Waterloo’s first true road games played in front of hostile crowds will be Friday and Saturday. Both of the Black Hawks’ opponents are currently undefeated this season. On Friday, the team travels to Viaero Center in Kearney, Nebraska, to meet the 3-0-0 Tri-City Storm. Tri-City will be playing on home ice for the first time, and they enter the contest having allowed a league-low four goals. Meanwhile, the Des Moines Buccaneers own a USHL-best 5.3 goals per game on their way to a 3-0-0 start. The Bucs will be off on Friday night. Last year, Waterloo went 1-2-0 in road games against each of this weekend’s opponents.
Jack Williams and the Black Hawks blanked the Youngstown Phantoms 2-0 on September 24th before a 3-0 win last Friday against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. The consecutive shutouts mark the first time Waterloo has silenced opposing offenses in back-to-back games since March of 2016. Cale Morris was in net for each of those games (4-0 at Omaha March 5th and 3-0 versus Dubuque on the 11th). Waterloo has never won three consecutive USHL regular season games in shutout fashion.
Reiners’ Unique Goal
There have been 26 goals scored by United States Hockey League defensemen so far this season. A power play score by Black Hawks Captain Mason Reiners on Friday is the only one among them that has proved to be a game-winner. Reiners’ power play tally broke a scoreless start. It was the fourth goal Reiners has scored in 108 USHL regular season appearances; two of those four have been decisive. Reiners also had a game-winner in overtime last February 27th against the Chicago Steel.
Through two weeks, the Black Hawks lead the USHL in both offensive and defensive shots on goal averages. Waterloo has put at least 36 pucks on net in each of the first three games for a league-leading average of 38.3 per contest. Meanwhile, the Hawks have allowed just 22.0 shots against per game, meaning, on average, Waterloo has had over 16 more shots than their opponents. In fact, Waterloo has held opposing teams to fewer than 10 shots on goal in seven of nine periods while reaching double-digit shots in every period.
The Black Hawks played just once last weekend, prevailing 3-0 versus the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders during the first game of the season at Young Arena. Mason Reiners and Garrett Schifsky scored power play goals in the first and third periods respectively. They were the first special teams scores by Waterloo so far in 2021/22. Tyler Kostelecky added a late empty net goal. Jack Williams earned the win with 21 saves.
Friday, October 1 Cedar Rapids 0, BLACK HAWKS 3 Recap
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The Black Hawks' 2021/22 home schedule continues on Saturday, October 16th. It's the first chance for educators and health care professionals to enjoy discounted tickets. Fans in attendance will also claim a 2021/22 Black Hawks Magnetic Schedule. Get your seats from tickets.waterlooblackhawks.com.