STORM SHUTOUT LINCOLN IN PRESEASON VICTORY|
In their penultimate preseason contest, the Tri-City Storm dominated from start to finish, shutting out the Lincoln Stars 4-0 in front of their home fans at the Viaero Event Center on Thursday night.
Goaltenders Hayden Lavigne and Jacob Johansson combined for a 35 save shutout while Robbie Payne led the way offensively with a goal and an assist.
Tri-City got on the board early with two goals in a span of two minutes in the first half of the opening period.
Forward Chase Berger deflected a Garrett Cecere slapshot past Lincoln goaltender Michael Bitzer and into the back of the net for goal No. 1 at 5:50 of the first. Just 1:40 later, Robbie Payne found the back of the net on a feed from returning forward Joel L’Esperance and it was 2-0 Storm before the fans even got settled in their seats.
Dan Labosky widened the lead at 7:26 of the second on a pass from Payne. The line combination of those two plus center L’Esperance worked well all night, amassing many scoring opportunities.
The Storm held the Stars off the board in the third, not allowing any comeback attempt before forward Kyle Eastman sealed the victory with an empty net strike.
Tri-City has one more preseason battle Friday night with the Omaha Lancers at the Tranquility Iceplex in Omaha at 7:05 p.m.
The Storm and Stars will get together again next Saturday, Sept. 28 and get the season under way at the Viaero Event Center. The first 2,000 fans in attendance will be treated to a free pregame barbeque, and all fans in attendance can witness a fireworks show at the conclusion of the contest, presented by Viaero Wireless.