Wednesday’s game was close from wire-to-wire as the Des Moines Buccaneers edged the Waterloo Black Hawks 3-2 at Wells Fargo Arena in the first of eight scheduled meetings between the teams during the 2020/21 regular season.
It was tied or a one-goal game for all but 32 seconds of action. Des Moines took a 3-1 lead when Tanner Latsch stepped into a power play chance during the first minute of the third period. Latsch put enough behind his shot that it found the net, despite Hawks goalie Charlie Glockner getting a piece of the puck.
At 1:15 of the period, the Hawks drew back within a goal. Cutting to the net through the right wing circle, Wyatt Schingoethe waited until the last possible moment to saucer a pass across the top of the crease. That left Michael LaStarza with an open side for a slam dunk finish before Derek Mullahy could go from post-to-post.
Waterloo had two power play opportunities to even the score but could not come level. A Buccaneer power play originating with just 2:06 left in regulation left little opportunity for a dramatic Hawks comeback.
The night’s first special teams sequence had led to the opening goal at 10:28 of the first. Although technically at even-strength, a Waterloo penalty had ended just four seconds before Alex Laferriere eluded defenders to score from the edge of the crease.
The Black Hawks tied it at 12:22 of the second during a power play. With traffic on the right side of the ice, Ethan Szmagaj sent the puck to the opposite point. Cooper Wylie received the pass and rifled his shot to the top corner.
Des Moines retook the lead when Owen Fowler scored to the short side from the left circle in transition at 17:47 of the period.
Mullahy made 21 saves for the win, and the Bucs outshot Waterloo 27-23.
The same teams meet for an instant rematch Thursday. The New Year’s Eve contest at Young Arena in Waterloo gets going at 6:05 p.m.
Waterloo 0 1 1 - 2
Des Moines 1 1 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Des Moines, Laferriere 5 10:28. Penalties-Sasson Wat (hooking), 8:24; Davey Dm (tripping), 16:20.
2nd Period-2, Waterloo, Wylie 2 (Szmagaj), 12:22 (PP). 3, Des Moines, Fowler 1 (Renlund, Driscoll), 17:47. Penalties-Young Dm (hooking), 11:53; Belpedio Wat (major-fighting, misconduct-fighting), 12:34; Faremouth Dm (roughing, major-fighting, misconduct-fighting), 12:34.
3rd Period-4, Des Moines, Latsch 6 (Davey), 0:43 (PP). 5, Waterloo, LaStarza 3 (Schingoethe, Waldron), 1:15. Penalties-Argentina Wat (roughing), 0:15; Salice Dm (tripping), 2:25; Argentina Wat (interference), 3:44; Renlund Dm (high sticking), 14:28; Gucciardi Wat (hooking), 17:54.
Shots on Goal-Waterloo 6-11-6-23. Des Moines 11-11-5-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Waterloo 1 / 5; Des Moines 1 / 4.
Goalies-Waterloo, Glockner 3-4-0-0 (27 shots-24 saves). Des Moines, Mullahy 6-4-0-0 (23 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Brian Hankes, Default Referee.
Linesmen-Matt Heinen, Davids Rozitis.