Hopes rose and fell for Waterloo Black Hawks fans during the closing minutes of the third period Friday at Young Arena as the Youngstown Phantoms extended their USHL-best winning streak to 15 games with a 2-1 decision.
The visitors had recorded the only goal during the first 55 minutes of hockey, but with 4:20 remaining in regulation, the Hawks’ Brock Boeser tied the score with a power play goal, shooting from the left circle and lifting the puck to the opposite top corner over the glove of goalie Colin DeAugustine.
Waterloo battled through a subsequent Youngstown man-advantage, then thought they had taken the lead when Nick Swaney batted a loose puck toward a seemingly open Youngstown net with a minute to go. Somehow, the disc stayed out, and on the Phantoms’ subsequent trip down the ice, Josh Nenadal capitalized on a feed out of the right corner with 42.7 seconds to play. After a review confirmed Swaney’s chance had not gone in, Nenadal’s goal proved to be the winner.
The Hawks had outshot the Phantoms 11-3 in the opening period, but Youngstown registered the only goal before intermission on their second shot at 16:33. Max Letunov centered from behind the net and found Josh Melnick, who scored with a quick release from the left hashmark.
The Hawks and Phantoms don’t have to wait long to meet again. Waterloo hosts a rematch at 7:05 p,m, Saturday. The contest is part of the Hawks’ annual UAW Weekend, with $8 tickets for all UAW Local 838 members and their families. All college students can also purchase $8 tickets (limit one college ticket per student ID). For more details, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.