Griffin Ness recorded his second career hat trick and had the highest-scoring night of any Waterloo Black Hawk in almost exactly two years during a 6-5 overtime victory against the Muskegon Lumberjacks at Young Arena Friday.
The Waterloo captain was involved in all the offense, including his third goal of the game which forced overtime with 1:03 remaining in regulation. After falling behind seconds earlier, the Hawks brought an extra attacker to the ice and controlled the puck in the offensive zone. Brehdan Engum’s shot from the right point was tipped in by Ness to give the home team a chance at redemption after a two-goal third period lead had slipped away.
For Ness, the hat trick matched a three-goal effort last season against the Dubuque Fighting Saints on November 3, 2018.
Just 13 seconds into overtime, he set up the winner. Playing three-on-three, Ness received Engum’s pass at the Muskegon blue line, strode toward the goal, and fed the puck to Wyatt Schingoethe at the opposite post. Jamming away with Jonathan Williams unable to cover the disc, Schingoethe eventually forced in the winning score.
With a third assist to go with three goals during the game, Ness became the first Black Hawk to record six points on one night since Ben Finkelstein on January 27, 2018 during a 7-3 win against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
A mild-mannered start to the contest hardly foreshadowed the wild finish.
Just past the 14-minute mark of the first period, Waterloo had jumped into the lead with the only score during the opening 20 minutes. Quinn Rudrud kept the puck in right wing corner as the Hawks changed lines. Ness arrived in time to pick it up and drop a pass to Ryan Drkulec near the top of the right circle. Extending his point streak to seven consecutive games, Drkulec snapped a wrist shot past Williams.
A high-scoring second period began with a Black Hawks power play goal just 52 seconds after intermission. Ness zipped into the slot from the left circle and rifled a shot in off the crossbar. Minutes later the Lumberjacks moved back within one on their own power play conversion; Alex Gaffney connected with Dylan Wendt on a pass across the top of the crease, leaving the latter forward with an open side to score at 4:05.
The teams exchanged goals again near the middle of the period. A keep-in by Jacob Bengtsson at the left point created an opportunity for Ness to cut to the net at 9:53. Appearing as though he would move across the face of goal, at the last moment, he rolled a shot through Williams’ pads. Muskegon sliced the deficit back to one at 14:11; A.J. Hodges capitalized on a one-on-one chance against goalie Gabriel Carriere.
Just after a power play ended at 1:53 of the third, Ness forced a turnover deep in the offensive zone. That created a back-and-forth passing play between Xander Lamppa and Drkulec, with Lamppa finishing a chance with a tap-in.
Muskegon was hardly finished, however.
Iivari Rasanen spurred the comeback at 12:35 when his shot popped up and fell across the goal line off of Carriere’s glove. Cameron Berg tied the game at 17:52 stuffing in a rebound chance from the top of the crease. Only 13 seconds passed from that goal before Danil Gushchin gave the Lumberjacks their only lead at 18:05 on an elusive backhander from the right wing circle.
Waterloo outshot Muskegon in every period, and by a final count of 51-25.
The Black Hawks remain on home ice Saturday to meet USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program Under-17s. The 7:05 p.m. game is Country Night, presented by K98.5FM, with live music in the Coors Light Cold Zone before the game. It’s also the annual Dainty Doggy Dash to benefit the Cedar Bend Humane Society. For tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.
Muskegon 0 2 3 0 - 5
Waterloo 1 2 2 1 - 6
1st Period-1, Waterloo, Drkulec 7 (Ness, Rudrud), 14:06. Penalties-Docter Mus (tripping), 20:00.
2nd Period-2, Waterloo, Ness 10 (Bengtsson, Szmagaj), 0:52 (PP). 3, Muskegon, Wendt 5 (Gaffney, Berg), 4:05 (PP). 4, Waterloo, Ness 11 (Bengtsson), 9:53. 5, Muskegon, Hodges 11 (Fillion, Kelly), 14:11. Penalties-Argentina Wat (cross checking), 3:30; Haskins Wat (interference), 11:01; Williams Mus (tripping), 19:38.
3rd Period-6, Waterloo, Lamppa 12 (Drkulec, Ness), 1:53. 7, Muskegon, Rasanen 1 (Kempf), 12:35. 8, Muskegon, Berg 14 (Dunbar, Pitlick), 17:52. 9, Muskegon, Gushchin 16 (Kempf), 18:05. 10, Waterloo, Ness 12 (Engum, Schingoethe), 18:53. Penalties-Edwards Mus (major-roughing, game misconduct), 5:19; Cassetti Wat (roughing), 5:19; MacDonald Mus (roughing), 6:26; Gratton Mus (slashing), 13:42.
1st OT Period-11, Waterloo, Schingoethe 11 (Ness, Engum), 0:13. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Muskegon 9-6-10-0-25. Waterloo 11-23-15-2-51.
Power Play Opportunities-Muskegon 1 / 2; Waterloo 1 / 5.
Goalies-Muskegon, Williams 9-4-3-0 (51 shots-45 saves). Waterloo, Carriere 14-3-1-0 (25 shots-20 saves).
Referees-J.R. Stragar, Ted Anstett.
Linesmen-Matt Heinen, Eric Arrigo.