Opening Up Against Omaha
The Black Hawks start their 2020/21 schedule at home versus the Omaha Lancers on Friday (7:05 p.m.) and Saturday (6:05 p.m.). Last season, Waterloo won four close games versus the Lancers by an aggregate score of 16-9, (two goals in the Hawks’ total were empty-netters). Luke Bast, Jacob Jeannette, and John Waldron each scored their first United States Hockey League goals against Omaha. All four meetings last year were played in a 30-day span from mid-November through mid-December. The Lancers were the most prolific exhibition club this fall, taking the ice seven times with a 3-3-1 record.
Flashback to 1965
One year ago, the Black Hawks played their first game on September 26th. Due to COVID-19 this fall, the first puck drop is more than a month later. In fact, Waterloo’s November 6th debut is the latest since the Hawks opened the 1965/66 schedule on November 13th versus the Fox Valley Astros. Waterloo won the USHL regular season title that winter, the third of five consecutive titles the team earned in that era when the league featured senior-aged players. Other than Waterloo, Green Bay is the only city in the USHL currently which had a team at that time.
Starting at Young Arena
Waterloo’s season-opener against the Lancers marks the first time the Hawks have played their first game of a new campaign at Young Arena since 2014/15. That year, Waterloo fell to the Fargo Force, 2-1. Brock Boeser scored the only Hawks goal in his team debut.
Sasson Starts Again
The Black Hawks acquired former Cedar Rapids RoughRider Max Sasson during the USHL dispersal draft earlier this fall. Sasson has played in 108 USHL regular season games at this stage of his career, notching 19 goals and 23 assists. He will become the first player to skate for both the Black Hawks and RoughRiders since Sam Craggs, who made three Cedar Rapids appearances in 2014/15 before coming to Waterloo in 2016/17.
In 2019/20, the Black Hawks recorded at least 30 wins for the fifth consecutive year, even though the final 13 games on the schedule were canceled due to COVID-19. After leading the Western Conference wire-to-wire, Waterloo brought home the club’s second Western Conference title in three years. Although leading scorers Xander Lamppa (45 points) and Griffin Ness (44 points) have moved on to the NCAA, third-leading scorer Wyatt Schingoethe (38 points) returns for his third USHL campaign. Top defensive scorer Luke Bast (18 points) is also back with the Black Hawks for 2020/21.
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