The Black Hawks came away with two wins over Eastern Conference foes, beating the Chicago Steel and Green Bay Gamblers. They now hold down 1st place in the Western Conference with 22 points.

Waterloo turned transition chances into enough offense to claim a 4-2 win against the Chicago Steel on Friday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena.Takeaways in the neutral zone led to a pair of first period Black Hawks goals separated by less than 90 seconds. At 7:22, Xander Lamppa found the puck when a Chicago defender fell down. Lamppa slipped a pass in transition across the slot to Connor Caponi, who rifled in his chance. Then Ausin Swankler helped to force a turnover along the wall, which allowed Emil Ohrvall to step in and score on a low wrister from the left circle.
Vladislav Firstov added a second period goal to cap a three-on-two rush. Firstov’s shot from the left circle went under the crossbar on a feed from Matej Blumel at 13:46.
Chicago’s Neil Shea made it interesting in the first six minutes of the third. At 2:32, Shea slipped in the rebound of a shot by Josh Groll to start a Steel rally. Just over three minutes later during a power play, Shea drew attention at the side of the Waterloo net before connecting with Adam Robbins at the top of the crease. Robbins was left with an open net for a tap in.
Waterloo killed off two more third period Chicago power plays. Logan Stein stopped 12 of 14 shots in the period and made 24 saves on the night. Ryan Drkulec scored into an empty net with 35.9 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Ryan Drkulec scored on the Waterloo Black Hawks’ 51st shot of the night, pushing the visitors to a 3-2 overtime win against the Green Bay Gamblers Saturday. The goal was the final one scored in USHL competition at Brown County Arena. The facility – commemorating its 60th birthday this weekend – will be torn down in 2019.

Skating three-on-three in extra time, Mason Palmer went behind the Green Bay net to force a turnover. The puck came to Connor Caponi in the high slot, and he connected with Drkulec near the bottom of the right circle. Drkulec’s shot hit the top corner over the shoulder of Evan Fear, ending the netminder’s occasionally brilliant night. Waterloo and Green Bay had exchanged power play goals in the first period. Joey Cassetti capitalized from the slot at 10:24 on a slippery feed from Vladislav Firstov. However, with 1:15 left in the period, Green Bay capitalized seconds into their only power play. Noah Prokop tipped a shot by Tyler Spott for the equalizer. Almost exactly a period later, the Gamblers took a 2-1 lead on a give-and-go rush between Austin Heidemann and Rory Herrman. The puck went right-to-left from Heidemann to Herrman, then back across the slot the other direction for the tie-breaking tally. In the third, Emil Ohrvall got the goal back with just under 13 minutes to go. Cutting to the net from the left circle, he was able to slip a backhander under Fear. Jared Moe made 26 saves on 28 shots for the win.

The Black Hawks get back to home ice and back to meeting Western Conference opponents this Friday and Saturday during games against the Tri-City Storm and Lincoln Stars. Both contests begin at 7:05 p.m. and feature Family 4 Pack ticket specials. To claim your seats, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 232-3444.

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