Headed for Splitsville?
This weekend, the Black Hawks travel to Kearney, Nebraska, for Friday and Saturday games versus the Tri-City Storm (both at 7:05 p.m.). The Storm currently lead the United States Hockey League Western Conference with 48 points; the Hawks are six points off the pace with 42. The matchups will represent the fifth time this season that Waterloo has faced the same organization twice in one weekend. All four of the other instances ended in splits (October 26th and 27th versus Fargo; November 2nd and 3rd against Dubuque; November 22nd and 24th against Cedar Rapids; November 30th and December 1st at the National Team Development Program). Last season, the Hawks split two games played during a trip to Kearney; each team won once by a 1-0 score.
Blumel Banks Big Goals
It would be difficult to imagine a more productive half-season than what Matej Blumel has achieved. At the midpoint of the Hawks’ schedule, Blumel has appeared in 27 games and is tied for the league lead with 39 points (19 goals, 20 assists). That includes four goals and an assist last weekend during games against the Sioux Falls Stampede and Lincoln Stars. Blumel’s first goal versus the Stampede proved to be the winner in a 6-4 contest. That gives the Czech native a USHL-high six game-winning goals in 2018/19. Last season, Alec Broetzman of the Madison Capitols led the league with 8 for the year.
Schingoethe Shoots Up Rookie Rankings
Between Thanksgiving and last Saturday’s game against the Lincoln Stars, 16-year-old forward Wyatt Schingoethe recorded at least one point in 11 of 13 Black Hawks games. That includes his first USHL shorthanded goal over the weekend versus the Lincoln Stars. As a result of Schingoethe’s consistency, he has moved up into a tie for fifth in scoring among the league’s rookies (22 points from six goals and 16 assists). He is one of seven Black Hawks to have appeared in each of the team’s games during 2018/19.
Shooting until the End
The Black Hawks’ 346 third period shots on goal are the most in the league. The Muskegon Lumberjacks (315) and Dubuque Fighting Saints (303) are the only other clubs over 300 during the final 20 minutes. Waterloo averages over 11 shots on goal in a typical third period. The league average is slightly more than nine.
Waterloo was involved in a pair of wild, high-scoring games over the weekend, with the road team coming out on top each time. Friday in Sioux Falls, Joe Cassetti and Matej Blumel each scored twice during a 6-4 victory against the Stampede. Saturday, three third period Lincoln Stars goals undid the Hawks in a 7-4 defeat at Young Arena. Blumel contributed a pair of goals in that game as well.
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The Hawks’ next home game is on Tuesday, January 15th versus the Sioux City Musketeers, featuring $2 pizza, hot dogs, and soda. Kids take over the rink for the night, presented by Wishbone Bar & Grill. For tickets, click here.