At one point over the weekend, Waterloo forward Griffin Ness scored or assisted on seven consecutive Black Hawks goals; his starring role in a pair of victories led the United States Hockey League to name Ness the USHL Forward of the Week on Tuesday.
Waterloo defeated the Muskegon Lumberjacks 6-5 in overtime Friday, then earned a 6-1 result Saturday while hosting USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program Under-17s.
During the weekend opener, Ness notched three goals and three assists, contributing to all of the Hawks’ offense during the high-scoring matchup. He became the first USHL player this season to tally six points in one game. Prior to Friday, the North Dakota recruit’s biggest point total on one night was three. His hat trick goal came with just 1:07 left in regulation to tie the score. Then 13 seconds into overtime, Ness set up Wyatt Schingoethe for the game-winner.
Saturday, Ness blasted Waterloo into the lead with a power play one-timer less than four minutes into the first period. It was the fourth time this season that he has recorded the first goal in a game, tying with Connor Caponi for the highest count in that category among Hawks players. The 20-year-old scored again on a third period breakaway, which helped to put the game out of reach.
With eight total points over the weekend (five goals, three assists), Ness has rocketed to second in team scoring (31 points) and is at the top for goals (14) during 2019/20. Spending his second full season with the Black Hawks, Ness is on pace to make his 100th regular season appearance next month. Last season, he played in 57 games and recorded 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists).
Tuesday’s honor is Ness’ first USHL player of the week award. Two other Hawks have been recognized on three other occasions this season. Logan Stein has been the league’s Goaltender of the Week twice, while Ryder Rolston was Forward of the Week on October 22nd.
The Black Hawks are on the road against the Sioux Falls Stampede this Friday and Saturday.