Tri, Tri (and Tri) Again
The Black Hawks meet the Tri-City Storm on Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday. The weekend tilts are in Kearney, Nebraska, the Tuesday game is at Young Arena, and all three begin at 7:05 p.m. Waterloo is 2-0-0 versus the Storm this season, claiming a September 26th win in overtime (2-1), then edging the visitors 1-0 in the first game at Young Arena this season (October 12th). This will be the first time the Hawks have met any opponent for three consecutive regular season games since playing four-in-a-row against the Fargo Force during December of 2017.
Climbing to Triple Digits
The Black Hawks’ next goal will be the 100th scored this season. Waterloo will likely be the second Western Conference team to reach that number (the Lincoln Stars have 102). Sizing up the Hawks’ first 99 goals of 2019/20, no player has more than 13, while 19 individuals have at least one. Twenty-one goals have been scored on the power play, with five coming shorthanded. Three of them were tallied in overtime. The most on one night came October 19th when Waterloo recorded nine versus the Des Moines Buccaneers.
Ryan Drkulec’s goal last Saturday represented his 23rd point of 2019/20. That equals his total from last season. Drkulec joins Xander Lamppa and Connor Caponi among Waterloo’s fulltime skaters who have matched or surpassed their point totals from a year ago. Patrick Guzzo and Brehdan Engum are the most likely veterans join the group soon: Guzzo is one point shy while Engum needs two.
Come Out Shooting
Waterloo’s 357 shots on goal in the first period this season are the most of any USHL team. Paradoxically, the Hawks have scored just 22 times in the opening frame, their lowest total among the three periods. The Tri-City Storm have allowed a league-low 230 first period chances. On average, the Hawks and Storm are on different ends of the shots spectrum. Waterloo takes a league-high 34.9 shots per night, while Tri-City has allowed a league-low 23.6 during their first 31 games.
The Hawks closed calendar year 2019 with a 7-3 New Year’s Eve win against the Madison Capitols, featuring a hat trick by Joe Cassetti. Connor Caponi also had two goals during the game, while Brehdan Engum and Ryan Drkulec each recorded three points. Then Friday in Dubuque, Wyatt Schingoethe’s third period power play goal was the difference, helping extend Waterloo’s winning streak to six straight games. After that 3-2 Hawks victory, the Fighting Saints responded by topping Waterloo 8-2 at Young Arena the next night.
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The Hawks celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first hockey game at Young Arena on Tuesday, January 14th against the Tri-City Storm. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a commemorative key chain, presented by Famous Dave’s. If 2,500 fans or more are in attendance for this 25th anniversary game, everyone will receive a free Famous Dave’s appetizer certificate. And during the game, hot dogs, nachos, and soft drinks will be $2 each. To order tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.