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The Tri-City Storm (16-19-4) had a late comeback opportunity, but fell short and suffered their first loss of the season to the Sioux City Musketeers (7-21-10) by a score of 3-2 on Saturday night at the Viaero Event Center.

Trevor Mingoia and Brian Ward each scored third period goals for Tri-City and Justin Quale was perfect in relief of Johan Mattsson, making 19 saves.

Sioux City got out to an early 2-0 lead with first period goals from Joe Snively and Jake Guentzel and the Storm found themselves trailing going into the first intermission.

Guentzel scored his second of the night just 1:15 into the second to make it 3-0 and Tri-City pulled Mattsson in favor of Quale.

The young goaltender held the Musketeers scoreless for the rest of the evening in 35:47 of relief.

Storm defenseman Dylan Maller dropped the gloves for the first time this season, doing battle with Ryan Mantha of Sioux City at 12:25 of the third period and Tri-City got the change in momentum they were looking for.

Just one minute later, the Storm finally got on the board. Mingoia found space and wristed a shot past Hayton for his second of the season at 13:25 of the final frame, making it 3-1.

Ward added his fifteenth goal of the year just over three minutes later and Tri-City was down just one goal with over three minutes left to play in the game.

But the comeback fell short and even with Quale on the bench in favor of an extra attacker, Sioux City was able to hang on for the win.

The two teams will go at it again on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. at the Viaero Event Center.


KEARNEY, Neb. – In a wild one at the Viaero Event Center Friday night, the Tri-City Storm (16-18-4) kept their composure after a Waterloo Black Hawks (24-13-1) third period comeback and got an overtime tally from Michael Vecchione to win 6-5.

Vecchione’s OT winner gave him a hat-trick on the night in front of a crowd of 3,098 in Kearney. Forward Tim Bonner also chipped in with two assists, and defenseman Garrett Cecere finished the night with a +4 rating.

Waterloo took the initial lead just 1:30 into the game on a goal by Taylor Cammarata, but Tri-City tied the game back up less than three minutes later on Vecchione’s first of the night.

The Sudbury, Mass. native took a pass from Bonner and put a turn-around shot from the top of the goal crease past Waterloo starting netminder Cal Peterson, making it 1-1.

Vecchione struck again later in the frame on the power play. Again taking a pass from Bonner, the right wing faked a shot and then unleashed a blast from the left circle using a screen from teammate Tim Lappin to beat Peterson for the second time in the period.

In the final seconds of the first, Trevor Moore made it 3-1 Tri-City when he stole a pass on his own blue line and went in alone on a breakaway. The Thousand Oaks, Calif. native used a deke to open up some room and put the puck past the outstretched pad of Peterson.

Waterloo pulled Peterson after the first during the intermission in favor of backup Eamon McAdam.

The Storm picked up where they left off at the start of the second, as captain Brian Ward scored his fourteenth goal of the season just 32 seconds in. Trevor Mingoa brought the puck into the zone and threw a cross-ice pass to Moore on the far side circle. Moore found Ward right in front of the net and the Haverhill, Mass. native beat new goaltender McAdam on the first shot he saw.

The Black Hawks started to turn the tide later in the second when Cammarata scored his second of the night on the power play with five minutes left in the middle frame.

But the Storm responded with an unassisted goal by Joel L’Esperance just 1:38 later. L’Esperance, who was playing in his first game since being injured on Dec. 7, used a wrist shot to beat McAdam and give Tri-City a 5-2 lead after two periods.
In the third it was all Waterloo as the Black Hawks got tallies from Ryan Papa, Liam Pecararo and J.T. Stenglein to tie the game up and force overtime.

Vecchione found the back of the net on the only shot the Storm took in OT, ending the game 1:58 into the extra session. Grant Opperman and Garrett Cecere were awarded assists on the play.