Bucs and Back; Herd at Home
This weekend’s Black Hawks opponents have both proved formidable, and each enters the weekend trailing Waterloo by just four points in the USHL Western Conference standings. The Hawks visit the Des Moines Buccaneers Friday. Waterloo has not met Des Moines since a 3-2 shootout loss on October 5th. Along with the Tri-City Storm, the Buccaneers are one of only two teams the Hawks have not beaten in 2018/19. Saturday, the Sioux Falls Stampede visit Young Arena for the first time in 2018/19; earlier this season, Waterloo went 1-1-1 during three meetings on the road in South Dakota. Again like Tri-City, Sioux Falls is one of just two teams with more than one win against the Hawks this year.
Looking to the West
Both of this weekend’s games are against opponents with whom the Black Hawks are battling for playoff seeding in the USHL Western Conference. Waterloo is currently 10-7-2 in the conference. The majority of the Hawks’ remaining schedule is against Western Conference opponents, including 11 of the next 12 games. Since Christmas, Waterloo’s only losses are to teams from the West (Sioux Falls, Lincoln, and Tri-City twice).
Winning with Less
The Black Hawks have scored three goals or fewer in each of the last three games, but Waterloo has come out on top in all of them. Last Friday’s 2-1 overtime win against the Fargo Force marked the first time this season that the Hawks have won when scoring two goals or fewer. Waterloo’s record with different goal totals are as follows: 0: 0-1-0; 1: 0-2-0; 2: 1-4-1; 3: 4-2-0; 4 or more: 21-1-3.
More of the Same
Saturday’s 3-1 victory over the Muskegon Lumberjacks moved the Black Hawks to 15-3-1 at Young Arena this season. It also makes this the eighth consecutive year in which Waterloo has won at least 15 games in front of the home fans. Last season, the Hawks led the league with 45 standings points on home ice from a mark of 22-7-1. At this stage of the season, Sioux Falls and Tri-City also have 15 wins at their home rinks. The Storm are credited with one additional “home” victory earned during the USHL Fall Classic in Pittsburgh.
Friday, the Black Hawks went to overtime for the first time since November 10th. Mason Palmer scored the game-winning goal for a favorable 2-1 decision versus the Fargo Force. The victory moved Waterloo to 4-4 this season in games settled by overtimes or shootouts. Saturday, the Hawks defeated the Eastern Conference-leading Muskegon Lumberjacks behind 30 saves from Logan Stein. It was the third time this season that Stein has made 30 or more stops in a performance.
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Enjoy a Black Hawks Family 4 Pack on National Pizza Day. Get four attack zone tickets, four slices of Domino’s pizza, four sodas, and four chuck-a-pucks for $48. To order, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.