Black Hawks To Western Conference Final, Home This Weekend
The USHL’s most dangerous shorthanded team during the regular season seized their playoff series, thanks in part to a shorthanded goal; the Waterloo Black Hawks eliminated the Lincoln Stars Thursday with a 3-2 win at Lincoln’s Ice Box.
Waterloo’s victory clinched the best-of-five USHL Western Conference Semifinal series, three-games-to-one. The Black Hawks will now move onto the United States Hockey League's Western Conference Finals.
Game One of the Western Conference Final between the Hawks and the Fargo Force will be Saturday, April 28, 2018. Tickets are on sale now from waterlooblackhawks.com, and they will also be available from the Black Hawks offices by phone or in person Friday morning beginning at 9:00 AM. Game two will be Sunday at 5:05 PM.
During the 2017/18 season, the Hawks led the USHL with 16 shorthanded goals. Garrett Klee started Waterloo’s offensive engine with a shorty at 14:36 of the first period after Jared Moe made a blocker save on a Lincoln transition chance. As most of the players on the ice were heading into Waterloo territory, Klee sprang the other direction, picking up the defensive rebound for a breakaway. Moving through the left wing circle, Klee lifted a wrist shot past Tomas Vomacka, giving the Hawks a lead they would not relinquish.
Almost exactly a period after the first goal of the night, Waterloo struck again. Joey Cassetti’s shot from the left circle created a rebound chance. With Klee and Ethan Johnson both batting at it near the top of the crease, the puck eventually trickled past Vomacka at 14:35. Johnson had the last touch.
At 16:05, Jack Drury added another goal. Catching up with a dump in, Drury slung the puck into the crease from below the right wing circle; it bounced off Vomacka and in.
The Stars answered 55 seconds later. Ashton Calder found a loose puck in the right circle and flipped it past Moe’s glove.
Lincoln followed up with the only goal in the third. At 8:48, Paul Cotter’s offensive zone faceoff win led to the puck sliding across the slot. Casey Dornback pounced and knocked it in before Moe could move from right to left.
Moe made 10 saves in the third period and 22 on the night for his third win of the playoffs.