Sizing Up Sioux Falls
Friday and Saturday, the Black Hawks meet the Sioux Falls Stampede at 7:05 p.m. and 6:05 p.m. respectively. The two teams last played each other on January 9th, a game which Waterloo won 6-4. The series is currently even, with each club earning two wins and four standings points. Games have generally been in the balance until the late stages, with the winning goal recorded in the third period during three of four matchups. Sioux Falls won the only previous game at Young Arena this winter, 1-0 on December 4th. This weekend’s meetings conclude the season series between the Hawks and Stampede.
Where Are the New Boys?
Two Black Hawks forwards made their USHL debuts last Saturday versus the Des Moines Buccaneers. Garrett Schifsky had been selected by Waterloo during the 13th round in Phase II of the 2020 USHL Draft. The Andover, Minnesota, native had produced 29 goals and 31 assists in 22 MSHSL games this winter. Meanwhile, Jake Rozzi is a former teammate of Michael LaStarza in Quebec. The Hawks acquired him during Phase I of the 2020 USHL Draft in the 10th round.
Someone Has to Score First
The Sioux Falls Stampede and the Waterloo Black Hawks are the two USHL teams least likely to score the first goal of a game this season. Sioux Falls has taken a 1-0 edge in just 15 of their 48 contests. Meanwhile, the Black Hawks have opened the scoring on only 16 of 46 nights. Every other club except the Youngstown Phantoms (17) has recorded the first goal in at least 21 of their games. Coincidentally, the Stampede have scored first in all four meetings with Waterloo.
Goals to Go Around
Nic Belpedio notched his first goal of the season last Thursday when the Black Hawks visited the Lincoln Stars. That made him the 25th different player to record a goal for Waterloo during 2020/21. The group includes eight other defensemen in addition to Belpedio. The last season in which the Hawks had more than 25 players produce at least one goal was in 2015/16.
The Black Hawks played just two of their three scheduled games last weekend. Last Thursday, Nic Belpedio had a goal and an assist, but the Lincoln Stars pulled ahead on a pair of first period goals and stayed out of reach the rest of the way in a 6-3 decision. Friday’s scheduled game in Des Moines could not be played due to poor ice conditions. A make-up date for the game has not yet been determined. Waterloo did meet the Buccaneers last Saturday at Young Arena, falling 4-0.
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