Liam Pecararo scored all three Waterloo Black Hawks goals Saturday, but the Omaha Lancers came away with a 4-3 decision at Ralston Arena.
With the game tied 3-3 in the opening minutes of the third, an Omaha faceoff win sent the puck to the top of the Waterloo crease, where Nick Rivera poked it past the right pad of goaltender Drew Hotte. Two minutes earlier, Hotte had denied Brannon McManus’ bid to put the Lancers in front on a penalty shot.
Waterloo outshot Omaha 11-6 during the final period, and by a game total of 28-19, but could not come back to level the score for a third time.
Omaha had struck first, capitalizing on a two-on-one 2:08 into the game. Mitch Perrault lifted a shot past Hotte’s right shoulder, giving the Lancers the lead for a majority of the period. Pecararo tied the score at 13:23 when he came from behind the net and a loose puck found him. From the extended goal line on right wing, the veteran put his shot between the pipes from a sharp angle.
Each team scored twice in the second. Pecararo sparked the offense at 1:59, capitalizing on a feed from behind the net by Ronnie Hein. The Hawks’ only lead was short-lived; at 3:33 McManus spun a low shot into the net from the right circle.
Omaha swung back in front at 10:38 while shorthanded. Brian Williams scooted up the right boards after slipping behind the Waterloo defense, firing his chance off the back bar. Pecararo completed his hat trick just over two minutes later. Ben Newhouse lifted a puck from the slot, which caromed off the end glass and back to the top of the crease, where Pecararo found it for a temporary equalizer.
The Hawks travel to Madison for their next game. Waterloo meets the Capitols Wednesday at 7p.m.