MOLINE, Ill. – The Quad City Storm swept this weekend against the Evansville Thunderbolts, facing off in both teams’ home arenas over the course of two days. With Veterans Day on Monday, the Storm chose to honor the military members of the Quad City community on Saturday. Not only did the Storm allow fans to paint names on the ice earlier in the week, but they also donned specialty jerseys that were auctioned off post-game. Also, some firsts for the season occurred for the Storm on Saturday, all good things for the sophomore team.
The Quad City Storm were finally successful on the power play on Saturday, taking seven games and thirty chances before the man advantage proved beneficial. The Storm were the only team in the league that had not scored with an extra skater, though the Macon Mayhem scored just their second PPG on their 32nd power play the same night. The long power play practice that Head Coach Dave Pszenyczny said the team would go through following the 6-3 loss on October 26 at the hands of the Huntsville Havoc finally paid off, a step in the right direction for the Storm. Currently at only 3.13% on the PP, the Storm will need to capitalize on a lot more man advantages in the coming games to help pull themselves from the .500 record they currently have.
Peter Di Salvo earned his fifth career shutout, his first since April 6, 2018 with the Macon Mayhem. Di Salvo turned away 40 shots, which often came in rapid succession.
“I know we got outshot by a lot,” said Pszenyczny. “but most of those shots were from outside the blue line. I’m not really worried about it, because when PD’s on his game, he’s on his game.”
The Storm played a good 40 minute game; the problem with that is that hockey is a 60 minute game. The first period was lackluster for the northern-Illinois based team, unable to find the back of the net and being doubled up in shots by Evansville 16-8. The Storm played a back-and-forth game with the Thunderbolts, but possession time was short-lived for Quad City. Obviously, possession time on Saturday wasn’t as important as what happened when the team had possession, but that is most likely the exception and not the rule.
The Storm will need to start coming out for the first period fully prepared and guns blazing to prevent going into holes that they can’t climb out of in later periods. Even last season, that pattern was visible, and it’s a routine the Storm can’t make a habit of.
THE ALL RIGHT
The Storm were able to kill off both of Evansville’s penalties on Saturday, showing not only the discipline that Pszenyczny seeks, but also a light amongst the Storm’s special teams woes. The two trips to the sin bin for Storm players were either physicality or preventing a breakaway from progressing too far. The Storm’s penalty kill has struggled in previous games, allowing three shorthanded goals in 32 opportunities. The Storm have a 70% success rate on killing the penalty through seven games, going down a man 20 times. The team will have to clear the zone more often with only four skaters, not allowing their goalie to see so many pucks during those two minutes.
The Storm will go on the road next weekend, playing three games in three days against two different opponents. Friday night’s contest will be played in Huntsville, with opening face off set for 7 PM CT.
Pszenyczny says the Storm know what to expect for both the Havoc and Ice Flyers next weekend:
“We’ve already seen Huntsville; we know what they’re all about. they don’t really change much; they’re a pretty talented team. we’ve got to go in there and make a statement because of last time they played us here. it should be salt in the wound for us right now.
“then, we go to Pensacola for two. so that’ll be nice to kind of get away on a long road trip finally, and kind of just keep this thing going. Right now, we’re playing some pretty good hockey when we want to. it’s just we’ve got to start off that way, as well, and then just take it game by game.”
Be sure to follow Anna on Twitter (@SinBinStorm) for the latest news and updates about the Quad City Storm!
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