The Waterloo Black Hawks led from the first minute and topped the Omaha Lancers 4-1 on Saturday at Young Arena, but any suggestion that it was an easy win would be misleading.
The Hawks spent more than half of the game hanging on to a 2-1 lead. Waterloo denied six Lancer power plays in that time, after Omaha had scored their only goal on the advantage.
The early lead was established at the 49-second mark. Kyle Haskins cut behind the net for a wraparound attempt. The puck slid to the opposite post where Vladislav Firstov was in position to punch in the opening score.
The Hawks added to their total with a three-on-two rush six minutes later. Patrick Guzzo’s initial attempt from just inside the blue line was blocked but bounced to Wyatt Schingoethe in the left circle. Schingoethe eyed the net and took a step toward the goal, but slipped a pass back to Guzzo, who flipped the puck into an open side.
Jaxon Nelson recorded Omaha’s only score on their first power play at 12:09. The teams then settled in, with the one-goal margin maintained for more than two full periods.
With 4:43 left in the third, Hank Sorensen was able to extend the lead back to two. Haskins left the puck for Sorensen in the right circle. The defensemen moved across the slot, pushing a shot toward the net on his backhand as his stick was being tangled. The unexpected speed allowed the chance to elude Akira Schmid, sliding past the netminder’s left skate and inside the post.
Griffin Ness added an empty net goal at 16:29, sealing the effort. With the win, Waterloo moves back into a second-place tie with the Sioux Falls Stampede in the United States Hockey League Western Conference.
Evan Fear made 26 saves for the victory. Waterloo outshot Omaha 40-27.
The Hawks wrap up their regular season home schedule against the Dubuque Fighting Saints Friday at 7:05 p.m. For tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.
Omaha 1 0 0 - 1
Waterloo 2 0 2 - 4
1st Period-1, Waterloo, Firstov 25 (Haskins), 0:49. 2, Waterloo, Guzzo 6 (Schingoethe), 6:51. 3, Omaha, Nelson 18 12:09 (PP). Penalties-Szmagaj Wat (interference), 10:49; Hilsendager Oma (major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 12:32; Engum Wat (major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 12:32; Marooney Wat (hooking), 12:32; Roy Oma (hooking), 13:46; Decker Oma (roughing), 17:49; Long Oma (roughing), 17:49; Lamppa Wat (roughing, cross checking), 17:49; Silver Oma (tripping), 19:48.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Bengtsson Wat (interference), 2:32; Drkulec Wat (roughing), 7:46; Blümel Wat (high sticking), 11:04.
3rd Period-4, Waterloo, Sorensen 8 (Haskins, Engum), 15:17. 5, Waterloo, Ness 16 (Marooney), 16:29 (EN). Penalties-Lagerback Wat (goalie interference), 2:12; Plucinski Oma (elbowing), 8:02; Szmagaj Wat (hooking), 9:04; Kern Oma (holding), 10:36.
Shots on Goal-Omaha 11-7-9-27. Waterloo 16-12-12-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Omaha 1 / 7; Waterloo 0 / 4.
Goalies-Omaha, Schmid 15-13-2-0 (39 shots-36 saves). Waterloo, Fear 17-11-6-1 (27 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Jake Jackson, Lucas Martin.
Linesmen-Tony Aronson (67), Alexios Karabetsos.