Waterloo Black Hawks Preview is presented by Iowa Donor Network.
A Full Weekend
After consecutive single-game weekends, the Black Hawks will become the first USHL team this season to play three games in three days. The Hawks are blazing the three-in-three trail for other USHL clubs; during the weekend of October 23rd through 25th, the Chicago Steel, Madison Capitols, and Omaha Lancers will each deal with similar circumstances. Waterloo’s current hectic stretch – played entirely on the road – will see the club in Sioux Falls to visit the Stampede on Friday and Saturday, then at Sioux City against the Musketeers on Sunday. Last season, the Hawks earned six of 12 possible points against the Stampede and five of 12 from games against the Musketeers. Waterloo met both opponents during the 2014 Clark Cup Playoffs.
Cotton and Terao to the Top
With a goal and an assist respectively on Saturday during a 3-2 loss against the Green Bay Gamblers, Waterloo Black Hawks forwards David Cotton and Yuri Terao currently share the team’s scoring lead with four points apiece. All four of Cotton’s points have been recorded in even-strength situations. Terao has one of the Hawks’ two power play goals. His three assists also tie for the team lead in that category.
Picking Up on the Penalty Kill
The Black Hawks boosted their penalty killing percentage significantly between January (at one point, it stood at 76.7%) and the end of last season (the final mark was 81.4%, eighth in the league). The solid finish seems to have carried into the early weeks of the new season. The Hawks have killed 17 of 18 opposing power plays during their first four games. They currently lead the United States Hockey league at 94.4%. Waterloo has not ended a season above 81.7% or ranked higher than eighth on the penalty kill since 2010/11 (88.4%, 4th).
Schultz’s Solid Saturdays
Forward Brandon Schultz assisted on Waterloo’s first goal in Green Bay. The 19-year-old now has three assists in the Hawks’ last two games. Schultz proved he was an adroit setup man last season in the North American Hockey League with the Janesville Jets, where he recorded ten multi-assist performances. Schultz also ranked second in Janesville with a +35 plus/minus differential; he is currently tied for third among this season’s Black Hawks at +3.
Despite a hefty number of chances, Waterloo could not overcome a 3-0 deficit Saturday, falling to the Green Bay Gamblers, 3-2 on the road. David Cotton and Nick Swaney scored the Black Hawks’ goals, both at the tail end of the second period. Waterloo outshot Green Bay 41-24, but Gamblers goaltender Adam Huska made 39 saves, 31 of them during the final 40 minutes.
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The Black Hawks return home on Saturday, October 24th to meet the Omaha Lancers. For tickets, click here or call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.