The Waterloo Black Hawks were out of the building and the last goal of a 4-2 Friday victory over the Dubuque Fighting Saints had not been added to the Mystique Ice Center scoreboard.
Matej Blumel scored his second of the period – from center ice into an open net during a power play less than a second before time expired – to seal the win. Although the call on the ice appeared to be a “good goal,” the teams left their benches for their respective locker rooms, and the game determined to be over.
Blumel’s game-winner earlier in the third made the empty-netter possible. Joe Cassetti was trying to send a pass from the left circle across the slot, but it landed in front of Blumel instead on a deflection. The USHL’s leading scorer squeezed his chance from the left circle hashmark past Matthew Thiessen at 8:35.
Heady play in the closing minutes allowed Waterloo to finish the game on a power play. In a delayed penalty situation, the Hawks held the puck for 20 seconds as the clock ran under two minutes, assuring that the Saints could not come back to full strength before the end of regulation. Waterloo then maintained possession in the offensive zone through much of the advantage, melting away the clock.
Two earlier Waterloo leads had been quickly erased.
At the end of a power play at 7:39 of the first, Brehdan Engum hit the net on a wrister from the high slot. Sixty-one seconds later, Verners Egle responded for Dubuque with a forehand-backhand move in transition, setup by Willie Knierim.
In the second, Waterloo pulled ahead again at 15:28. Jacob Bengtsson knocked down a clearing attempt at the blue line and moved to the side of the net, setting up a score for Connor Caponi from close range. The 2-1 lead was maintained for a little over three minutes before the Saints tied it while the teams skated four-on-four. Matias Maccelli picked the top corner, electing to shoot as he carried the puck up ice on a two-on-one look.
Jared Moe stopped 23 other shots in the Black Hawks net for the win.
Saturday night is an instant rematch between the Hawks and Saints at Young Arena. The 7:05 p.m. game is Country Night, presented by K98.5 FM and featuring the band Catfish Murphy performing live. The evening also features the annual Dainty Doggy Dash, sponsored by Paw Prints Pet Salon and benefitting the Cedar Bend Humane Society. For tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office or call (319) 291-7680.
Waterloo 1 1 2 - 4
Dubuque 1 1 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Waterloo, Engum 2 (Sorensen), 7:39 (PP). 2, Dubuque, Egle 6 (Knierim, Greenway), 8:40. Penalties-Szmagaj Wat (holding), 2:51; Knierim Dbq (hooking), 5:47; Semik Dbq (hooking), 13:03.
2nd Period-3, Waterloo, Caponi 5 (Bengtsson), 15:28. 4, Dubuque, Maccelli 18 (Kjellberg), 18:47. Penalties-Marooney Wat (high sticking), 2:30; Jackson Dbq (interference), 10:40; Schingoethe Wat (slashing), 18:34; Greenway Dbq (cross checking), 18:34.
3rd Period-5, Waterloo, Blümel 22 (Cassetti), 8:35. 6, Waterloo, Blumel 23 20:00 (PP, EN). Penalties-Tulik Dbq (tripping), 18:03.
Shots on Goal-Waterloo 8-14-8-30. Dubuque 8-7-10-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Waterloo 2 / 4; Dubuque 0 / 2.
Goalies-Waterloo, Moe 12-7-2-1 (25 shots-23 saves). Dubuque, Thiessen 9-11-3-3 (29 shots-26 saves).
Linesmen-Chad Fuller, Mack Darcy.