MOLINE, Ill. – After sitting out the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19, the Quad City Storm will end a 505-day long COVID hiatus on October 15 and will kick off a 2021-22 season where they will see lots of familiar faces.
The Storm will open the season against Evansville in their first of twelve games against each other and the beginning of a three-game series that will span two weekends. This is a slight departure from the opening weekend of the previous two seasons for the Storm, who would always bookend the season with games against the Rivermen.
Half of the Storm’s season will be against two teams: the Peoria Rivermen and the Vermilion County Bobcats, with the other nearly quarter of the season played against the Evansville Thunderbolts. Quad City will face their nearest rival a total of 16 times this coming season, facing off against Peoria with nine games at the TaxSlayer Center and seven at the Peoria Civic Center. In what the teams dubbed the “Cold War on 74,” the Storm went 5-18-2-1 against the Rivermen in two seasons. The Cold War on 74 is now set to expand another 120 miles, with the addition of the Vermilion County Bobcats this season along the Illinois/Indiana border. The cross-state rivals will drop the puck a total of 13 times against one another. The last game at the TaxSlayer Center this season will be against the Thunderbolts, however, played on March 5th. In the past two seasons, the Storm went 11-8-2-1 against the Thunderbolts, the most recent game being played on February 29, 2020, in what was a shootout loss.
The last four weeks of the season will consist entirely of games on the road, though the last five of eight games will be in the state of Illinois. The Storm will only see eight of the ten other teams in the SPHL, never set to face off against the Macon Mayhem or Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs this season.
The longest road trip for Quad City will be November 18 through November 20, when they will travel almost 1000 miles to face first the Birmingham Bulls for their lone face-off of the season followed by a two-game visit to the Pensacola Ice Flyers on Saturday and Sunday. The Storm were dominated by the Bulls the past two years, Quad City having a record of 1-5-3-0 against the Alabama team. The second-longest road trip in miles will be to Fayetteville, NC when the Storm visits the Marksmen for three games in three nights at the end of February. That trip will be 952 miles, with only one day between Sunday’s game in Fayetteville and Tuesday’s match-up against Vermilion County on March 1st.
The Storm will see the Knoxville Ice Bears, against whom the Storm went 3-7 against in prior seasons, only four times this coming season — twice at home at the end of January and twice on the road in March. The two games in Tennessee will kick off the last four weeks of the Storm’s season, as they begin an eight-game road trip from Friday, March 11 to the end of the season on Friday, April 8, when they will play the Rivermen to conclude the long road trip.
The Storm has yet to make it to the playoffs in their two seasons, but not every team can be the Vegas Golden Knights.
Stay tuned to FieldPassHockey.com, and follow @FPHStorm on Twitter, for the latest news about the Quad City Storm throughout the off-season and beyond.
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