the importance of working together as a cohesive unit. This mentality has translated into success on the ice, with the Storm consistently outplaying their opponents and dominating the league.
Developing Players for Higher Levels
The Tri-City Storm has also gained recognition for their ability to develop players for higher levels of hockey. The USHL is known as a stepping stone for young players on their way to college, and the Storm have become experts at preparing their players for the next level. In the past three seasons, 40 players from the Storm roster have committed to NCAA Division I schools. This not only highlights the skill and potential of the players but also speaks to the strong development program in place at Tri-City.
One standout example is Shane Pinto, who played for the Tri-City Storm in the 2018–2019 season before being drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the 2019 NHL Draft. Pinto credits his time with the Storm for his growth as a player, both on and off the ice. This reflects the efforts put in by the coaching staff and the organization as a whole to groom their players for the next level.
The Storm also has the advantage of playing and practicing in top-notch facilities. The Viaero Center, which opened in 2015, serves as their home arena and boasts a seating capacity of 5,500. The stadium is equipped with modern amenities and houses the team’s training facilities, including a weight room, video and meeting rooms, as well as state-of-the-art equipment.
Having access to such facilities allows the team to focus on their game and remain in top physical shape throughout the season. It also serves as a means to attract top talent to the organization, with players often citing the facilities as one of the main reasons for choosing to play for the Storm.
In addition to their on-ice success, the Storm has also garnered tremendous support from the local community. The Tri-City fan base is passionate and dedicated, with fans packing the arena for every game and even traveling on road trips to support their team.
The Storm’s partnership with local schools and youth hockey organizations has also helped to grow interest in the sport and develop the next generation of players. The Storm players actively participate in community events and often reach out to young hockey fans through initiatives like school visits and youth clinics. This has created a strong bond between the team and their fans, making the Storm a beloved and integral part of the Kearney community.
The Storm’s recent success and their strong foundation make them a team to watch out for in the upcoming seasons. With a roster stacked with talented and dedicated players, the Storm are well-positioned to continue their dominance in the USHL. Additionally, the potential for players to move on to higher levels and possibly the NHL speaks to the caliber of players being developed within the organization.
The Tri-City Storm have established themselves as a major contender in the junior hockey world in a short span of time. Their strong team culture, emphasis on player development, top-notch facilities, and immense support from the community have all played a role in their success. With their sights set on future victories, the Storm are undoubtedly a dynasty in the making.