Waterloo Black Hawks Preview is presented by Iowa Donor Network.
One Short Trip
The Black Hawks play just one game this weekend, traveling to visit the Dubuque Fighting Saints on Saturday. The Saints are the last USHL team from the state of Iowa that the Black Hawks have not met during the 2015/16 season. The last meaningful game between the teams was in April, when Waterloo won the regular season finale, 4-1, at Young Arena. In total, the Hawks posted a 4-2-0 record against the Saints last season. Dubuque – currently third in the Eastern Conference after holding the top spot periodically in November – is led offensively by twin forwards Mitchell and Evan Smith, who have identical point counts, with a dozen apiece.
Waterloo and Dubuque are each among the USHL’s leading six clubs for both “shots taken” and “fewest shots allowed” per game. As a result, the teams have some of the best shot differentials on average. The Black Hawks outshoot opponents by 4.6 chances per tilt. The Fighting Saints are in close pursuit at a favorable difference of 4.1. The only team better than Waterloo and Dubuque is the Tri-City Storm (+4.9).
Swaney Seeing Double
Forward Nick Swaney became the first Waterloo Black Hawk to reach double-digit goals, scoring his tenth of the year Thursday against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. The Minnesota-Duluth recruit has spread his offense around, putting the puck into the net against eight different opponents this season. Lately, he has also been setting up his share of goals, having recorded four assists in his last six appearances. Over four career matchups against the Fighting Saints, he has three points (two goals, one assist).
Waterloo climbed above .500 during a solid 5-3-1 month of November. This season’s results during the 11th month of the year far outdistanced last autumn, when the Hawks compiled just a 1-9-0 November record. In nine appearances last month, Liam Pecararo recorded a dozen points, including nine assists. Ronnie Hein led Waterloo with a +9 plus/minus differential. The Hawks received mostly balanced offense, with goals contributed by 14 different players and points from 19.
Roads jammed with holiday travelers could not stop the Black Hawks last Wednesday, and neither could the Madison Capitols as Waterloo claimed a 3-1 away win. Drew Hotte made 30 saves and Yuri Terao notched the game-winning goal during the third period. Thursday and Saturday, the Hawks were limited to one goal per night by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in a pair of 5-1 losses. Nick Swaney scored Thursday and Garrett Wait recorded Waterloo’s goal Saturday.
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The first 500 fans in attendance when the Black Hawks host the Fargo Force on Friday, December 11th will receive a J.T. Brown collectable stadium cup, presented by Beck’s Taproom Grill & Hurricane Grill & Wings.