Professional hockey in the Quad Cities is back.
Preparing for its second season, the Quad City Storm held its first team skate of 2019 today at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline. The team has 28 players in camp this year.
Head Coach Dave Pszenyczny says he has to get the roster down to 22 players by Sunday, and finally to 19 by next Wednesday.
"It's interesting because right now I've got my hands full with the cuts on Sunday. We've got an intrasquad game on Friday night and then we're in Peoria for a preseason game on Saturday. So, that's going to determine a lot for some of these guys to earn a spot."
Last year, the Storm ended the season in the Southern Professional Hockey League with a record of 18-33-5, earning just 41 points in the standings. The team finished in ninth place in the ten team league, one place away from a playoff spot.
Pszenyczny says the season did not turn out how he had planned.
"We had 17 one goal games, and if we had half of those we'd make the playoffs. We had a stretch there where we were doing alright and then we kinda hit rock bottom with a few injuries, suspensions, and call ups. But, that's part of the beast down here and you've just got to figure it out as you go."
This year, however, the coach believes the Storm will make the playoffs and make a run at a championship trophy.
The Storm will play an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday night, then play a preseason game in Peoria on Saturday. They open their season at home on the 25th against the Huntsville Havoc.