For the third time in their last four games, the Waterloo Black Hawks went to overtime and came out of the extra period with a victory, topping the Tri-City Storm 3-2 Friday at Viaero Center in Kearney, Nebraska.
Like each of the prior OT wins, it took a third period comeback to force the extra frame. Trailing 2-1 with 3:24 left in regulation, Michael LaStarza’s pass went pinballing through the net mouth before coming to rest in front of Alex Gaffney. With Tri-City goalie Todd Scott forced to lean one way then the other while tracking the feed, Gaffney beat the USHL’s top netminder inside the post to his left.
Owen Ozar then scored an opportunistic game winner at 3:56 of overtime. A Storm defender had lost his stick, allowing Ozar to move out of the left corner and to the hashmark. With net to shoot at, he rifled his chance under the crossbar for his team-leading tenth goal of the season.
Matt Argentina had struck for the game’s first goal – the only goal of the first period – at 4:31. Hawks goalie Charlie Glockner’s clear sent the puck up the ice to Max Sasson. The veteran slipped a pass to Argentina, who moved across the slot, simultaneously settling the puck and shielding it from defenders before flipping in a backhander.
Waterloo’s lead lasted into the early minutes of the second. Conner Hutchinson produced the Storm’s first goal on a shot from the left point at 3:02, getting a fortunate bounce off a Hawks defender.
Tri-City took their third period lead at 1:22 when Carter Mazur pulled the puck out of the right corner, setting up Rhett Pitlick to score from close range.
Glockner earned his ninth win of the season by stopping 22 shots, with Waterloo generating a 34-24 edge in chances.
The Hawks and Storm duel in an instant rematch Saturday in Kearney at 7:05 p.m.
Waterloo 1 0 1 1 - 3
Tri-City 0 1 1 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Waterloo, Argentina 4 (Sasson, Glockner), 4:31. Penalties-Estapa Tc (tripping), 17:09.
2nd Period-2, Tri-City, Hutchison 2 (Kovich, Estapa), 3:02. Penalties-Wylie Wat (holding), 7:57.
3rd Period-3, Tri-City, Pitlick 9 (Mazur, Strand), 1:22. 4, Waterloo, Gaffney 11 (O’Hara, LaStarza), 16:36. Penalties-Kleven Wat (roughing), 3:53.
1st OT Period-5, Waterloo, Ozar 10 3:56. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Waterloo 9-11-13-1-34. Tri-City 8-6-10-0-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Waterloo 0 / 1; Tri-City 0 / 2.
Goalies-Waterloo, Glockner 9-11-1-0 (24 shots-22 saves). Tri-City, Scott 12-6-1-1 (34 shots-31 saves).
Linesmen-Eric Arrigo, Michael Ifkovits.