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Rumpling the RoughRiders, Subduing the Saints
The 2014/15 United States Hockey League schedule will be completed Saturday night. The Waterloo Black Hawks finish the season with games against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Dubuque Fighting Saints this weekend. Recent history with Cedar Rapids suggests that Friday’s game at Young Arena will likely be high-scoring and potentially one-sided: in five meetings this year, the teams have combined for at least seven goals on four occasions. The winning margin has been three goals or more four times. Scoring between Waterloo and Dubuque has been slightly more conservative and the finals closer: the last three games have been settled by two goals apiece. Dubuque has claimed the Prairie Farms Cowbell Cup, for which the three teams compete.
Scoring Race to the Finish
A hat trick on Saturday against the Sioux City Musketeers has put Black Hawks forward Brock Boeser neck-and-neck for the USHL’s goal scoring title entering the final weekend of the season. Now with 34 goals, Boeser is tied with Chris Wilkie of the Tri-City Storm. The rivals are each one goal better than Kiefer Bellows of the Sioux Falls Stampede and two clear of Kyle Connor (Youngstown Phantoms) and Robert Carpenter (Musketeers). Boeser, Wilkie, and Bellows each have two games left, while Connor has three and Carpenter just one. Taylor Cammarata is the most recent Hawk to lead the league in goals with 38 in 2012/13.
A Happy Home
The Black Hawks started their home schedule with a 1-8-1 mark at Young Arena. Since Christmas, the team has rebounded for a 12-3-3 showing in Party Town. Regardless of the results this weekend, Waterloo will earn at least half of the possible standings points from home games, thereby finishing at “.500” or better. The Hawks have claimed at least 30 standings points at home from each of P.K. O’Handley’s 13 seasons with the club.
Ronnie Hein, Difference-Maker
There are many factors which have contributed to the Hawks’ strong second half. Forward Ronnie Hein enjoys a favorable correlation. Hein joined Waterloo fulltime in early January, and the Hawks are 17-10-4 with him in the lineup. Without him, the record was 9-16-2. He also played 33 games for the Aberdeen Wings of the North American Hockey League, who went 16-15-2 when he was there, but just 11-16-0 when he was not. In his 33 NAHL appearances, Hein had 17 points and was -6. For the Hawks in 31 contests: 19 points and +4.
Nick Swaney and Bryan Lemos each had a goal and an assist Friday as Waterloo nipped the Des Moines Buccaneers, 3-2. Saturday, Brock Boeser led the way with a hat trick during a 4-1 victory over the Sioux City Musketeers. For the weekend as a whole, goalie Cale Morris made 38 saves on 42 shots for the two wins.
Don’t miss the last weekend of hockey at Young Arena this spring. Look for giveaways and goodies all weekend as the Hawks face their Prairie Farms Cowbell Cup rivals, the Cedar RoughRiders and Dubuque Fighting Saints. For tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680 or click here.
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