Cale Morris had his busiest night of the season and Sam Rossini made it worthwhile in a 3-2 Waterloo Black Hawks overtime win against the Tri-City Storm at Viaero Center in Kearney, Nebraska, Thursday.
Although Waterloo was outshot in two of three periods and overtime, Morris made 39 saves for the victory.
Tied at 2-2 with more than six minutes elapsed in overtime, the Hawks controlled a faceoff in their own zone. Ronnie Hein came up the right wing, skirting a check at the Tri-City line, then moving out of the corner to deliver a centering feed to Rossini. With 45 seconds remaining, the veteran defenseman stuffed in the winning goal over the right pad of Matt Greenfield.
The Storm had outshot the Hawks, 15-5, during the opening period, but came away with just a 1-0 lead. Joe Cipollone scrored the only goal at 17:50, finishing a feed which had originated from behind the Waterloo net, leaving him alone at the top of the crease. Morris was effective and occasionally stellar in the Hawks net throughout the period, sprawling to his right to deny a Nico Sturm breakaway midway through the opening 20 minutes. Waterloo also killed off 1:16 of time spent shorthanded two men during the frame.
The Strom added to their edge during a frantic start to the second period. Just eight seconds after intermission and one second after a power play had elapsed; Mattias Goransson drove a deflected puck into the net from the left circle.
The Hawks answered emphatically just over a minute later. After a faceoff win, Ben Newhouse’s shot from the left point was deflected by a defender standing just outside the goal mouth. Cameron Orchard and Kevin Charyszyn provided a screen at the top of the crease. Waterloo earned the equalizer at 5:51; Nick Swaney was manning the left boards and zipped a pass to Georgs Golovkovs, who lifted it in from the side of the net.
The third was the game’s only scoreless period, but Morris delivered another highlight save on Sturm with just over six minutes to play. Sturm’s shorthanded chance came after a turnover inside the Hawks’ blue line; the Waterloo veteran kicked out his right leg and, fully extended, made a game-saving stop.
Waterloo and Tri-City have an instant rematch Friday evening. The puck drops at 7:35 in central Nebraska.