The Waterloo Black Hawks scored three times in the third period Friday in a 5-3 win against the Omaha Lancers at Ralston Arena to give Head Coach P.K. O’Handley his 600th regular season victory since joining the organization in 2002.
Last December – 363 days ago – O’Handley had claimed his 700th career win, including 140 while leading the North Iowa Huskies during the 1990s.
Two Hawks who had never previously scored USHL goals helped make Friday’s result possible.
Trailing 3-2 early in the third period, Jacob Jeannette was behind the Omaha net. He sent the puck from there, off an Omaha defender standing near the top of the crease, and it ricocheted in past Kyle McClellan. After Jeannette’s first goal in junior competition at 3:43, the Hawks would not trail again.
At 13:42, John Waldron added his first in league play. The puck came to him across the net mouth and – waiting right of the cage – he lifted it in for the go-ahead score. Both teams had power plays during the time which remained; Waterloo was turned away before an Omaha advantage which began with 2:37 to go. Waterloo survived the six-on-four situation, and – with the Lancer net empty – Jeannette came out of the penalty box to gather a loose puck at center, skating it into the open goal with 27.9 seconds remaining.
The Black Hawks had fallen behind just 1:49 into the contest when Cole Kodsi scored on the rebound of a shot by Ryan Lautenbach. However, less than a minute later, Waterloo was on the power play due to a major penalty against Nolan Renwick. Kyle Haskins capitalized during the advantage, finding the top corner over McClellan’s glove at 4:10.
Brehdan Engum gave Waterloo the lead at 9:01, hitting the same target. As Engum came up the ice, two Lancers collided near the blue line, so Engum sped to the net for the go-ahead tally in transition.
After a Lancer potential game-tying goal was disallowed near the middle of the second period, Omaha scored during a power play with 3:48 left before the second intermission. Luke Mobley was able to jab the puck across the goal line with goalie Gabriel Carriere trying to stretch left to pin it to the post.
Omaha retook the lead 23 seconds into the third period. Logan Will came up ice; with a two-on-one developing, Will took the shot himself, snapping it in off the post at Carriere’s right.
Carriere made 31 saves for the victory, including 20 in the second period when the Hawks were shorthanded four times and outshot 21-5.
The pre-Christmas schedule wraps up on Saturday when the Hawks meet the Lancers for an instant rematch at Ralston Arena.
Waterloo 2 0 3 - 5
Omaha 1 1 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Omaha, Kodsi 5 (Lautenbach), 1:49. 2, Waterloo, Haskins 6 (Drkulec, Waldron), 4:10 (PP). 3, Waterloo, Engum 3 9:01. Penalties-Renwick Oma (major-boarding, game misconduct-boarding), 2:08; Sutton Oma (hooking), 12:50.
2nd Period-4, Omaha, Mobley 11 (Campbell, Randl), 16:12 (PP). Penalties-Campbell Oma (goalie interference), 1:19; Szmagaj Wat (tripping), 3:11; Decker Oma (holding), 5:15; Scott Wat (hooking), 7:51; Reiners Wat (tripping), 11:48; Engum Wat (boarding), 15:16.
3rd Period-5, Omaha, Will 5 (Randl), 0:23. 6, Waterloo, Jeannette 1 3:54. 7, Waterloo, Waldron 1 (Scott), 13:42. 8, Waterloo, Jeannette 2 19:32 (EN). Penalties-Bradley Oma (roughing), 6:43; Bradley Oma (slashing), 14:09; Jeannette Wat (tripping), 17:23.
Shots on Goal-Waterloo 17-5-9-31. Omaha 6-21-7-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Waterloo 1 / 7; Omaha 1 / 5.
Goalies-Waterloo, Carriere 9-2-1-0 (34 shots-31 saves). Omaha, McClellan 3-4-3-0 (30 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Cameron McCambridge, Sam Heidemann (6).
Linesmen-Christoper Murray, Kyle Domin.