Power play goals in every period propelled the Waterloo Black Hawks past the Bloomington Thunder, 5-2, Saturday at Young Arena.
The Black Hawks converted an early first period advantage for the only scoring during the opening 20 minutes. Just 4:05 into the game, Phil Beaulieu’s blast from the right point was partially stopped by goaltender Logan Halladay, but trickled behind him and between the pipes.
Bloomington tied the game just 1:07 into the second, with Blake Gober getting the final touch to cap a three-on-two rush. Alec McCrea nudged the home team back in front at 7:36 when a long rebound came his way in the left circle, and he fired it home. On a power play again with 1:28 remaining before intermission, Ronnie Hein cashed in from just outside the crease to give the Hawks a two-goal margin. Hein was set up from behind the net by John Wiitala.
Midway through the third, Waterloo benefitted when Henrik Rommel’s pass caromed into the Bloomington net off of a defender. The Thunder regrouped to draw back within two goals from Shane Bednard’s redirection with 5:07 to go. However, from nearly that point onward, Waterloo finished the game on the power play, cashing in during a two-man advantage at 16:29 when Brock Boeser scored his 31st goal of the season.
The third period was the only frame in which the Thunder outshot the Black Hawks: 11-9. For the game, Waterloo had a 40-34 lead in opportunities. Cale Morris made 32 saves for his 15th win as a Black Hawk.
Next weekend, the Hawks are at home for two more games against the Des Moines Buccaneers and Sioux City Musketeers. Game time is 7:05 each evening with tickets available online from waterlooblackhawks.com or by calling the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.