Kearney, Neb. – The defending Clark Cup Champion Tri-City Storm has released its Opening Night roster for the 2016-17 season, consisting of 15 forwards, eight defenseman and two goalies. The Storm opens the season at Lincoln this Friday, September 23 at 7:35 p.m. and goes to Sioux Falls on September 24 at 7:05 p.m. to face the Stampede. The roster consists of 25 players from four different countries (USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden) and 11 different states. The Storm boasts nine returning players that won the 2016 Clark Cup. Tri-City’s 2016-17 leadership group is Captain Jack McNeely and assistant captains Brian Hawkinson, Alex Limoges and Joey Matthews. Limoges is the Storm’s leading returning scorer (14g, 25a in 2015-16). All four are returning players set to begin their second seasons in Tri-City. Matthews and McNeely are the Storm’s two returning defenseman. Joe Cipollone, Justin Dixson, Monte Graham and Paul Washe also return at forward. Goaltender Dayton Rasmussen begins his second season with Tri-City and is joined in net by 17-year-old newcomer David Tomeo.
The eldest player on the Storm is 20-year old newcomer, defenseman Carson Vance. Acquired from Dubuque for a draft pick on September 5, Vance is set to begin his third full USHL campaign. Forward Danny DiGrande, 19, begins his second USHL season after playing 37 games for Muskegon in 2015-16. Eight Storm players are attending Kearney High School while playing for Tri-City. Seven of the high schoolers are seniors. Defenseman Jace Foskey is in his junior year. Foskey and forward Wyllum Deveaux are the two youngest players on the Storm (16 years old). The Storm’s average age is 18. Deveaux, a native of Sackville, Nova Scotia, Canada, helps to flavor the Storm’s international feel. Tri-City’s three other international talents are Swedish-born forward Linus Weissbach, Swedish-born defenseman Philip Alftberg and Norwegian-born forward Christoffer Karlsen.USHL teams are allowed to have four “imports”.
Head Coach and General Manager Bill Muckalt starts his second season behind the Storm bench along with returning Assistant Coach Taylor Nelson. Also patrolling the sidelines is first-year Assistant Coach Matt Stewart, a former assistant at Lawrence University who was hired in August. Muckalt, 42, became the fifth Head coach in the USHL’s Tier-I history (since 2002-03) to win a championship in his first season at the helm. He is one of four coaches (Jeff Blashill, Jim Montgomery, Derek LaLonde) to return for a second season after winning in his first. After the first two regular season games, the Storm prepares for its home opener, Championship Night, on Friday, September 30 at 7:05 p.m vs. Sioux City.