For the second consecutive day, the Waterloo Black Hawks never trailed en route to a convincing home ice victory, with Sunday’s result at Young Arena coming by a 5-2 score against the Tri-City Storm.
The Black Hawks went ahead on the game’s first shot on goal. Ethan Szmagaj blocked a chance in his own zone and earned an assist when Max Sasson pursued the puck through neutral ice on right wing, then fired his opportunity past Todd Scott 36 seconds into the game.
Tri-City leveled the score at 10:43 when Kyler Kovich turned to lift in an opportunity from near the right faceoff dot.
In the second period, the Hawks were limited to eight shots but scored on three of them. Exactly one minute after intermission, Wyatt Schingoethe set up Alex Gaffney between the circles, and Gaffney fired a low shot past Todd Scott’s glove. Thirty second later, Ryan O’Hara came speeding up the rink on a partial breakaway and slipped the puck between Scott’s pads.
The Storm had two power plays in the middle frame, churning out 13 shots, all stopped by Emmett Croteau. Their second power play resulted in a Black Hawks goal. Tri-City defenseman Conner Hutchison fell down in the neutral zone, giving Sasson an unchallenged opportunity to produce his league-leading fourth shorthanded goal of the season on a wrister from the right hashmark.
The teams exchanged goals again in the third period. Michael LaStarza blasted in a power play goal from the right faceoff dot on a setup by Ethan Szmagaj at 4:59. Moments after the next Waterloo power play, the Storm drew back within three as Ben Schoen came out of the penalty box to record a breakaway goal at 10:30.
Tri-City lifted Scott with two-and-a-half minutes to go but could not pull closer as the next two minutes were played without a whistle.
Croteau picked up his second win of the weekend by making 28 saves. He had stopped 34 Lincoln Stars shots Saturday in a 6-2 Black Hawks victory.
The Hawks and Storm meet again on Thursday in Kearney, Nebraska, to conclude their six-game regular season series. The game will open Waterloo’s second straight three-game weekend.
Tri-City 1 0 1 - 2
Waterloo 1 3 1 - 5
1st Period-1, Waterloo, Sasson 11 (Szmagaj), 0:36. 2, Tri-City, Kovich 3 (Estapa, Donato), 10:43. Penalties-McWard Tc (slashing), 12:05.
2nd Period-3, Waterloo, Gaffney 12 (Schingoethe, Ozar), 1:00. 4, Waterloo, O’Hara 10 (Reiners), 1:30. 5, Waterloo, Sasson 12 (Montgomery), 15:00 (SH). Penalties-Schingoethe Wat (tripping), 6:30; Schingoethe Wat (hooking), 14:53.
3rd Period-6, Waterloo, LaStarza 9 (Szmagaj, Ozar), 4:59 (PP). 7, Tri-City, Schoen 14 (Strand), 10:30. Penalties-O'Hara Tc (charging), 3:39; Schoen Tc (boarding), 8:18; Montgomery Tc (interference), 14:23; Ozar Wat (hooking), 14:23.
Shots on Goal-Tri-City 8-13-9-30. Waterloo 11-8-9-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Tri-City 0 / 2; Waterloo 1 / 3.
Goalies-Tri-City, Scott 14-8-1-1 (28 shots-23 saves). Waterloo, Croteau 5-4-0-0 (30 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Sam Heidemann (6).
Linesmen-Richard Faron, Matt Heinen.