Finishing with the Fighting Saints
The 2018/19 regular season schedule concludes with two games between the Black Hawks and the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Friday is the home finale at Young Arena before a return engagement at Mystique Ice Center on Saturday evening. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m. The Hawks could finish either second or third in the Western Conference. Dubuque would need two wins and three regulation losses by the National Team Development Program to climb to fifth in the Eastern Conference. Waterloo and Dubuque have met for the regular season finale on three prior occasions since the Saints returned to the USHL in 2010/11: 2011 (Waterloo won 2-1), 2015 (Waterloo won 4-1), and 2016 (Dubuque won 6-2).
The Black Hawks and Sioux Falls Stampede are tied for second in the USHL Western Conference; both teams have two games to go. Waterloo owns the initial tiebreaker – “Regulation plus Overtime Wins” (ROW) – 36-34. The first and second seeded playoff teams in each conference will earn an opening round playoff bye, adding more significance to second place. While the Hawks meet the Fighting Saints twice this weekend, the Stampede host the Sioux City Musketeers and Des Moines Buccaneers Friday and Saturday respectively.
Palmer’s Many Positives
Mason Palmer leads the Black Hawks and ranks second in the USHL with a +42 plus/minus differential. Ronnie Attard of the Tri-City Storm leads the league at +44. Palmer is in position to finish with the best mark of any Black Hawk since P.K. O’Handley arrived in Waterloo ahead of the 2002/03 season; Taylor Cammarata had the best previous number during that time at +39 in 2012/13. Palmer led the Hawks last season at +23.
Power Play Ranking
The Black Hawks enter the weekend in a virtual tie for best period play percentage with the U.S. National Team Development Program. The NTDP has converted 25.641 percent of chances. Waterloo stands at 25.590 percent. Last season, the Hawks ranked second in the USHL at 23.6 percent.
Hosting the Sioux City Musketeers last Tuesday, the Black Hawks recovered from a 2-0 deficit in the second period, but ultimately fell by a 6-3 final. Leading scorer Emil Ohrvall had a goal and an assist. Friday, the Hawks fell behind the Chicago Steel as the result of two second period goals scored within 24 seconds. Ryan Drkulec scored for Waterloo in the third, but the Steel cruised to a 3-1 win. However, the Black Hawks finished with a Saturday win versus the Omaha Lancers, taking the lead in the first minute of action and holding it until the end in a 4-1 result. Kyle Haskins recorded a pair of assists, and Evan Fear made 26 saves.
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Join us for the regular season finale between the Black Hawks and Dubuque Fighting Saints, presented by Q92.3. Tickets are going fast. To order tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.