Waterloo Black Hawks Preview is presented by Iowa Donor Network.
The Force Will Be With Us
The Black Hawks host the Fargo Force for a single game this weekend. The 7:05 matchup at Young Arena Saturday will pit two USHL Western Conference foes who have not met during calendar year 2015. All six Hawks/Force tilts in 2014/15 were prior to New Year’s Eve; Waterloo was 2-3-1 against Fargo. This season’s schedule is built in similar fashion. The Hawks host the Force three times before the end of December, while all three meetings in Fargo will be played in January. The Force are now led by Cary Eades, the fifth head coach during the club’s eight-year existence. Each of the previous four Fargo head coaches took the club to the playoffs and won at least one postseason series during their respective first years with the team.
A Look at Overtime
Teams involved in the league’s only two overtime games under new USHL rules meet this Saturday. Fargo fell to the Sioux City Musketeers, 4-3, last Friday. Then the following evening, the Muskegon Lumberjacks nipped the Black Hawks 3-2 in a shootout. During the offseason, the league adopted a new seven-minute format, during which the last four minutes are played three-on-three. Fargo’s game did not reach the three-on-three stage, as Musketeer forward Connor Valesano settled the affair with a penalty shot goal. Overtime has been unkind to the Hawks recently; Waterloo was 0-6 in overtimes or shootouts last season.
Stillwell Settles In
Defenseman Tony Stillwell was acquired from the Madison Capitols less than a week before opening night. His limited opportunity to practice with the Black Hawks had no ill effects. Stillwell contributed an assist during each of Waterloo’s opening weekend games. Last year in 17 games for Madison, the Wisconsin recruit tallied five assists, including three on the power play. Stillwell was in the lineup for each of the Caps’ last 15 games.
The Outset of October
October has been a good month for the Black Hawks in recent seasons. Waterloo has posted a record of .500 or better in October during each of the last five campaigns, highlighted by a 7-1-0 mark in 2012. Last season, the Hawks owned a 4-2-2 record during the month.
David Cotton and Sam Rossini each had a goal and an assist during a season-opening 4-2 win against the Bloomington Thunder on the road Friday. Waterloo limited Bloomington to just 21 shots as Cale Morris earned his 20th win as a Black Hawk. Shane Bowers scored the first Hawk goal of the season, then followed up Saturday with a late game-tying score to force overtime, but the Muskegon Lumberjacks prevailed, 3-2 in a shootout. Bowers and Cotton are tied for the team lead with three points apiece.
Give someone a second chance at life by registering as an organ and tissue donor with the Iowa Donor Network. Anyone can register regardless of age, medical history, or the state you live in. Help take the waiting list in Iowa from nearly 600 down to zero. Visit www.iowadonornetwork.org. Every time the Black Hawks take the ice, there are fans who are able to enjoy the game only thanks to the gift of organ or tissue donation. Help provide a second chance…don’t wait, register today.
Pick up a free Waterloo Black Hawks schedule poster, presented by Karen’s Print Rite! Be one of the first 1,000 fans in attendance when the Hawks host the Fargo Force Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. For tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680 or visit waterlooblackhawks.com.