Waterloo's franchise best season opening seven game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Buccaneers Saturday night. They lost to a team that they just hammered 9-1 last weekend. But, such is life, in the USHL.

SATURDAY NIGHT VS DES MOINES
The Des Moines Buccaneers went ahead in the first minute of Saturday’s game at Buccaneer Arena and led the Black Hawks the rest of the way in a match-up that finished 4-1. The Bucs jumped ahead 45 seconds into the action.  Noah Ellis used traffic in front of the net to obscure Logan Stein’s view of his shot from the right circle.  Ellis squeezed his chance inside the short side post.  The Hawks thought they had tied it during a power play with 20.5 seconds remaining, but Luke Bast’s goal on a shot from the high slot was disallowed due to contact with goalie Cameron Rowe in the crease.

Des Moines notched the only goal of the second at 7:49.  Nicklas Andrews’ attempt from above the circles was tipped by Michael Mancinelli to build on the Bucs lead. Joey Strada extended the Bucs margin with a third period breakaway goal at 14:40. A goalmouth scramble allowed Waterloo to break up Rowe’s shutout bid with 35.3 seconds remaining. With Rowe down, Connor Caponi batted the puck into the net just before the goal was dislodged.  However, on the ensuing shift, Mason Nevers tracked down a puck deep in Hawks territory and flipped it into an empty net.

Townsquare Media - Shawn McKenna

Young hockey fans had fun with Tommy Hawk picking up candy on the ice during an intermission.

FRIDAY NIGHT VS GREEN BAY
Four second period goals tipped Friday’s game at Young Arena decisively toward Waterloo, in what would finish up as a 5-0 shut-out against the Green Bay Gamblers. Scoreless through one period, Waterloo took the lead 5:04 after intermission when Connor Caponi’s shot from near the top of the left circle went in off the crossbar. The veteran Black Hawks forward now has four goals this season. Waterloo followed up at 10:51, when Ryan Drkulec knocked down a clearing attempt on left wing. That play, and his pass to the slot, caught the Gamblers out of position. Xander Lamppa then made an extra pass to Patrick Guzzo for a tap-in goal from beside the net.

Before the period was through, Ryder Rolston and Wyatt Schingoethe each set the other up for a goal within the span of 53 seconds. At 15:50, Schingoethe found Rolston steaming into the offensive zone. Ralston’s shot from the left circle caught goaltender Gavin Enright trying un-successfully to move from left-to-right. On the next shift, Schingoethe scored from a nearly identical spot on a similar passing play from Rolston, thanks to a turnover created near the Gambler blue line by Nic Belpedio.

In the third period, Keighan Gerrie added a short-handed empty-netter with 2:17 left in regulation. Logan Stein stopped all 24 Green Bay shots – including 11 during a scoreless first period – for his fourth win of the season and his second shutout. Friday’s result was the 20th victory of his USHL career.

HUGE THREE GAME ROAD TRIP
Next weekend, the Black Hawks play three games in three days during an eastern trip, beginning Friday against the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Waterloo will also visit the Chicago Steel and the Madison Capitols.