Sioux City, IA. – The Tri-City Storm dropped a game to the Sioux City Musketeers by a final of 5-2 Friday night at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, IA. The Storm fell behind 3-0 in the 1st period and were not able to complete the comeback following 3rd period goals from Mike Koster and Hugo Blixt. Jake Barczewski stopped a career high 44 shots in the loss for Tri-City.
Sioux City opened the scoring at 9:04 of the 1st period when Sampo Ranta netted his 20th goal of the season. The Musketeers offense provided another goal minutes later at the 11:38 mark of the period to take a two goal lead over Tri-City. Cole Koepke scored his 25th goal on the season to give Sioux City a 2-0 lead over the Storm. Sioux City’s Dylan Mills added another goal at 16:11 of the 1st period to give the Musketeers a 3-0 lead over Tri-City entering the 2nd period. Sioux City outshot Tri-City 15-3 in the first twenty minutes of the game.
No goals were scored in the 2nd period and Sioux City carried a 3-0 lead into the 3rd period. The Musketeers outshot the Storm by a margin of 20-4 during the 2nd period. Tri-City’s Mike Koster scored an early 3rd period power play goal to bring the Storm’s deficit back to two goals. Koster’s 2nd of the season was assisted by Jake Crespi and Blais Richartz. Sioux City’s Sampo Ranta scored his 2nd goal of the game and 21st goal of the season at the 9:37 mark of the 3rd period to push the Musketeers lead back to three goals. Tri-City would have another answer at the 10:15 mark of the 3rd period to bring the score to 4-2 with just under ten minutes remaining in the game. Hugo Blixt scored his 9th of the season to give the Storm a chance to put together a late game comeback.
Tri-City had a late game 5 on 3 power play after the Musketeers’ Ryan Leibold and Nate Knoepke each took penalties. The Storm lifted goaltender Jake Barczewski to attack with a 6 on 3 advantage. Tri-City was unable to score a goal with the advantage and Sioux City’s Cole Koepke scored an empty net goal with less than two minutes to go to seal the victory for the Musketeers. The goal at 18:47 of the 3rd period was Koepke’s 2nd of the night and 26th of the season. Sioux City outshot Tri-City 14-11 in the 3rd period and finished the game with a 49-18 shots on goal advantage.
With the loss, Tri-City fell to 6th place in the USHL’s Western Conference standings. The Storm remain 5 points away from clinching a spot in the playoffs. Tri-City now leads Sioux City by 9 points for the final playoff spot.
The Storm return to action tomorrow night in a road matchup with the Sioux Falls Stampede. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm.