The Waterloo Black Hawks scored a season-high eight goals Tuesday night at Young Arena, opening up the final week of the United States Hockey League schedule with an 8-4 victory against the Lincoln Stars.
Waterloo blitzed the Stars in the early going, scoring on their first two shots of the night. Just 1:10 into the game, Ryan O’Hara moved around a defender and to the front of the net to flip in a backhander from the top of the crease. Only 41 seconds later, Kyler Kleven scored from the left circle with a quick release, on a set up by Matt Argentina from behind the goal. Kleven struck again at 5:49 by being in the right place at the right time. A dump in took a fortunate bounce off the corner glass and went right to Kleven with an open net after Ryan Ouellette had expected the puck to be behind the cage.
The Hawks extended the lead to 5-0 in the early stages of the second. Luke Bast’s one-timer left a rebound for Max Sasson to finish at 2:09. Then at 5:22, Charlie Strobel pounced on a loose puck to score from the side of the net.
Lincoln answered that goal on the following shift when Cole Craft scored in tight at 5:58. The teams exchanged close order goals again at 10:26 and 10:51. In the first instance, O’Hara swept in a loose puck from the slot off another initial shot by Bast. Lincoln’s Clay Hanus nullified the momentum when Chase Pietila’s circle-to-circle left him with an open side.
Nonetheless, Waterloo extended the margin back to five by intermission on Argentina’s fourth assist of the game; moments after a four-on-four sequence ended, he fed the puck from below the icing line to Ethan Szmagaj. The veteran Waterloo defender used a Lincoln player as a screen to beat Ouellette with a low shot.
The Stars briefly drew back within three in the third, thanks to tallies by Gleb Veremyev at 5:36 and Nick Nardecchia at 12:25. Yet the Hawks would celebrate the final highlight; with Lincoln pressing, affiliate forward Jake Rozzi was sprung for a breakaway from the red line and capitalized on the chance for his first USHL goal.
The high-scoring matchup had a shot count to match, with Waterloo putting 44 chances on frame to Lincoln’s 35.
The Black Hawks return to action Friday and Saturday on home ice. Both games are against the Des Moines Buccaneers. Friday’s contest begins at 7:05 p.m., with a 6:05 p.m. start Saturday.
Lincoln 0 2 2 - 4
Waterloo 3 4 1 - 8
1st Period-1, Waterloo, O’Hara 14 (Argentina, Severo), 1:10. 2, Waterloo, Kleven 12 (Argentina, Montgomery), 1:51. 3, Waterloo, Kleven 13 (Montgomery, Reiners), 5:49. Penalties-Cooley Lin (major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 2:52; Strobel Wat (major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 2:52; LaStarza Wat (head contact), 7:45.
2nd Period-4, Waterloo, Sasson 19 (Strobel, Bast), 2:09. 5, Waterloo, Strobel 3 (Argentina, Sasson), 5:22. 6, Lincoln, Craft 9 (Veremyev, Laba), 5:58. 7, Waterloo, O’Hara 15 (Rozzi, Bast), 10:26. 8, Lincoln, Hanus 6 (Pietila, James), 10:51. 9, Waterloo, Szmagaj 7 (Argentina), 15:30. Penalties-Nardecchia Lin (roughing), 13:25; Wylie Wat (roughing), 13:25; Kleven Wat (tripping), 15:55; Sato Lin (bench minor-too many men), 19:12.
3rd Period-10, Lincoln, Veremyev 5 (Stefan, Hanus), 5:36. 11, Lincoln, Nardecchia 3 (O'Leary, Schade), 12:25. 12, Waterloo, Rozzi 1 (Batchelder), 18:25. Penalties-Ness Wat (slashing), 3:29.
Shots on Goal-Lincoln 14-10-11-35. Waterloo 12-20-12-44.
Power Play Opportunities-Lincoln 0 / 3; Waterloo 0 / 1.
Goalies-Lincoln, McCarthy 7-10-2-0 (2 shots-0 saves); Ouellette 15-23-1-1 (42 shots-36 saves). Waterloo, Glockner 10-16-1-0 (35 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Caleb Andrade, John Linder (78).
Linesmen-Davids Rozitis, Cameron Dykstra.