Mason Reiners’ first USHL goal produced a Waterloo Black Hawks Saturday night 7-6 overtime win after the Hawks overcame a big third period deficit against the league-leading Chicago Steel at Young Arena.
Just shy of midway into the extra time, Max Sasson brought the puck up ice and drew the attention of multiple Steel defenders in the left corner. He lifted a pass to the top of the crease, connecting with Reiners. The veteran defenseman was alone in front of goalie Nick Haas and beat him from close range with a low wrist shot.
The wild celebration which left Reiners at the bottom of a pile beside the net was justified by the Hawks flying back after trailing 6-3 in the third. Waterloo’s rally began at 6:23, moments after a power play had ended; Dane Montgomery and Luke Bast were both at the top of the Steel crease, with Montgomery pushing in the third shot during the sequence.
Two-and-a-half minutes later, Ryan O’Hara cut Chicago’s lead to one, thanks to Owen Ozar. Ozar went to the end boards and pulled the puck away from Haas, centering it for O’Hara, who scored into an open net from the slot.
Sasson then produced the equalizer at 10:21. With the Hawks buzzing around the front of the net and Haas down after an initial save, Sasson pounced on the puck which had been left free, evening the teams at 6-6. The Hawks thought they had taken the lead minutes later, but Wyatt Schingoethe was ruled to have kicked in a deflection near the side of the net. The “no goal” left room for Reiners’ memorable moment after the end of regulation.
In the first period, Waterloo had traded goals with the league’s most explosive offense. At 5:21, Chicago’s Jack Harvey took aim from the left circle and put a transition chance in off the crossbar. However, just 35 second later, Waterloo tied it as Kyler Kleven made a strong move to the net, and the rebound of his opportunity was poked in by Alex Gaffney.
The Hawks took the lead at 7:28; Sasson crossed the Chicago line and caught up with Matt Argentina’s pass in a shooting position, flicking a shot over Haas’ left shoulder. Yet the period finished tied; at 9:07, Sean Farrell’s centering pass from the left circle hit a Waterloo defender and bounded between the pipes.
The Steel went ahead again in the second at 5:02, as all three visiting forwards touched the puck in quick succession; Josh Doan handled it last, nudging it in from a sharp angle. Waterloo again responded quickly; at 6:38 Montgomery was near the edge of the blue paint to punch in a setup by Gaffney.
Two late second period goals and another early in the third allowed the Steel to pull ahead. Erik Middendorf tipped a shot at 16:36, followed by Doan’s second of the period on a controversial play where Waterloo believed the Steel were offside. Matt Coronato added his league-leading 31st of the season at 1:01 of the third, finding a loose puck at center and speeding up the middle of the ice to beat Emmett Croteau, who had come on in relief at the start of the period.
Croteau stopped the other nine shots he faced to earn the win. Waterloo outshot the Steel 42-33. All of Saturday’s scoring was at even strength.
The Black Hawks go on the road next Friday and Saturday for games against the Tri-City Storm.
Chicago 2 3 1 0 - 6
Waterloo 2 1 3 1 - 7
1st Period-1, Chicago, Harvey 1 (Lipkin), 5:21. 2, Waterloo, Gaffney 10 (Kleven, Montgomery), 5:56. 3, Waterloo, Sasson 8 (Argentina), 7:28. 4, Chicago, Farrell 20 9:07. Penalties-Sasson Wat (tripping), 2:38.
2nd Period-5, Chicago, Doan 20 (Lipkin, Farrell), 5:02. 6, Waterloo, Montgomery 4 (Gaffney), 6:38. 7, Chicago, Middendorf 24 (Bar, Coronato), 16:36. 8, Chicago, Doan 21 (Farrell, Lipkin), 18:52. Penalties-Livanavage Chi (hooking), 11:19; Montgomery Wat (holding), 12:07; Bar Chi (roughing), 12:29; Farrell Chi (roughing), 12:29; Ozar Wat (roughing), 12:29; Szmagaj Wat (roughing), 12:29; Sasson Wat (misconduct-unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:36.
3rd Period-9, Chicago, Coronato 31 (Ufko), 1:01. 10, Waterloo, Montgomery 5 (Bast, Gaffney), 6:23. 11, Waterloo, O’Hara 8 (Ozar), 8:51. 12, Waterloo, Sasson 9 (LaStarza, Reiners), 10:21. Penalties-O’Hara Wat (slashing), 1:25; Livanavage Chi (holding), 4:17; Moore Chi (holding), 14:09.
1st OT Period-13, Waterloo, Reiners 1 (Sasson, Montgomery), 2:25. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Chicago 13-10-9-1-33. Waterloo 9-12-19-2-42.
Power Play Opportunities-Chicago 0 / 3; Waterloo 0 / 3.
Goalies-Chicago, Haas 10-4-1-0 (42 shots-35 saves). Waterloo, Williams 1-5-0-0 (23 shots-18 saves); Croteau 3-3-0-0 (10 shots-9 saves).
Linesmen-Cameron McCambridge, Aaron McCrary.