Home Against Green Bay
The Waterloo Black Hawks’ first regular season game at Young Arena in 2018/19 is Saturday (7:05 p.m.) against the Green Bay Gamblers. The Hawks have opened the year away from home by notching at least one standings point in each of their first four games. Green Bay has started 1-4-0 despite a point-per-game effort from veteran forward Paul Maust. Last season, the Black Hawks’ 22 home wins and 45 home points were the best figures in the USHL. Waterloo topped the Gamblers 3-1 on November 18th during their only visit to the Cedar Valley. Hank Sorensen scored the game-winning goal in the second period.
Follow the Leaders
Forwards Matej Blumel and Vladislav Firstov share scoring honors for Waterloo through two weekends. Each player has six points, putting them into a tie for fifth overall in the league. Blumel has found the net regularly; his four goals tie for second in the USHL. Firstov has contributed assists consistently; with five, he is tied for the league lead. A season ago, three Black Hawks (Jack Drury, Jackson Cates, and Ben Copeland) each ended the schedule among the league’s top ten point producers.
Strong Finishes Early
The Hawks have been the USHL’s best third period team in this young season. Waterloo has outscored their opponents 9-2 collectively over the first four games. That offensive total is higher than any other league club in the third. The Hawks have scored at least once in the third period during each of their four games. In two meetings with the Central Illinois Flying Aces, Waterloo had three third period goals in each contest.
Hat Trick or Treat
Matej Blumel completed his first career hat trick on Saturday as the Black Hawks topped the Central Illinois Flying Aces, 5-1. The first two goals came in power play situations, while the third was an unassisted, shorthanded breakaway. It is the first time a Black Hawk has recorded an October hat trick since Brock Boeser did it on the road against the Lincoln Stars on Halloween in 2014. Waterloo won that game, 6-4. Blumel’s hat trick is one of four in the USHL this fall.
The Des Moines Buccaneers crept past the Waterloo Black Hawks in a shootout Friday. Two third period goals were crucial to the Bucs’ eventual 3-2 result. Vladislav Firstov and Hank Sorensen each scored their first goals of the season for Waterloo. Saturday, Matej Blumel did the majority of the scoring during a 5-1 win against the Central Illinois Flying Aces. In net, Logan Stein, stopped 34 of 35 shots for a win in his first league appearance. The Hawks ended the weekend 4-for-7 on the power play.
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The Black Hawks open their home schedule on Saturday, October 13th versus the Green Bay Gamblers. It’s an OP College Night, with $9 tickets on game day or $8 tickets in advance. The team will also be revealing its 2017/18 Anderson Cup banner. To order tickets, call the Domino's Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.