Joe Cassetti had a hat trick, and the Waterloo Black Hawks survived a big rally by the Madison Capitols to claim a 7-3 New Year’s Eve win at Young Arena on Tuesday.
In just his third game, Cassetti continued his exceptional return to Waterloo, recording the lone goal of the first period. During a power play at 14:22, Wyatt Schingoethe brought the puck from the right wing boards to the net mouth, providing Cassetti with the opportunity to stuff a shot into an open side. It was his fourth goal in seven periods since returning to the Hawks, and just the beginning of his big performance.
Waterloo built the lead to 3-0 in the second period, beginning with Connor Caponi’s tally at 5:41. It looked like Ryan Drkulec would attempt a wraparound, but passed to Caponi at the last moment, and Caponi finished from just outside the crease.
Drkulec added another goal on the power play at 10:37. He was positioned just outside the blue paint and redirected Brehdan Engum’s shot past Simon Latkoczy.
Just 41 seconds later, the Capitols drew a goal back thanks to an offensive zone faceoff win, creating a pointblank opportunity for Ryan Kirwan. Then Thomas Weis made it a one-goal game via a power play score with 57.6 seconds left in the period and traffic at the front of the net.
Jan Stibingr completed the Madison comeback just as coincidental penalties to the two teams ended at 1:04 of the third. Stepping around a defender, Stibingr went up the slot and cut to his left at the top of the crease to beat Logan Stein with a backhander.
However, it was all Black Hawks from there. After putting 25 shots on net in the first period and 20 more in the second, Waterloo was held to a dozen in the third, but scored on four of them.
Cassetti sent the Hawks back in front at 3:29. Coming into the offensive zone on left wing, he swiped the puck in the corner after a dump in, wheeled to the net, and lifted his shot over Latkoczy’s right shoulder.
The lead grew at 6:03, just three seconds into a power play. Engum’s shot from the left point hit Kyle Haskins and went fluttering in under the crossbar.
Riding that momentum, Casstti recorded his third of the game 1:39 later, just moments after being denied when Latkoczy got just enough of a shot to deflect it up and off the crossbar. Set up in the left circle by Jacob Bengtsson for a follow-up try, Cassetti drilled his next chance off the back bar inside the net.
Caponi added his second score of the game by redirecting a puck with his skate at center ice into the open Capitols net with 1:39 to play.
The Hawks return to action Friday to open a home-and-home series against the Dubuque Fighting Saints on the road at Mystique Ice Center.
Madison 0 2 1 - 3
Waterloo 1 2 4 - 7
1st Period-1, Waterloo, Cassetti 4 (Rolston, Schingoethe), 14:22 (PP). Penalties-Belpedio Wat (slashing), 2:29; Horbach Mad (interference), 12:44.
2nd Period-2, Waterloo, Caponi 10 (Drkulec, Guzzo), 5:41. 3, Waterloo, Drkulec 4 (Engum, Szmagaj), 10:37 (PP). 4, Madison, Kirwan 11 (Pabich), 11:18. 5, Madison, Weis 1 (Suter), 19:03 (PP). Penalties-Suter Mad (tripping), 2:55; Lyle Mad (checking from behind, 10-minute misconduct), 9:24; Bengtsson Wat (holding), 17:56; Suter Mad (roughing), 19:03; Bast Wat (roughing), 19:03.
3rd Period-6, Madison, Stibingr 1 (Pabich, Carrick), 1:04. 7, Waterloo, Cassetti 5 (Waldron, Bengtsson), 3:29. 8, Waterloo, Haskins 8 (Engum), 6:03 (PP). 9, Waterloo, Cassetti 6 (Bengtsson, Reiners), 7:59. 10, Waterloo, Caponi 11 (Engum, Drkulec), 18:21 (EN). Penalties-Horbach Mad (tripping), 5:59; Bast Wat (interference), 11:38.
Shots on Goal-Madison 2-10-7-19. Waterloo 25-20-12-57.
Power Play Opportunities-Madison 1 / 3; Waterloo 3 / 4.
Goalies-Madison, Latkoczy 3-15-0-0 (56 shots-50 saves). Waterloo, Stein 10-3-0-0 (19 shots-16 saves).
Linesmen-Greg Offerman (55), Default Linesman.