Fargo for the Weekend
Thursday and Friday games against the Fargo Force represent Waterloo’s last overnight trip of the 2020/21 season. Both contests at Scheels Arena begin at 7:05 p.m. The Hawks are winless in four meetings with Fargo, including the only game in their building, a 4-2 loss on January 7th. These games carry significant playoff implications, with Fargo currently second in the USHL Western Conference. The Force are four points out of first place but also four points ahead of the fourth place Sioux City Musketeers.
Thursday’s game will be the 49th this season for the Black Hawks, matching Waterloo’s total from 2019/20 before last season was halted by the coronavirus. Several individual Hawks skaters have produced campaigns which compare favorably to last year. Defenseman Ethan Szmagaj is among the group. Last season, he had 16 assists in 47 appearances; this year Szmagaj has taken the ice 40 times with six goals and 15 assists. Moving up from 13th in team scoring during 2019/20, the Arizona State recruit is currently tied for sixth. Dane Montgomery, Mason Reiners, and Matt Argentina have also each already exceeded their point totals from last year in fewer games than they played last season.
Schingoethe Approaches Milestone Game
If veteran forward Wyatt Schingoethe plays both nights at Scheels Arena, Friday’s contest will be his 150th regular season appearance as a Waterloo Black Hawk. The Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick would join Ethan Szmagaj in reaching that milestone this season. Forwards Max Sasson and Alex Gaffney also played in their respective 150th USHL games during recent weeks after starting their time in the league with different clubs.
Power Play Results
The Black Hawks recorded power play goals in consecutive games last week versus the Sioux Falls Stampede. Michael LaStarza had one Friday, followed by Kyler Kleven on Saturday. Waterloo’s 26 power play goals this season have been distributed among 12 different players. LaStarza and Kleven are tied for the team lead with four apiece. Eight have been produced by Hawks defensemen.
The Black Hawks scored first both Friday and Saturday and never trailed during a pair of wins against the Sioux Falls Stampede. The weekend began with a 6-3 result, which included a pair of goals by Owen Ozar and three points (one goal, two assists) from Jacob Jeannette. Saturday, Waterloo scored the first four goals, then held on for a 4-3 win. Max Sasson had the game-winning goal, in addition to an assist. The two victories gave the Hawks the season series versus the Stampede, with a mark of 4-2-0.
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Seats for all remaining Black Hawks home games are now available at tickets.waterlooblackhawks.com.