The Waterloo Black Hawks rallied to tie Friday’s game four different times before pulling ahead of the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the final three minutes for a 7-6 win at Mystique Ice Center.
It was the Hawks’ highest-scoring performance of the season, surpassing a 6-4 comeback victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede on January 9th. It was also Waterloo’s first favorable decision of the season against an opponent from the USHL Eastern Conference after an 0-6-0 start in cross-conference contests.
Dubuque took their first lead at 10:44 of the first period during a power play. Tristan Lemyre’s pass from the left circle was tipped away from its intended recipient but found Daniyal Dzhaniyav in the opposite circle. Dzhaniyav scored into an open side.
Less than two minutes later, the Hawks tied it. Alex Gaffney sped into the offensive zone for a low shot, parried away by Lukas Parik. However, he gave a long rebound into the opposite circle, which was put back in by Jacob Jeannette.
The Saints went back in front at 15:20; during a delayed penalty situation, Robert Cronin’s first shot was blocked, but he got a second try and scored from below the left dot.
Dane Montgomery leveled the count 42 seconds into the middle period during a power play. The Hawks’ captain pushed in the score on the rebound of Luke Bast’s blast from the high slot.
Nonetheless, Waterloo spent most of the period chasing a deficit when Dubuque scored two goals separated by 19 seconds. Both came in transition: Cronin had the first at 2:25, followed by Andrei Buyalsky on a two-on-one.
A successful penalty kill for the visitors turned into a Black Hawks breakaway goal at 11:23 just after Waterloo came back to full strength. Casey Severo’s first shot was stopped, but he slipped in his own rebound to make the score 4-3.
Dubuque extended their lead again just seven seconds later when Cronin set up Dzhaniyev on a bang-bang play.
David Gucciaridi delivered Waterloo’s second power play goal before the period was over. The Hawks’ defenseman went to the net to collect a rebound from Ethan Szmagaj’s shot and scored at 16:50.
Owen Ozar then tied the count a third time – making it 5-all – at 3:50 of the third, springing through the left circle to put a shot in off the crossbar.
The Saints got one more good bounce; at 8:24, Lemyre was in the slot and had his attempt go off a Waterloo defenseman, crossing up goaltender Charlie Glockner.
Undaunted, the Hawks built pressure in the late minutes, with a breakthrough for Gucciardi at 15:48. Setup just inside the blue line, Gucciardi sent a rocket past Parik low to the stick side.
Szmagaj produced the game-winner just over a minute later at 17:04. Like Cronin’s first period goal for Dubuque, Szmagaj’s blocked shot came back his way; aiming a second attempt from the outside edge of the right circle, the second try was true, and Waterloo finally went on top.
The 13 combined goals between the teams came on 47 shots. The Hawks ended the game with a 27-20 edge in that department.
Friday’s matchup was the only time within a 10-game span that the Hawks play away from Young Arena. The team returns home on Saturday to host the Tri-City Storm at 6:05 p.m.
Waterloo 1 3 3 - 7
Dubuque 2 3 1 - 6
1st Period-1, Dubuque, Dzhaniyev 10 (Lemyre, Fletcher), 10:44 (PP). 2, Waterloo, Jeannette 2 (Gaffney, Sasson), 12:26. 3, Dubuque, Cronin 9 (Lemyre, Dzhaniyev), 15:20. Penalties-Gaffney Wat (tripping), 3:45; Lagerback Wat (slashing), 10:35; Lagerback Wat (hooking), 15:20; Cronin Dbq (high sticking dbl minor), 18:05.
2nd Period-4, Waterloo, Montgomery 1 (Sasson, Bast), 0:42 (PP). 5, Dubuque, Cronin 10 2:25. 6, Dubuque, Buyalsky 4 (Kurth), 2:44. 7, Waterloo, Severo 3 11:23. 8, Dubuque, Dzhaniyev 11 (Cronin), 11:30. 9, Waterloo, Gucciardi 5 (Szmagaj, LaStarza), 16:50 (PP). Penalties-Copre Wat (high sticking), 4:08; Argentina Wat (roughing), 9:13; Demsey Dbq (interference), 15:15.
3rd Period-10, Waterloo, Ozar 8 (Gaffney), 3:50. 11, Dubuque, Lemyre 6 (Montes), 8:24. 12, Waterloo, Gucciardi 6 (Kleven), 15:48. 13, Waterloo, Szmagaj 3 (Montgomery), 17:04. Penalties-Cronin Dbq (roughing), 19:45.
Shots on Goal-Waterloo 6-13-8-27. Dubuque 7-7-6-20.
Power Play Opportunities-Waterloo 2 / 3; Dubuque 1 / 4.
Goalies-Waterloo, Croteau 1-2-0-0 (9 shots-6 saves); Glockner 7-10-1-0 (11 shots-8 saves). Dubuque, Parik 2-2-0-0 (27 shots-20 saves).
Linesmen-Matt Heinen, Aaron McCrary.