A goal in the final three minutes of every period and a starring role played by goaltender Cale Morris propelled the Waterloo Black Hawks past the Sioux Falls Stampede, 3-0, at Young Arena Sunday afternoon.
Morris made 27 saves for his United States Hockey League-leading fourth shutout of the season. He was busiest in the third when the Stampede sent 11 shots his direction.
Blake Christensen made an acrobatic play at the front of the net for the only goal of the first period at 17:37. Bryan Lemos’ pass from behind the net came to Christensen in midair, and the forward kicked the puck to his stick with his right skate before lifting a shot past goaltender Stefanos Lekkas’ stick side.
The defining stretch of Sunday’s contest came with two minutes remaining in the second period. It started when Morris made a glorious left skate save on a Mikey Eyssimont from close range. Moments later, the Black Hawks doubled their lead when Blake Hillman’s shot was deflected in the left circle by Ronnie Hein, giving the home team a 2-0 edge with 1:08 left before intermission.
John Wiitala added an empty net goal with 57.8 showing on the clock in the third, slipping the puck into an open net.
Waterloo’s next matchup is on the road Tuesday against the Green Bay Gamblers before the Hawks return home for two next weekend against the Youngstown Phantoms.
For Sunday’s box score, please click on the link below: