Playing the first of five consecutive home games, the Waterloo Black Hawks squeezed past the Omaha Lancers Friday for a 4-3 win at Young Arena.
A three-goal second period turned the game permanently in the Hawks favor, and an empty net goal with two minutes to play proved to be the winner.
With an extra Lancer attacker on the ice for the late shifts, Connor Caponi knocked away a pass in his defensive zone, and Patrick Guzzo toted it up the rink, fending off a pair of Lancers. Guzzo wasn’t able to put the puck into the open Omaha net, but after working into the right circle, he shoveled it toward the crease, where Caponi pounced to score his second of the game.
That empty netter proved to be crucial, because the Lancers pulled back within one with 56.1 seconds remaining. Ross Mitton fed a pass out of the right corner to the side of the cage, and Cole Kodsi lifted his shot over Gabriel Carriere. The Hawks’ netminder still picked up the win with 17 saves.
Omaha had netted the opening goal of the first period when Jackson Decker came flying up the rink from his defensive position. At 7:58, Decker started from deep in his own zone, moving up left wing and into Black Hawks territory. His pass across the slot left Ryan Sorkin with an open side for a tap-in goal.
A period later, Waterloo tied the score, then quickly took the lead. At 8:56 of the second, Caponi rattled the boards on right wing with a big hit in the Omaha end. The puck got back to center, the Hawks took it away, and Caponi put himself onside all in the blink of an eye. Caponi then went to the net to swat in a pass from Xander Lamppa for the equalizer at 8:56.
Just over two minutes later, Omaha turned the puck over, leaving Jacob Bengtsson to score on from between the circles on a shot under the crossbar.
The teams exchanged late power play goals before the second ended, beginning at 18:09 when the Lancer’s Christian Berger put himself in position to convert from the slot on a pass out of the right corner by Sorkin. However, with the Hawks on the advantage, Lamppa scored to the short side from the right circle with just 7.6 seconds left before intermission.
The same teams meet again on Saturday at Young Arena, beginning at 7:05 p.m. The Hawks wrap up their Cancer Awareness Weekend, presented by the Breast Care Center. Cancer Awareness jerseys sponsored by Great Clips will be auctioned after the game to benefit Beyond Pink TEAM. For tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.
Omaha 1 1 1 - 3
Waterloo 0 3 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Omaha, Sorkin 3 (Decker, Campbell), 7:58. Penalties-Cameron Oma (bench minor-too many men), 8:47; Ness Wat (high sticking), 16:58.
2nd Period-2, Waterloo, Caponi 6 (Lamppa, Bohlinger), 8:56. 3, Waterloo, Bengtsson 1 11:10. 4, Omaha, Berger 3 (Sorkin, Mitton), 18:04 (PP). 5, Waterloo, Lamppa 4 (Ness, Szmagaj), 19:52 (PP). Penalties-Sorkin Oma (hooking), 8:56; Silver Oma (holding), 14:09; Psenicka Wat (boarding), 17:02; Will Oma (kneeing), 18:52.
3rd Period-6, Waterloo, Caponi 7 (Guzzo, Engum), 18:00 (EN). 7, Omaha, Kodsi 3 (Mitton, Anderson), 19:09. Penalties-Plucinski Oma (boarding), 9:30.
Shots on Goal-Omaha 6-4-10-20. Waterloo 8-17-9-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Omaha 1 / 2; Waterloo 1 / 4.
Goalies-Omaha, Dobes 0-2-1-0 (33 shots-30 saves). Waterloo, Carriere 6-0-1-0 (20 shots-17 saves).
Referees-Trevor Wohlford, Default Referee.
Linesmen-Greg Offerman (55), Davids Rozitis.