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2020-21 Season Preview: Tri-City Storm

10/30/2020, 10:15am CDT
By Brent Meske

Matthew Knies (Center, Kyle Aucoin (Left) and Cole McWard (Right) Return to the Tri-City Storm for the 2020-21 Season (Photo Credit: Dan Hickling / Hickling Images)

19-20 Record: 24-17-5-2, 55 pts. (4th Western Conference, 6th Overall)

19-20 Top Forward: Colby Ambrosio (48 games, 26-24-50)

19-20 Top Defenseman: Mitchell Miller (44 games, 8-25-33)

19-20 Top Goaltender: Daniel Allin (28 games, 13-10-2-2, 2.71, 0.885)

19-20 Powerplay: 18.1% (9th Overall)

19-20 Penalty Kill: 87.8% (1st Overall)

The Tri-City Storm return to the ice in 2020 with a trio of great returners as forward Matthew Knies and defensemen Kyle Aucoin and Cole McWard come back to the Storm trying to lead the team to the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons. 

“The biggest challenge of the offseason was the uncertainty and the lack of closure on last season,” said Tri-City Storm President of Hockey Operations and Head Coach Anthony Noreen. “This is what we do, and what we love, so to be back and to be preparing for a season, its been probably the most enjoyable time I’ve had around the rink. It’s been great to be back with the guys and have some normalcy. Everyone is excited to be back and ready to go.”

Knies returns to Tri-City after finishing second among scorers with 45 points (14-31-45) in 44 games, which was second among all league rookies, earning him a spot on the USHL All-Rookie Team. The University of Minnesota native is eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft and was named a B-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Preliminary List rankings. Knies registered a 13-game point streak (7-15-22) from December 27 to January 31 last season, including six of his 14 multi-point games as well as all three of his three-point games. 

Aucoin, a Harvard University commit, put up 13 points (2-11-13) in 48 games last season on the blueline. The Detroit Red Wings prospect (2020, Round 6, #156 overall) is the son of former NHL defenseman Adrian Aucoin who appeared in more than 1,000 NHL games and is now an Assistant Coach in the Chicago Mission program. 

McWard also returns to the team after combining for 24 points (9-15-24) in a combined 97 games for the Storm over the last three seasons. The University of Michigan native earned a spot on the 2019 USHL All-Academic Team.

November 14: Home Opener

December 31: New Year’s Eve Game

April 23: Final Home Game

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the 2020-21 season will be the USHL's 19th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. The USHL had 51 players selected at the 2020 NHL Draft, marking the third-straight season with 50-or-more USHL players selected in the Draft. More than 800 league alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

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