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The Road Ahead: March 21, 2018

By WBH, 03/21/18, 12:00PM CDT

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PRESENTED BY MINNESOTA COACHES

Seeing the Saints, Meeting the Musketeers

It’s an all-Iowa weekend for the Waterloo Black Hawks.  Friday, the Hawks play one of just three remaining regular season road games while visiting Mystique Ice Center against the Dubuque Fighting Saints (7:05 p.m.).  Waterloo has played two low-scoring games in that building this season, winning 2-0 on October 13th and 3-2 in a shootout November 22nd.  Garrett Wait has three assists on the Hawks’ four regulation goals there.  Back at home on Saturday (7:05 p.m.), Waterloo faces the Sioux City Musketeers.  In the most recent meeting between the two clubs on March 3rd, the Musketeers raced to a 3-0 lead in the first period before Ben Copeland generated three assists, and Jackson Cates scored the game-winning goal shorthanded during a 4-3 comeback.

Springing Ahead

A weekend after setting clocks ahead an hour, the Black Hawks were still springing forward this past Friday and Saturday.  Waterloo scored a goal during the first minute of regulation against the National Team Development Program Under-17s on both Friday and Saturday.  Garrett Wait was responsible on Friday, just 23 seconds after the opening faceoff.  Saturday, it was Sam Huff at the 46-second mark.  As a result, Waterloo never trailed in either game.  The Hawks have only one other goal in the first minute of a game this season: Solag Bakich did it to the Muskegon Lumberjacks during a 5-4 Waterloo road win on December 1st.

Plus-Sized Performances

Defenseman Mason Palmer had a +3 plus/minus differential on Friday versus the NTDP.  He was +2 on Saturday.  He also notched an assist over the weekend.  The two games boosted Palmer to +22 for the season.  It is the best mark of any defenseman in the United States Hockey League.  Reliably steady on the blue line throughout his second USHL season, a year ago, Palmer was +2 over 56 games.

Game Winners to Go ‘Round

Jack Drury’s shorthanded goal on Friday proved to be the game-winner in a 6-1 result.  Saturday, Garrett Wait broke a 4-4 tie when he scored his second of the game late in the second period; the Hawks prevailed, 6-4.  Both Drury and Wait now have five game-winning goals this season.  Jackson Cates had already reached that count earlier in March.  So far, the Hawks are the only USHL club with three players who have scored five or more game-winners this season.

Weekly Recap

Successful penalty-killing played a substantial role in the Hawks’ results against the U-17s.  Combining the 6-1 and 6-4 victories, Waterloo was a perfect 13-for-13 versus the NTDP.  That included a shorthanded goal by Jack Drury Friday, giving the Hawks a USHL-leading team count of 12 in 2017/18.  

March 16, 2018 - NTDP U-17s 1, BLACK HAWKS 6  Recap
March 17, 2018 - NTDP U-17s 4, BLACK HAWKS 6  Recap

Minnesota Coaches is dedicated to upholding a pristine over-the-road reputation built over more than 30 years. The official travel partner of the Black Hawks offers a state-of-the-art fleet of vehicles and has the highest standards in the industry.  Travel in safety and comfort when you use Minnesota Coaches for all your transportation needs.

Join us for Panther Pride Night in Party Town on Saturday when the Hawks host the Sioux City Musketeers.  UNI students (and all others in college) can come out to the rink for just $8 when purchasing tickets in advance or $9 on game day.  To order college tickets, please call the Domino's Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.