Comeback Complete for Waterloo Black Hawks
The Waterloo Black Hawks needed a comeback Tuesday but managed to win for the sixth times in six tries against the Sioux City Musketeers, taking a 4-3 decision at Young Arena.
The win pads Waterloo's lead in the United States Hockey League's Western Conference standings. The Black Hawks now hold a three point lead over the Fargo Force & the Omaha Lancers. The Sioux Falls Stampede are only four points back, and Waterloo can put a big dent on the Stampede's bid for the top spot this weekend when they come to Young Arena for two games this weekend (April 7 & 8, 2018).
Waterloo now finds themselves just one point back in the USHL overall standings for the Anderson Cup, awarded to the team with the best regular season record. Team USA still holds the number one spot with 77 points.
Trailing 3-2 as the third period began, Waterloo went to a power play less than five minutes out of intermission. Bobby Trivigno handled the puck at the left point, stepping through the circle to feed Jack Drury near the top of the crease. Although the disc was poked away, Ben Copeland was trailing the play and lifted in a game-tying score.
Four minutes later, the Hawks were two men shorthanded for a full two minutes with simultaneous minors called against Evan Dougherty and Hank Sorensen. Waterloo escaped the perilous situation unscathed and took the lead at 14:01.
Copeland fed a pass out of the left wing corner diagonally back to the top of the opposite circle. That’s where Hunter Lellig was waiting, and his low wrist shot zipped past Matt Jurusik for the final goal of the night.
Back in the first period, each team had scored in the first two minutes. On the first shift of the game, Evan Dougherty sprang Garrett Klee up right wing. Klee made it into the faceoff circle before centering across the slot to Matej Blumel. Coming up the left wing, Blumel squeezed his one-touch shot between Jurusik and the post at the 22-second mark.
Sioux City responded 58 seconds later. A turnover allowed Micah Miller to blast a shot off the crossbar, down, and in. Although those were the only two goals of the period, it wasn’t for a lack of chances. Waterloo outshot the Musketeers 20-11 during the frame.
Calle Ehrnberg broke the tie at 5:11 of the second period. Creeping up from the left point, the Swedish defenseman lifted a shot inside the post to Jared Moe’s right after taking a cross-ice pass from Martin Pospisil. Just over two minutes later, Miller built on the lead, swiping a puck in the neutral zone and converting the ensuing breakaway.
The Hawks got a goal back after an unsuccessful power play. On the next shift, Blumel cut to the net, creating a Klee shot. Dougherty was there to cash in on the rebound at 11:21.
Moe made 30 saves and Jurusik stopped 39 as the Hawks outshot Sioux City 43-33. It is the first time since 1980/81 that Waterloo has defeated the Musketeers six times in one regular season.
NEXT UP: The Hawks remain home for two games this weekend against the Sioux Falls Stampede. The Friday and Saturday matchups both begin at 7:05 p.m. Friday’s game is the final Black Hawks Family 4 Pack Night of the season, with four tickets, four hot dogs, four soft drinks, and more for $48. To order or for more details, call the Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.
Contributed By: Tim Harwood (Waterloo Black Hawks Media Relations)