Alex Tracy’s shutout bid lasted into the late minutes, and the Sioux City Musketeers’ goaltender finished with 28 saves in a 3-1 Saturday result against the Waterloo Black Hawks at Young Arena during Game One of a USHL Western Conference Semifinal series.
Sioux City outshot the Black Hawks 17-9 in the first period and staked Tracy to the lead on one of their earliest chances. Tomi Leppanen’s attempt from the left point created a rebound for Ben Steeves, who squeezed in a shot from near the bottom of the left circle at 4:35.
The Musketeers added to the margin at 7:53 of the second period, capping an up-and-down sequence. Owen McLaughlin sped into the Hawks’ zone, feathering a pass to Bennett Schimek in the right circle for a try that went off the post and in.
McLaughlin set up the final Sioux City score at 2:56 of the third. Skating across the slot from right to left, he fed a pass back the direction he had come from, connecting with Luke Antonacci, who scored on a wrister from the right circle.
Waterloo’s breakthrough against Tracy came with 2:24 to go and an extra attacker on the ice. Gavin Lindberg’s shot from the right point went off Tracy, straight to Tyler Kostelecky, who scored into an open side at the opposite edge of the crease.
The crucial second game in this best-of-three series is Sunday afternoon at Tyson Events Center in Sioux City. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. If necessary, Game Three would also be in Sioux City on Tuesday evening.
Sioux City 1 1 1 - 3
Waterloo 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period-1, Sioux City, Steeves 1 (Leppanen, Deckhut), 4:35. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-2, Sioux City, Schimek 1 (McLaughlin), 7:53. Penalties-Rinzel Wat (boarding), 3:22; Hong Wat (high sticking), 7:53; Smith Sc (slashing), 16:26.
3rd Period-3, Sioux City, Antonacci 1 (McLaughlin, Gratton), 2:56. 4, Waterloo, Kostelecky 1 (Lindberg, Wylie), 17:36. Penalties-Doran Sc (hooking), 2:01; Rozzi Wat (diving/embellishment), 2:01; Wylie Wat (charging), 3:48; Leppanen Sc (interference), 14:33; Bergmanis Sc (tripping), 19:22.
Shots on Goal-Sioux City 17-10-10-37. Waterloo 9-9-11-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Sioux City 0 / 2; Waterloo 0 / 3.
Goalies-Sioux City, Tracy (29 shots-28 saves). Waterloo, Croteau (37 shots-34 saves).