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A Dubuque Double
The Waterloo Black Hawks face the Dubuque Fighting Saints twice this weekend, kicking off the 2016/17 edition of the DUPACO Cowbell Cup Series in the process. Friday’s game is at Young Arena; then the squads meet for an instant rematch Saturday at Mystique Ice Center. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m. Last season, Dubuque claimed five of six meetings. However, the most recent duel at Young Arena went to the Hawks, 3-0, on March 11th. Current Waterloo forward Nick Swaney, Garrett Wait, and Kevin Charyszyn each had an assist in that game. This year, both the Hawks and Saints have been at their best on the road, with only limited opportunities to play in front of a friendly crowd. Waterloo and Dubuque are respectively 5-2-0 and 4-2-0 during away games, but 1-0-1 and 1-2-0 at home.
Two Waterloo players are among the league leaders in plus/minus. Forward Nick Swaney is +8, which ties him with six other players for seventh in the USHL. Swaney finished the 2015/16 campaign with a +9 differential. Jake Ryczek is next in line at +7, serving to put the defenseman into a 14th place tie. Counting Ryczek’s appearances a year ago for both the Black Hawks and Sioux City Musketeers, he ended last season at -7.
Waterloo went to overtime for the second time this season on Saturday, ultimately falling to the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 4-3 in a shootout. After 60 minutes, Hawks’ results thus far in 2016/17 have mimicked the trends from 2015/16. Last season, Waterloo went 4-2 during games settled before the seven overtime minutes expired. However, the squad was 2-3 in matchups which extended all the way to a tie-breaking procedure. No veteran of the 2015/16 Hawks currently skating with the organization was able to convert a shootout attempt last year.
Through five weeks of USHL competition, both the Black Hawks and Dubuque Fighting Saints have a netminder who has earned Goalie of the Week stripes. Waterloo’s Robbie Beydoun took the honor during the second week of the schedule, while Dubuque’s Jaxon Castor holds the title currently. Both goaltenders have four victories. For Beydoun, that total includes two shutouts, while Castor has one.
Two close games last weekend broke in favor of the Black Hawks’ opponents. Waterloo was unable to overcome the Madison Capitols in a 3-2 road decision Friday. Back home Saturday, the Hawks and the Muskegon Lumberjacks each led during regulation before the visitors prevailed, 4-3 in a shootout. Forward Shane Bowers had a goal in each game.
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The next Black Hawks’ home game is slated for Friday, October 28th against the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Enjoy Top Gun Night and claim your Waterloo Black Hawks aviator sunglasses. The team will also be wearing pink Breast Cancer Awareness jerseys, sponsored by Great Clips. Tickets are available by calling the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680 or online by clicking here.