The Tri-City Storm pushed to a five-goal lead before stifling a Waterloo Black Hawks comeback bid in a Saturday night matchup that finished 5-2 at Viaero Center in Kearney, Nebraska.
The Storm had three first period power plays and cashed in on two of them. Rhett Pitlick converted the first just moments after a puck escaped across the blue line. Conner Hutchinson pulled it back into the zone with no offside whistle, feeding Pitlick to score from the left circle. Cole McWard added another special teams tally five seconds into the Storm’s next advantage at 11:52.
Caden Villegas produced the game’s first even-strength goal at 4:44 of the second, pushing in a rebound opportunity with a scrum near the front of the Hawks’ net. The Storm added two more goals on second chances, both from Carter Mazur at 7:49 and 12:19.
Waterloo created reason for optimism before the period was out. Skating four-on-four, Matt Argentina went to the net to shovel in a loose puck at 14:29. Eighty-nine seconds later, Ethan Szmagaj let go of a quick chance from the left point to score a Waterloo power play goal.
However, the Storm prevented any further offense, even despite an early third period leg injury to starting goalie Connor Hopkins, who had to leave the game. Hopkins twisted to the ice after taking a bad step.
The Black Hawks are back home at Young Arena for their next game Tuesday night versus the Omaha Lancers at 7:05 p.m. Fans can take advantage of a “Two for Tuesday” offer with two attack zone tickets and two Chick-fil-A sandwiches for $22 (available online only).
Waterloo 0 2 0 - 2
Tri-City 2 3 0 - 5
1st Period-1, Tri-City, Pitlick 10 (Hutchison, Knies), 6:18 (PP). 2, Tri-City, McWard 12 (Jonsson, Estapa), 11:58 (PP). Penalties-Bast Wat (holding), 5:20; Montgomery Wat (tripping), 11:52; Sasson Wat (interference), 13:10.
2nd Period-3, Tri-City, Villegas 7 (Klapka, Eernisse), 4:44. 4, Tri-City, Mazur 13 (Hutchison, Estapa), 7:49. 5, Tri-City, Mazur 14 (Strand, Donato), 12:19. 6, Waterloo, Argentina 5 (Wylie, Reiners), 14:29. 7, Waterloo, Szmagaj 5 (Montgomery, Wylie), 15:58 (PP). Penalties-Pitlick Tc (tripping), 0:19; Klapka Tc (interference), 4:56; Bast Wat (boarding), 5:27; Ozar Wat (hooking), 13:04; Estapa Tc (slashing), 14:20.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Kleven Wat (boarding), 3:28; Mazur Tc (hooking), 8:56.
Shots on Goal-Waterloo 7-17-11-35. Tri-City 8-18-3-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Waterloo 1 / 4; Tri-City 2 / 6.
Goalies-Waterloo, Croteau 3-4-0-0 (17 shots-14 saves); Glockner 9-11-1-0 (12 shots-10 saves). Tri-City, Hopkins 8-3-1-0 (24 shots-22 saves); Scott 12-6-1-1 (11 shots-11 saves).
Linesmen-Pete Jenkin, Default Linesman.