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The Road Ahead: October 13, 2021

By WBH, 10/13/21, 11:45AM CDT

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Presented by Minnesota Coaches

Beginning Again Versus Longtime Foes

The Hawks play the Omaha Lancers (1-2-1) and the Dubuque Fighting Saints (2-0-2) each for the first time in 2021/22 during the weekend ahead.  Waterloo has a long history against both organizations.  Friday’s game versus the Lancers at Ralston Arena (7:05 p.m.) will be the 156th regular season meeting between the teams.  That trails only the Hawks’ series with Sioux City (229) and Des Moines (225) during the USHL’s junior era.  At Young Arena Saturday (6:05), Waterloo matches up with the current iteration of the Dubuque Fighting Saints for the 74th time.  However, the Hawks also battled the original Fighting Saints on 137 other occasions during their run in the league from 1980 to 2001.

Early Overtimes

There have been 10 overtime games in the USHL this season.  Waterloo is one of only three teams that has not been involved in any of them (Sioux City and Youngstown are the others).  Omaha is 0-1 in overtime/shootouts this year, while Dubuque is 0-2.  Last season, Waterloo won four of five games they played which were settled by overtime or shootout.  Omaha went beyond regulation only four times, yet the Hawks and Lancers went to OT twice, splitting those matchups.

Milestone Appearance

Goaltender Jack Williams’ appearance in relief during the Black Hawks’ 6-1 loss to Des Moines last Saturday marked his 50th USHL game.  Williams stopped 8 of 9 shots he faced.  He is one of four goalies in the league who has played in four games early this season.  His time in the league began with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, for whom he played 28 times in 2019/20.

Changing Production Rate

The Black Hawks’ second goal on Friday was changed, giving credit to defenseman Mason Reiners.  It was his second of the season in just five games.  Prior to this year, Reiners had scored three goals in 105 career regular season appearances. 

Recent Games

On the road last weekend, the Black Hawks fell to the Tri-City Storm (5-0-0) and the Des Moines Buccaneers (4-0-0). In each game, one big period provided crucial to determining the outcome.  Friday against the Strom, the Hawks were within one goal early in the second period, but Tri-City pulled away by scoring three times ahead of the second intermission, en route to a 6-2 decision.  Saturday in Des Moines, a tough start proved costly; the Buccaneers took a 4-0 lead in the first 15 minutes of play; the final was 6-1.  James Hong and Mason Reiners scored Waterloo’s Friday goals, while Adam Cardona was responsible for Saturday’s lone tally.

Friday, October 8 Black Hawks 2, TRI-CITY 6  Recap
Saturday, October 9 Black Hawks 1, DES MOINES 6  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.