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The Road Ahead: March 28, 2018

By WBH, 03/28/18, 2:45PM CDT

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PRESENTED BY MINNESOTA COACHES

Marching Toward the End of the Month

The Black Hawks play their final games of March on the last two days of the month.  Friday night (7:05 p.m.), Waterloo visits the Sioux Falls Stampede.  Both of the Hawks’ prior visits to Sioux Falls this season were in October and resulted in 4-2 wins.  The Stampede have a unique home ice advantage; their total attendance of 171,333 this season is more than 80,000 higher than the next-closest USHL team.  Back home to face the Dubuque Fighting Saints Saturday (7:05 p.m.), the Hawks wrap up a seven-game season series against an opponent they met last Friday.  Dubuque prevailed 3-2 in overtime.  Waterloo’s seven games against the Saints are the most versus one team in one regular season since 2012/13 when the Hawks played Dubuque and the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders eight times each. 

Standings Situations

Last Saturday’s 6-3 win against the Sioux City Musketeers put Waterloo into the postseason.  The final seven games on the schedule will help sort out when the Hawks will play – and against whom – during the Clark Cup Playoffs.  If Waterloo earns six more standings points, they will secure home ice advantage during their opening round of games.  Any points which the Tri-City Storm or Lincoln Stars (currently tied for fifth place) fail to earn will also move the Hawks closer to that accomplishment.  To claim a first round playoff bye, Waterloo must finish first or second in the Western Conference.  Any combination of 13 Hawks points – or missed points by the team holding third place (currently the Omaha Lancers, by tiebreaker) – will achieve that goal.

Special Teams Leader

Jack Drury scored a shorthanded goal Saturday.  He now has six shorthanded points this season, which ties with Trenton Bliss of the Green Bay Gamblers for the most in the USHL.  Drury also leads the league in power play points with 26 (ten goals, 16 assists).

Overtime Observations

Overtime has not been kind to the Black Hawks this season.  Waterloo has been on the downside during four of their last five overtimes or shootouts, including a 3-2 loss to the Fighting Saints last Friday.  For the season, the Hawks are 4-7 in games played past 60 minutes.  Jackson Cates had two overtime winners and a shootout-clinching goal this season.

Weekly Recap

A late rally nudged Dubuque past Waterloo, 3-2 at Mystique Ice Center Friday.  The Hawks responded with three shorthanded goals Saturday during a 6-3 win against the Sioux City Musketeers at Young Arena.  Five different players scored during the victory with a pair of goals by Joey Cassetti.

March 23, 2018 - Black Hawks 2, DUBUQUE 3 (OT)  Recap
March 24, 2018 - Sioux City 3, BLACK HAWKS 6  Recap

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The Black Hawks Family 4 Pack is available for Saturday's game.  Get 4 tickets, 4 brats, 4 soft drinks, and more for just $48.  To order, call the Domino's Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.