Waterloo trailed by two going to the third period, but the Black Hawks did all the scoring the rest of the way for a comeback 5-4 win against the Tri-City Storm at Young Arena.
The rally started at with 10:38 remaining while the Black Hawks were shorthanded. From beside his own net, Tyler Procious cleared the puck off the glass, and it took a favorable bounce right onto James Hong’s stick near the center circle. Hong was poke-checked between the hashmarks in the Storm zone, but Connor Brown swooped in to fire the puck into an open side.
Just over two minutes later with Waterloo on a power play, Ray Fust wired a pass from below the right circle, connecting with John Waldron at the opposite faceoff dot. Waldron put a shot into the net for his second goal of the game before Arsenii Sergeev could slide from post-to-post.
The go-ahead goal came with 3:48 to play and looked unlikely to count. Owen Baker blasted a low chance between the pipes from the deep slot, but referee Hunter Mottinger immediately waved off the goal. However, after consultation with both linesmen, it was determined that any contact between Sergeev and Hawks forward Mason McCormick either happened outside the crease or was initiated by the Storm netminder.
Tri-City played the last 2:21 with an extra attacker and the last 38.2 seconds on a power play. Emmett Croteau and the Hawks held on, with Croteau making the save of the game lunging to his right against Gavin Brindley with just over a minute to go. Croteau earned the win with 27 stops, 14 of them in the final 20 minutes.
Three of Waterloo’s six power plays yielded goals, including the first power play of the night when the Hawks nudged ahead at 7:41 of the opening period. Ben Robertson made a solid play at the blue line to hold in a clearing attempt that bounced his way. Robertson slipped a pass to Garrett Schifsky, who beat a screened Sergeev from the right circle.
The lead held until 1:16 remained before intermission. Brindley eluded a couple of defenders at the Waterloo blue line, stretching to maintain control of the puck and flicking a chance in off the post to Croteau’s left.
Tri-City went to their first lead during a power play 1:42 into the second; Mitchell Miller’s attempt from near the right faceoff dot appeared to change direction, although Miller was still credited with the score.
The Hawks recorded their second power play goal of the night at 7:02, tying the game temporarily. Schifsky fired a chance toward the crease. The puck bounced off of Sergeev to Waldron, who spiked it into an open side.
However, the Storm were back in front 31 seconds later. John Druskinis pushed a shot across the goal line in transition as he was falling to the ice. Tri-City added a four-on-four goal at 14:00 when Mason Wheeler was left alone near the left circle hash mark, firing home a setup by Ilya Nikolaev.
The Hawks and Storm meet again on Saturday night at Young Arena. The instant rematch begins at 6:05 p.m.
Tri-City 1 3 0 - 4
Waterloo 1 1 3 - 5
1st Period-1, Waterloo, Schifsky 24 (Robertson, Brown), 7:41 (PP). 2, Tri-City, Brindley 14 (Sergeev), 18:44. Penalties-Wheeler Tc (holding), 7:12; Brown Wat (slashing), 11:46; O'Hara Tc (high sticking), 13:11.
2nd Period-3, Tri-City, Miller 28 (Basgall, Nikolaev), 1:42 (PP). 4, Waterloo, Waldron 13 (Schifsky), 7:02 (PP). 5, Tri-City, Druskinis 2 (Gamache, Eernisse), 7:33. 6, Tri-City, Wheeler 1 (Nikolaev, Miller), 14:00. Penalties-Schifsky Wat (high sticking), 0:59; Miller Tc (roughing), 4:30; Druskinis Tc (cross checking), 5:43; Geary Wat (tripping), 7:33; Adams Tc (slashing), 9:22; McEwen Tc (roughing), 12:53; Jeannette Wat (roughing), 12:53; Wilmer Tc (slashing), 19:15; Reiners Wat (cross checking), 19:15.
3rd Period-7, Waterloo, Brown 11 (Hong, Procious), 9:22 (SH). 8, Waterloo, Waldron 14 (Fust, Schifsky), 11:29 (PP). 9, Waterloo, Baker 8 (Procious), 16:12. Penalties-Jeannette Wat (tripping), 1:57; Fust Wat (cross checking), 7:47; Eernisse Tc (roughing), 11:22; Geary Wat (tripping), 19:21.
Shots on Goal-Tri-City 7-10-14-31. Waterloo 9-13-14-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Tri-City 1 / 5; Waterloo 3 / 6.
Goalies-Tri-City, Sergeev 25-5-1-0 (36 shots-31 saves). Waterloo, Croteau 12-11-2-0 (31 shots-27 saves).