Waterloo Black Hawks Preview is presented by Iowa Donor Network.
On the Road to Omaha
The Black Hawks play once this weekend, matching up on the ice against the opponent they are currently battling for third place in the USHL Western Conference standings. Waterloo last faced the Omaha Lancers on November 21st, a game which was the culmination of three meetings within the span of five weekends. Omaha has won two of the first three get-togethers this season. The exception was a 5-1 Black Hawks effort on November 7th, which included two goals by Yuri Terao and four points from Michael Davies. A Waterloo regulation win on Saturday would split the season series. The Hawks are playing just one game this weekend, representing the lightest schedule since a single-game weekend to open December (Christmas break excluded).
Waterloo’s November victory over the Lancers was the pivot in the midst of seven consecutive games during which the Hawks earned at least one standings point. During the best stretch of its kind, Waterloo was 6-0-1 between October 29th and November 20th. With a win or overtime/shootout loss against the Lancers this Saturday, the Hawks would equal their earlier streak. Waterloo is 3-0-3 in the last six contests.
Adding Up the Additions
Three players made their Waterloo debuts during the month of February. Forward Zach Yon, goaltender Garrett Metcalf, and defenseman Jake Ryczek combined to make 18 appearances. The group contributed a dozen points (six goals and six assists). In addition, Metcalf went 1-1-2 in the crease with a 2.62 goals-against average. Two other new Hawks – Ryan Lohin and Sam McCormick – will dress as Hawks for the first time in March after being acquired on Monday.
The Hawks recovered from losses in the first four games of February to finish the shortest month of the year with a 3-4-3 record. Liam Pecararo led Waterloo with ten points, while Zach Yon and Shane Bowers tied as the team’s top goal scorers with four apiece. All totaled, 14 different Hawks put the puck in the net at least once. Yuri Terao recorded a team-best +5 plus/minus differential. Goaltender Cale Morris earned two victories, boosting his Waterloo total to 32, which ranks fourth during the organization’s junior era.
The Hawks picked up five of six possible points from three games. Home victories against the Sioux City Musketeers and Des Moines Buccaneers bookended a 3-2 overtime loss against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Saturday. Forward Shane Bowers scored in all three games while defensemen Jake Ryczek and Michael Davies set the points pace with five each.
Friday, February 26 Sioux City 1, BLACK HAWKS 6 Recap
Saturday, February 27 Black Hawks 2, CEDAR RAPIDS 3 (OT) Recap
Sunday, February 28 Des Moines 2, BLACK HAWKS 5 Recao
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The Hawks’ next home game is against the Dubuque Fighting Saints on Friday, March 11, part of the Dupaco Cowbell Cup series.