The Waterloo Black Hawks seized the lead in the opening minutes Saturday, and Cale Morris held off the Lincoln Stars during a 4-3 Young Arena playoff victory.
Morris made 38 stops, including 15 during the third period, allowing the home team to stay out of reach. The victory gives the Black Hawks a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-five first round series against Lincoln.
The Hawks were off to a good beginning during the opening period. Waterloo capitalized in transition at 4:21 when Nick Swaney found a loose puck and stuffed it into the net, following Ronnie Hein’s efforts to maneuver into the offensive zone. Waterloo followed up by capitalizing in the opening seconds of a power play at the ten minute mark. Swaney was setup beside the net a fed a pass to Ronnie Hein barreling up the slot. Hein scored on one touch past the glove of Peyton Jones.
Lincoln moved back within one during a power play at 16:26 as Trevor Hamilton snuck in to score from the left circle after a cross-slot feed by Grant Jozefek.
The Hawks matched their two-to-one scoring ratio in the second period, although the goals came in a different order. At 6:13, Jones could not knock down Zach Yon’s shot from the left circle; it went off the Stars netminder and in. Lincoln drew back within a goal at 13:42 when Tanner Laczynski knocked in a chance from close range. However, Waterloo went back ahead by two goals at 15:35; Ben Newhouse came to the ice on a change and jumped right into a rush. Newhouse flipped a shot-like pass toward the net, but really a deft pass, Ryan Lohin swooped in to knock the puck between the pipes.
Lincoln’s Anthony Wyse recorded the only goal of the third, putting a shot through traffic and into the net from the left circle at 8:42.
Game Four in the series will be played at Young Arena on Sunday. Gates open at 4:05 ahead of a 5:05 opening faceoff. For tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680 or visit waterlooblackhawks.com.
Lincoln 1 1 1 – 3
Waterloo 2 2 0 – 4
1st Period-1, Waterloo, Swaney 1 (Hein, Pecararo), 4:26. 2, Waterloo, Hein 1 (Swaney, Yon), 10:00 (PP). 3, Lincoln, Hamilton 3 (Hoff, Jozefek), 16:26 (PP). Penalties-Wait Wat (holding), 7:27; Badini Lin (high sticking dbl minor), 9:47; Ausmus Lin (roughing), 16:12; Anderson Wat (roughing), 16:12; Cotton Wat (hooking), 16:12.
2nd Period-4, Waterloo, Yon 1 (Lohin, McCormick), 6:13. 5, Lincoln, Laczynski 1 (Hamilton, Mersch), 13:42. 6, Waterloo, Lohin 1 (Newhouse, Hein), 15:35. Penalties-Evers Lin (roughing), 6:25.
3rd Period-7, Lincoln, Wyse 1 (Bowlby, Laczynski), 8:42. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Lincoln 10-15-16-41. Waterloo 11-13-8-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Lincoln 1 / 2; Waterloo 1 / 2.
Goalies-Lincoln, Jones 1-2-0-0 (32 shots-28 saves). Waterloo, Morris 2-1-0-0 (41 shots-38 saves).
Referees-Walker Holton (19), Jonathon Sitarski (18).
Linesmen-Michael Houle (50), JP Waleski (66).