For the second consecutive night, the Waterloo Black Hawks scored three third period goals - including a late game-winner - and prevailed Saturday by a 5-4 score against the Tri-City Storm at Young Arena.
The teams were tied 2-2 when the period began with Waterloo on a power play. The advantage ran out just a matter of seconds before Dane Montgomery swatted a rolling puck above the right faceoff dot, lifting it in under the crossbar at 1:59.
Alex Gaffney added a substantial insurance goal five-and-a-half minutes later. His second tally during the contest came as he cut to the net to receive a pass from Matt Argentina before triggering a low shot which eluded Connor Hopkins.
The Storm built pressure in the later half of the third, and the rally was on with 4:52 to play when Conner Hutchinson blasted in a power play goal. Just over three minutes remained when Cole McWard tied it, slipping through the right circle unchallenged to beat Charlie Glockner from the slot.
However, Waterloo prevailed in dramatic fashion. An attempt be Mason Reiners missed the net as the clock rolled under one minute to play. Max Sasson collected the carom and dropped it back to Ryan O’Hara between the circles, and with 53.9 seconds left, O’Hara was on target for the decisive score.
The result was a follow up to Friday’s Black Hawks win, which had come on the road against the Dubuque Fighting Saints by a 7-6 score. Waterloo’s offense looked to still be sizzling early Saturday; the Hawks scored first at 3:39 when Michael LaStarza’s no-look pass sprang Kyler Kleven across the blue line. Kleven cut through the right circle before slipping a low shot past Todd Scott.
The Storm swung to the lead before the period was over. The visitors tied the game at 8:10 on a give-and-go passing play with Hunter Strand setting up Mark Estapa’s backhander in transition. Then with 48.3 seconds remaining, Vinny Borgesi used traffic at the front of the net to score on a long low shot.
In the second, Scott lost his catching glove and was cut on his left hand midway through the period. Leaving the ice to be attended to, Hopkins came on as a replacement and the Hawks tied it minutes later. Deft puck movement between Owen Ozar and Dane Montgomery set up Gaffney’s prime scoring chance from just outside crease at 13:49. Gaffney finished the opportunity, and with two scores in the game, he now has five in nine appearances since joining the Hawks.
The same two teams meet on Sunday afternoon at Young Arena. Limited seats are still available for the 3:05 p.m. matchup.
Tri-City 2 0 2 - 4
Waterloo 1 1 3 - 5
1st Period-1, Waterloo, Kleven 8 (LaStarza, Argentina), 3:39. 2, Tri-City, Estapa 8 (Strand), 8:10. 3, Tri-City, Borgesi 2 (Kovich), 19:12. Penalties-Montgomery Wat (holding), 16:11.
2nd Period-4, Waterloo, Gaffney 7 (Montgomery, Ozar), 13:49. Penalties-Pitlick Tc (tripping), 1:45; Bast Wat (hooking), 9:09; Villegas Tc (roughing), 19:46.
3rd Period-5, Waterloo, Montgomery 2 (Kleven, Copre), 1:59. 6, Waterloo, Gaffney 8 (Argentina, Montgomery), 7:23. 7, Tri-City, Hutchison 1 (Knies, O'Hara), 15:08 (PP). 8, Tri-City, McWard 11 (Pitlick, Hutchison), 16:42. 9, Waterloo, O’Hara 6 (Sasson, Reiners), 19:06. Penalties-Sasson Wat (hooking), 13:40.
Shots on Goal-Tri-City 8-8-11-27. Waterloo 4-11-6-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Tri-City 1 / 3; Waterloo 0 / 2.
Goalies-Tri-City, Scott 11-5-0-1 (10 shots-9 saves); Hopkins 4-3-0-0 (11 shots-7 saves). Waterloo, Glockner 8-10-1-0 (27 shots-23 saves).
Linesmen-Matthew Bleck, Default Linesman.