Waterloo hockey fans are eager with anticipation for the first home game of the season in Partytown, but they'll have to wait until Saturday, October 12th vs. Tri-City.

In the meantime, here's a preview of the upcoming weekend and a review of how the start of the season has been going for the Black Hawks.

Rambling to Meet the Gamblers
The Black Hawks play a single game this week, visiting the Green Bay Gamblers at 7:05 p.m. on Friday. The match-up is almost exactly 25 years to the day since the very first game between the Hawks and Gamblers. On October 2, 1994, Green Bay topped Waterloo 7-4 at Brown County Arena. Meanwhile, the Hawks’ last matchup versus the Gamblers was a farewell to Brown County Arena, which was demolished earlier this year. Last November, Ryan Drkulec scored 2:08 into overtime there to give Waterloo a 3-2 win. The Hawks’ brief two-game season series ended 1-0-1 for each team, with both Waterloo and Green Bay winning on the road.

Double Overtime
The Black Hawks’ first two games of the new 2019/20 schedule both went to overtime: a 2-1 win versus the Tri-City Storm, followed up by a 3-2 victory in extra time against the Fargo Force. It is the first time Waterloo has opened a season with consecutive overtime results since 1999. That season, the Hawks fell to the Des Moines Buccaneers, 5-4 in overtime, before being topped by the Rochester Mustangs, 4-3 in a shootout, the next night. Dating all the way back to 1962, Waterloo has never started a season with three consecutive overtime games. During the middle of a schedule, the Hawks last played three overtimes in a row March 22, 23, and 26 last season, earning a 1-0-2 record from the sequence.

Dazzling Defensive Debut
Aaron Bohlinger opened the year with goals in each of his first two USHL appearances. He scored the winning goal in overtime versus the Tri-City Storm Thursday, then added a second period tally against the Fargo Force Friday. Ben Meehan of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders is the only other defenseman in the league with two goals at this stage of the season. Bohlinger is the first Waterloo defenseman to score in each of his first two games for the Hawks since Vince LoVerde in 2005. LoVerde did against the Green Bay Gamblers (September 24, 2005) and Indiana Ice (October 1, 2005), recording the winning goal in the latter instance.

Penalty Killers on Cruise Control
Both the Black Hawks and Gamblers have opened the schedule with ten consecutive successful penalty kills. Waterloo and Green Bay are two of the four USHL clubs who have avoided conceding a power play goal. The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and USA Hockey National Team Development Program are the others.

Pre-season Recap
Waterloo opened the season with a goal from Ondrej Psenicka and went on to top the Tri-City Storm 2-1 in overtime Thursday. The next evening, the Hawks overcame the Fargo Force, 3-2, on a score in extra time by Wyatt Schingoethe. Xander Lamppa also had a goal and assist during the game.

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