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Augustana Observer

Quad City Storm brings more entertainment to the community

Photo Above: Quad City Storm welcomed over 6000 attendees for their first game on Saturday, Oct. 20. Photo by Madison Williams.

The Quad City Storm hockey team skated an exciting inaugural game on Saturday, Oct. 20, winning 4-3 in overtime against their new league rivals, the Peoria Riverman.
After the 2017-18 season, the Quad Cities community expected a brief pause for hockey in the area. This summer the Quad Cities welcomed the start of a new era: the Storm. They added a brand-new coach, team and president.
The only thing that didn’t change was the passion that the Quad Cities have for hockey. The first game brought a full house to the Taxslayer Center with some new and old hockey fans. The Storm organization hopes to attract more attendees even if they aren’t a huge fan of the sport.
Storm president Gwen Tombergs made history as the first female president of a team in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). Tombergs admits that she isn’t the biggest hockey fan, but this is what the team needed in order to get more people to come to the games.
“I knew that hockey was an amenity that needed to be kept in the Quad Cities, and it’s a quality of life that draws people here or makes us a cool place to live. But it needed more than someone knowing the game itself to make it work,” Tombergs said.
With giveaways at the door and theme nights, Tombergs and her team introduced new activities to entertain people of every generation.
During the first game, the fun started right away. The team was introduced with thunder sound effects and tornado sirens. The players came through a line of fire, and then fireworks were shot off. Tombergs hopes this initial energy level stays throughout the game.
“[I want people to see that] there’s a lot of fun going on, and, by the way, there’s a good game on the ice. That way, the hockey lovers won’t be disappointed, but if you’re not into hockey or don’t know hockey, you can still have a fun time,” Tombergs said.
They are also finding ways to bring college students to the rink. The two Tuesday night games of the season are “College Nights.” Two-dollar beer is offered, and students can get discounted tickets. In addition, students already have access to free Metrolink bus rides to the games from campus.
The Storm is bringing a new style of hockey for the dedicated fans. Head coach Dave Pszenyczny promises a rougher style of playing. This proved to be true after the first fight of the game broke out before a minute passed.
Pszenyczny’s focus isn’t solely what happens on the ice, but also on how his players interact with fans off the ice.
“We have way more fan interaction with this league,” Pszenyczny said. “The players go out of their way to interact with their fans.”
This is Pszenyczny’s first season as a coach, since just last season he played for Peoria. This sparked the rivalry between the two teams. Their season matchups are coined “The Cold War on 74.” They will play a total of 16 times this season, with eight of those games being at home.
Every player on the roster is new to the Quad Cities. This makes the team want to interact with their fans to establish a sense of comradery with the community.
Forward John Scully attended the University of Illinois and participated in hockey there. Scully reiterated the importance of having fun on and off the ice in order for the fans to be more involved.
“It’s certainly an exciting sport,” Scully said. “They have all sorts of in-game promos, so it’s not just a hockey game. It’s basically a show that they have going on.”
The Storm’s next home game is Friday, Oct. 26 at 7:10 p.m. and everyone is encouraged to attend. For a complete listing of all of Storm’s upcoming games, see their schedule at

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Quad City Storm brings more entertainment to the community