Waterloo Black Hawks Preview is presented by Iowa Donor Network.
Casting Out, Rolling Back
The Black Hawks start their extended weekend Thursday by playing their most distant remaining road game. Waterloo has yet to visit the Muskegon Lumberjacks in 2015/16. The Jacks claimed a 3-2 shootout decision during the first regular season game at Young Arena in the current campaign. On their way home from western Michigan, the Hawks visit the Chicago Steel – the only opponent they have yet to play – on Friday. Although the Hawks and Steel had to wait five-and-a-half months for their first meeting, the series will be wrapped up just four days later, when the Steel come to Waterloo on Tuesday, March 22nd. In between tilts with Chicago, the Black Hawks battle the Dubuque Fighting Saints at Mystique Ice Center Saturday. Last Friday, Waterloo won a 3-0 decision against the Saints at Young Arena.
Targeting the Top Ten
A three-point effort Saturday has lifted Black Hawks forward Sam McCormick among the USHL’s top ten scorers. The Ohio State recruit now has 27 goals and 19 assists this season, placing him in tenth among the league’s most effective offensive players. The Hawks acquired McCormick from the Madison Capitols at the USHL trade deadline on the final day of February. His effort Saturday included two goals and an assist during a 6-3 loss to the Sioux Falls Stampede. McCormick has four points in three games as a Black Hawk.
Familiar Sequence, Final Time
The Hawks are playing their fifth and final string of three-games-in-three-days this Thursday through Saturday. Of the 24 points available from their previous busy weekends, Waterloo has claimed 13. However, road games have proved to be problematic during these hectic stretches: the Hawks have accumulated just three of 12 possible road points when playing three times in three days. During Waterloo’s three-game bunches, Nick Swaney has stacked up 13 points in 12 appearances.
Ronnie Hein’s stat line includes a couple of numbers which only jump off the scoresheet in context. The Hawks’ captain is currently a team-best +19, which ties for sixth in the United States Hockey League. He also owns 28 assists, a count which ties for ninth in the league. Tom Novak led Waterloo in both categories last season, finishing the year with 34 assists and a +14 differential.
Waterloo opened with a 3-0 shutout of the Dubuque Fighting Saints Friday. Cale Morris made 28 saves, and Georgs Golovkovs contributed a goal and an assist. Saturday, the Hawks were bested, 6-3, by the Sioux Falls Stampede, despite three points from Sam McCormick and two from Ryan Lohin.
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The Hawks’ next home game is Tuesday, March 22nd, the final College Night of the season. College students with ID can pick up $7 advance tickets for the matchup against the Steel or claim $8 seats on game day.